- As the role of the administrator changes, districts need to reflect on the number of individuals in the district’s leadership pool.
- Keep in mind who are the next potential candidates to serve as principal or assistant principal.
- District leaders need to be intentional about developing leaders who will be ready to assume school leadership roles.
When you hear the term school leader, what comes to mind? Communicator. Collaborator. Instructional leader. Problem solver. Change agent. Facilitator. Innovator. These are some characteristics or attributes that school districts seek in future school leaders. More than ever before, principals and assistant principals are under the spotlight to perform at a high level and to demonstrate continuous growth as a leader. Too often, school districts focus on investing in their current leaders, while ignoring the next generation or even next year’s leaders.
As the role of the administrator changes, districts need to reflect on the number of individuals in the district’s leadership pool. If you have a retirement from two school administrators, who are the next potential candidates to serve as an assistant principal or principal? District administrators and school boards should reflect on the following questions that address school leadership.Too often, school districts focus on investing in their current leaders, while ignoring the next generation or even next year’s leaders. Click To Tweet
Assessing Our Leadership Pool
- Do we have a Leadership Pool?
- What are we doing to develop and multiply teacher leaders?
- Which leadership programs or training courses are on the calendar for this school year?
- Do we see emerging leaders filling leadership positions within our school district?
- Are we praying for a bigger pool or are we developing multiple leaders across schools?
School leadership has become more complex. Certainly, the issues that leaders face require a skill set that must be taught over time. Some school districts ask a first-year school administrator to become the CEO of the company or franchise with little training or coaching. When there are three or four issues in a row at a school, the leader usually receives the blame.
Who are you investing in this year?
When you multiply leaders, you will have leaders in every building and across grade levels. Empowering others is one of the main roles of district leaders. Tony Dungy wrote (2001), “By touching the lives of the people right around us, and by replicating leaders who in turn can replicate more leaders, we can create value far beyond the small sphere that we can reach and touch directly.”
Too often, first-year administrators discover that they are drowning in the leadership pool because no one prepared them to swim laps. District leaders need to be intentional about developing leaders who will be ready to assume school leadership roles.
John Maxwell wrote, “Everything rises and falls on leadership” (The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader: Becoming the Person Others Will Want to Follow). This statement highlights the importance of investing in future leaders in a school district. If district leaders don’t keep an eye on the Leadership Pool, they may discover that the pool is empty.[scroll down to keep reading]
About Steven Weber
Dr. Steven Weber is the Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning with Fayetteville Public Schools (AR). His areas of research include curriculum design, formative assessment, professional learning, and school leadership.