In my school district all principals and vice principals develop a personal growth plan each year. My growth plan had 3 goals and this is my reflection on each of the goals.
Goal 1: To increase the frequency of my classroom visits and provide feedback (verbal or email) to staff about my observations, comments, thoughts and questions.
Of my 3 goals, I believe this is the one I had the most difficulty in reaching. My intentions were to be in 3 or 4 classrooms each day and provide feedback to staff. In Semester 1, I was not meeting this goal and probably averaged a few classrooms a week. In Semester 2, I had 3 or 4 weeks at the beginning of the semester when I was meeting this goal of being in classrooms; however, when March arrived my visits decreased similar to Semester 1 levels. The difference for Semester 2 was I planned out my week and scheduled time to do learning walks. While my visits were happening (although not frequently enough), my real struggle was providing the feedback to teachers about what I saw and heard in their classrooms. This will be continued area of focus for me for the 2016-2017 school year.
Goal 2: To become familiar with the new curriculum and find ways to support teachers in trying components of the new curriculum.
I believe I attained this goal by doing the following things during the year:
- facilitated new curriculum implementation sessions for our district
- attended the Langley EdCamp and Peter Liljedjahl workshops
- facilitated Middle Years design and curriculum implementation sessions for our middle years program that will begin in September 2016
- created staff meeting learning activities focused on the new curriculum
- school based pro-d time on the new curriculum
- Friday Bulletin Links of the Week
Goal 3: Improve the focus on learning and increase student and staff resilience when facing a learning challenge.
I believe I did satisfactorily with this goal. The ongoing struggle in our school is how to have our students focus on their learning more and not give up when they encounter a learning roadblock. After reading Carol Dweck’s book Mindset, I thought the best way to help our school improve in this area was through a growth mindset focus. Throughout the year we did the following:
- staff meeting learning activities on growth mindset – one was a introduction to growth mindset and one was more teachers learning about growth mindset
- discussions at the department head level on how to introduce and have our students learn and develop a growth mindset
- Friday Bulletin Links of the Week
As a staff, we will be determining a way to have our students learn about growth mindset and alter our teaching strategies to incorporate more of a growth mindset.
This year we (the Vice Principal and I) sent out staff feedback surveys to gather info on what we were doing well and where we could improve. The survey questions were compiled from a few different websites/blogs and our school district surveys. The list of survey questions can be found here.
A few themes that came from the feedback are:
Things I do well or strengths:
- decisions focused on what is best for students
- support for teachers in feeling empowered to make decisions regarding their teaching and freedom to innovate and try new strategies in their classroom
- patience and calmness
Things I need to improve or areas of growth:
- visit classrooms more often and more importantly provide more frequent feedback to staff regarding the visits
- quicker response time to emails and phone calls
- work (along with staff) to improve school culture
Time to create a plan for next year . . .