Reflections from the First Principals’ Institute

Fall 2006 | | December 21, 2006 at 5:21 pm

Recognizing the importance of site principal as the prime mover for educational reform and change, the Principals’ Institute on June 22, 2006 provided many opportunities to explore leadership philosophies and management strategies. The theme concentrated on Perspective—perspective about beliefs and leadership style, perspective on the attitudes that drive actions, and perspective for an educational vision that is shared. Here are some of the comments from the 22 administrators who attended:

–Aspects that stimulated new thinking:

  • Anecdotal remarks from the panel of experienced GEAR UP principals (Dr. Harriet Maclean Martin of Helms Middle School, Richmond; Dr. William Del Bonta of Jackman Middle School, Elk Grove, and Rebecca Cheung of Longfellow Middle School, Berkeley)
  • The media presentation, “Focus Your Vision” video
  • The facilitated dialogue on “Focusing Our Vision” stimulated my thinking on clearly understanding what GEAR UP can do to help our school meet our goals
  • The alignment dialogue (on the SSAR and California Standards) was exciting, motivational and very helpful.
  • Discussing and sharing about the SSAR
  • We are not alone. Many schools have the same problems.

–Information and concepts that were most useful:

  • The information provided by the panel helped me to begin planning in advance what we need to do to get the program off the ground
  • The roundtable discussion after the panel
  • Parent involvement
  • Panel discussion—Hearing from schools that have experienced GEAR UP was great—Also knowing who to go to for help and guidance
  • Ample opportunities to collaborate
  • Creating a vision

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