Education is all about learning. A teacher’s job is to ensure learning for students. I see the principal’s role in learning as focusing on three areas: 1) to ensure learning for all students on the campus, 2) to ensure learning for all teachers on the campus, and 3) to ensure learning for him/herself.
Education is what we do. Every student under our watch should increase their knowledge and skills and be a stronger student at the end of each year. Whether we accept the challenge or not, as an educational leader, we are to also ensure learning for our teachers. Gone are the days of the principal being a manager. The principal must be an instructional leader in order for the campus to succeed. The principal doesn’t have to know it all, but he or she certainly must be able to identify the instructional strengths and weaknesses on campus and then be able to meet that need.
In order to be able to lead learning on their campus, principals must be learners themselves. Time is one thing that’s never on the side of leaders, but it is vitally important that you find the time to continue your own learning. Here are a few tips on how to continue to learn.
Subscribe to educational publications
Many of the professional organizations have publications they send out on a regular basis. These publications usually include articles on new instructional strategies and/or feature articles on leadership.
Professional organizations host at least one conference a year. Attending conferences gives you time away from the office and the opportunity to focus all of your time on your learning. After attending a conference, I recommend reflecting on your new learning and identify what you can take back and use on your campus.
Follow educational influencers on Twitter
It’s amazing how much learning can take place on social media. On Twitter, follow educational or leadership influencers. The good ones post great ideas regularly. Tweets are a quick way to keep up with the education industry.
Designate day(s)/time(s) to research/read
In order to make sure you continue to learn, I recommend designating a day and time where you focus on your learning. It might be Saturday morning, Sunday evening, or a couple of hours at the end of the day during the week. Find what works best for you.
How do you continue your learning?
Paula Patterson is a former principal who shares practical points on the principalship.