Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What Makes a Great School?

A leader that recognizes educators' strengths and talents makes a great school.  My school has a leader like that.  Rather than trying to make every educator fit into a "same box," he takes the time to get to know us, then supports and encourages our educational strengths.  He also supports collaboration and cooperation, and keeps the focus on what's best for children.

Today I saw his leadership in action.  It was the fifth grade play performance.  Our amazing music teacher, with the help of a talented teacher-writer/actress, parents, the principal, and fifth grade teachers, crafted, organized, rehearsed, and presented a tremendous pirate musical production with approximately 80 fifth graders.

Proudly, every fifth grader took part.  There were many, many speaking, singing, dancing and stage parts.  The children shined as they worked together to sing songs, perform a dance step, act out a joke, and tell the funny, child-friendly pirate story.  The children in the audience were entranced.  21stC teaching was alive and well as it was apparent that children were learning in collaborative, creative ways that fostered communication and critical thinking skills.

Our thoughtful, bright, caring leader allowed teachers to create and present this production.  He lauded the teachers' efforts, creativity and commitment.  It was a moment that all teachers, families, and students were proud of -- everyone likes to work in a great school.  Our leader makes that possible.