Saskatchewan Bulletin Columns
Friday, October 2, 2020
Using a metaphor to describe educational leadership is not necessarily a new idea. Most of us can recall comparing school leaders to an orchestra conductor, a gardener or a parent in our university graduate classes.
A metaphor, aptly stated, is powerful. Novelist Stephen King says that metaphors enable us to “see an old thing in a new and vivid way.” We use metaphors to process the unfamiliar. A well-placed metaphor enables us to connect and look at, and make sense of, new information and experiences with something familiar. Researchers Maguire and Braun (2019) tell us that metaphors can offer a new way of thinking about leadership and that school leaders in particular use metaphors to paint a story as they process and envision changing and anxious times.
Thursday, June 25, 2020
Offering suggestions or hints about how to end another school year seems almost perverse when the end to this particular year is like no other. There are no research articles, definitive guidebooks or YouTube how-to videos to assist school leaders in June 2020.
Monday, May 25, 2020
Of the many factors that facilitate the leader and staff member relationship, credibility stands out as significant. Leadership development experts Kouzes and Posner assert, “Leadership is in the eye of the beholder.” In other words, successful leadership is just as much about what followers perceive as it is about what the leader does.
Monday, March 30, 2020
An abundance of research produced over the past decade demonstrates unequivocally the causal relationship between the intensification of teacher workload and the undermining of teacher well-being, broadly defined. Equally, survey after survey shows that in the face of this reality, both teachers and school leaders remain thoroughly committed to the goals of their profession, their students, their colleagues, their parents, their community and to public education writ large.
However, recent research also suggests that teachers have a tipping point when it comes to maximizing the variables of workload and commitment. Consequently, principals today are asking themselves, what can I do to assure teachers that their visionary, passionate and monumentally important work is making a difference in a world of ever-tightening restraints and ever-expanding responsibilities within the professional environment?
Wednesday, February 26, 2020
How do you move innovative ideas forward in your school? What role can teacher-led research play in self-directed professional development? How can you as the educational leader in the school support this work?
Whether it be a formal action research project such as those supported by the McDowell Foundation, a less-formal initiative developed within the school, or a cool idea that a group of teachers want to try, the support of leadership within the school can be a catalyst to promote positive change and enhance teaching and learning.
Saturday, February 1, 2020
The research is clear. The relationship between a well-designed mentoring and coaching program and professional success is no longer a debate. Whether planning the orientation for new and beginning teachers or newly appointed vice-principals, principals understand the benefits of successful experienced-novice professional learning partnerships to the individual and to the school.
So who is coaching the principal?
Tuesday, November 26, 2019
Instructional leadership is a ubiquitous term. There are no end to the number of books, journal articles, websites and blogs dedicated to this topic, each underscoring the critical importance of the instructional leader’s role and offering tips and hints for today’s busy school principals. Easier said than done I suspect.
Saturday, October 19, 2019
Reading the recently released report, Alberta School Leadership Within the Teaching Profession 2019: Seismic Shifts and Fault Lines: Experiencing the Highs, Lows and Shadows, worked to confirm my hopes and my fears for principals as instructional leaders in schools today. The research, sponsored by the Alberta Teachers’ Association and conducted by researchers from the University of Alberta, shares findings from a 2019 study of school leaders across publicly funded schools in Alberta.