Each time I work on my grad school coursework or read a book on leadership, I find myself revising my leadership vision and philosophy. Sometimes I get overwhelmed in trying to remember and organize all of the great ideas I come across. I have a notebook in Evernote where I’m collecting ideas and articles, and I am keeping a list of “When I’m Principal” so that I can remember what I’ve be thinking about when it comes to developing my leadership vision and philosophy.
I recently read What Great Principals Do Differently: Eighteen Things That Matter Most, by Todd Whitaker. It is an excellent book for those interested in the principalship. I found that the eighteen things that Whitaker includes are a great framework for developing my leadership philosophy. For example, I know that someday I will have the opportunity to hire a teacher. It goes without saying that this is a very important duty for the principal. As Michael Smith puts it, you’re about to sign someone to a 35 year contract. Also, Whitaker feels that hiring the best is the quickest way to improve a school (p. 49). Both of these points underscore the importance of this task.
I know that I will want the very best person for the job, but that doesn’t provide guidance for how I can do that. Whitaker offers some clarification for this important task.
Some principals look for candidates who are a good match, teachers who will fit in and become like their school. Great principals have a different goal: to have the school become more like the new teacher. (p. 49)
This is just an example of how instructional Whitaker’s book can be for current and future administrators. As I said before, I feel like I now have a framework for organizing my ideas as I develop my leadership philosophy and vision. I highly recommend picking up a copy!