Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Where Are Schools Going?

As our district considers attributes of a new superintendent, it makes me think about the question, "Where are schools going?" How would you answer that question, and what kind of leaders will take schools there?

As I consider the question, I am thinking about the changing landscape of schools and school leadership.

My reading demonstrates a movement towards greater attention to distributive leadership models in schools. These models include hybrid models where teachers serve in the classroom and lead too. These models encourage greater voice and choice from all stakeholders and often refer to schools as learning communities. New schools make space for greater collaboration too. When teachers successfully and authentically collaborate and lead, they serve as good models to students with regard to leadership and collaboration, and this is modeling that's important for the future welfare of our students. 

In these communities there is a great push towards transparent, inclusive communication where technology is used to leverage information/idea share and exchange and promote dynamic student learning. Also these communities have their eyes on quality, and sometimes they look beyond a primary focus on budget to pave the way for that kind of quality. 

Modern school environments are environments that take the research carefully and innovate regularly with an eye on current cognitive research, new tools, and updated technology. Professional learning in these communities is teacher-driven always with a focus on how we may serve students better. There is always respect for all stakeholders and information is forthcoming at all times to serve the students and system better. Risk taking is embraced.

New schools are trusting environments marked by respect for one another no matter what an individual's position or role is in the system. Rather than driven by political connections and individual ambition, these schools invite diverse, skilled, and dedicated voices to the table to teach all children well. 

Where do you think schools are headed? What are the optimal attributes of educators and leaders in these schools? I'm curious.