The leader who follows, rather than leads, will always find himself playing catch up.

Far too often I run into school leaders, specifically principals and administrative staff, who have unintentionally removed themselves from the classroom and more importantly learning. They have let the paperwork and operational processes take over their entire schedule, leaving them out of the loop when it comes to instructional best practices and curriculum content. Time is spent putting out fires, and playing catch up, rather than what we as leaders are called to do… LEAD. (Otherwise our titles would be Manager)

It is impossible to lead a school full of staff and students without staying abreast of the newest and most innovative research and best practices as it pertains to curriculum and instruction specifically. While keeping students safe is certainly our main goal, ensuring they are equipped with the mastery of content is the sole purpose of educators. When students are not making growth, what part of this falls back on the leader of the building?  Finding the balance to operate and educate is essential to moving a school forward.  No excuses.

As role models, we should be learning alongside of our staff and students. Time does not stand still, but is ever-changing and improving. We are always challenged to produce positive results, make gains, and meet or exceed growth. In order to make this happen, we as leaders must be proactive and stay ahead of the learning curve. Being reactive is much too late and the impact affects far too many who look to us to lead.

As you reflect, what is eating up your time? What process could you put in place to save you a small amount of time that could be redistributed to classroom walks or professional learning communities?

  • Staying organized is essential to stay ahead! This is not the place to live in the moment.
  • Establish clear processes, routines and expectations in an effort to reorganize your time.
  • Calendar your time. Make this a habit. (start with small blocks of time and commit)
  • Learn from others on social media. Twitter is a great pathway to move beyond the walls
  • Have an idea to share with teachers in professional learning communities.
  • Break the old habits. It must happen to move your followers forward. Lives are at stake!

Speaking of learning…let’s start now.

Please take a few minutes to share and learn from one another.

What are valuable tips that help you as a building administrator truly LEAD as an educator, rather than play catch up as a manager?