Sunday, December 18, 2011

5 New Years Resolutions for 21stCentury School Leaders

I hate making New Years resolutions, probably because I never end up keeping them!! My all-time worst resolution to break a promise with is losing weight. Oh well, I will keep trying.

But, some resolutions are worth keeping, especially if you base your entire career working with children, in these perilous times. Keeping the faith and maintaining resolutions to guide us through these times makes sense. So here are some resolutions suggested for School Leaders:

1) Experiment with a new 21st Century Instructional concept each week and model it for your faculty, students and the community.
Ken Kay, founder of EdLeader 21 has created the 7 steps for creating a 21st Century school community. It's direct and applicable to any school community leader, and it forms a basis for outlining a step-by-step process for establishing a direction for all school leaders.

1. Adapt your vision of 21st Century vision, outcomes, expectations
2. Create community consensus
3. Align your system.
4. Build professional capacity.
5. Embed the 4 C's in the curriculum.
Critical Thinking
6. Support teachers in the classroom.
7. Improve and innovate. (from EdLeader 21,

2) Assimilate a mobile device in your supervision and administration of your school/district, and model what you are doing for your building faculty and school community.

Smartphone and tablet technologies are wonderful tools for school leaders to use in leading their school community. Whether using it for observations, dictation, or student attendance and behavior management, mobile technologies have come a long way since the Palm Pilot. I use an iPhone and iPad in my daily work as a superintendent, and I model this for my school community, regularly.

3) Find ways to use social media in your leadership role, and model it for your school community.
Twitter and Facebook are synonymous with mainstream social media, and they become excellent tools for communicating and sharing all that is possible and exciting in our schools. Consider having a Twitter site for your blog, and school activities. Engage the community with Facebook and keep the positive things, and some of the challenging concerns, in front of the community regularly.

4) Write a weekly blog for your school community.
Writing a blog on your 21st Century School Community is a great way to advertise, share information, and live the model of leadership transparency for the community. It helps to know a school administrator has feelings, and ideas, and desires to nurture an open school community.

5) Model, model, model everything and anything for your school community.

Finally, be a model for everything you desire from the members of your school community. Whether it is using mobile technology, PowerPoint, social media, wiki's, portals or blogs. Model the vision, walk the talk.

Here is hoping 2012 will be an exciting your of 21st Century learning and inspiration for your school community.