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Transformative Principal is 

Aug 27, 2017

You Get what You Expect

Nicholas A. Fischer is a school-management consultant and coach. He was the superintendent of the New London, Conn., school district from 2009 to 2014. Previously, he was the superintendent of schools in Fall River, Mass., and the Christina School District in Newark, Del.; the assistant superintendent in Fairfax County, Va.; and the associate commissioner for finance and accountability in the Massachusetts Department of Education.

  • Leading a District Can Be Controversial, Embrace it

  • Be clear to yourself about what your values are.

  • Working in public schools is very important.

  • Started working Florida as a principal when corporal punishment was still allowed.

  • Telling kids what we wanted them to do instead of what we don’t want them to do.

  • Problems in American Public education: Our expectations are too low.

  • All of us have special abilities

  • Every child can be expected to be out a maximum effort.

  • What we expect in engagement is different than what kids are taught growing up.

  • What are the ramifications of doing the right thing?

  • What are the right questions to ask a supervisor?

  • Are you mobile enough to find the right places to work?

  • Know what you believe, and talk to your supervisor, let your spouse know the ups and downs you will face.

  • That’s one way of doing it, but here’s a better way.

  • You have to know what the stakes are going in, and be willing to live with them.

  • Average tenure of Superintendent is 2-3 years. Average tenure of principals is a little longer.

  • Reasons for moving vary.

  • In some situations, leaving a situation can be a badge of honor.

  • Why are you staying if you’re struggling?

  • Get candid feedback about how you’re portraying yourself.

  • Much better off being honest with those we are talking with.

  • Don’t use the statement, “Don’t take this personally.”

  • I’d like to hear your version of what you see yourself doing.

  • Set up an active listening conversation.

  • We too often end a statement with “You know what I mean?”

  • Distinguish between what a person is doing and what you would like to see them doing.

  • Tell me what you think I’m asking you to do.

  • Sit down a couple weeks later and talking about what they have changed.

  • I don’t assume anything.

  • How to be a transformative principal? Transformative to do what? If you were to describe what you are trying to accomplish, define what is happening right now in your school. Think through how you frame things. Define what you perceive happening. Start to talk about what the difference is between what people are doing what you want them to do.

  • If you’re going to have a safe school, everyone needs to be involved.

Are you feeling like you are always behind at school? Do you feel like you need about 2 more hours each day to accomplish everything? Here’s how I help principals work manageable hours: Create your ideal week, so that you can leave work at work and enjoy your life!

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Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

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