I have been away for awhile now from my blog. My life has been hectic, moved to AZ, built a new house, both my children were married within a year (both on Labor Day Weekend 2014 and 2015), one now having a baby in 2 months, but now my life has seemed to settle down a bit.
My role as superintendent seems ages ago; I feel that I have been retired for some time now, even though it has been only 4 years. Still passionate about student learning, I have been busy doing webinars for IL Principal Association and working with several school districts implementing Professional Learning Communities. My work has confirmed my beliefs in the philosophy of PLCs and through my work and teaching, I have redeveloped my views on PLCs and feel I can better support those implementing PLCs in their schools.
One thing that is hard when working with school districts, is that I am not in charge!! I am a consultant, a facilitator, a guru(as one principal addresses his emails to me) but I am not the boss. Sometimes that is hard for me. After working with PLCs for over 12 years, I feel I know the steps to implementation, how to work with teachers and principals, and how to get the results that are needed. But when working in systems that one is not a part of, it is hard to support the principals and teachers through the process from afar. And maybe they don't want or need the support?
I find myself wanting to "take over," which I cannot. I have reflected about my own leadership style: Is my way the better way? Did I encourage and support my principals and teams? Did I walk the talk with them? Did I engage in the journey with them? Did I acknowledge their hard work? Did I show them that I valued their work? Did I communicate clearly and honestly? Did I make my expectations clear to all? Did I show them that I cared about the work they were doing? How important were the relationships I had with principals and teachers in order for us to all work for the changes that would improve student learning? Did I cry and get frustrated with them; did I laugh, smile and show pride with them?
And I really wonder why am I asking all these questions? I am retired!!
I hope that when I do have the opportunity to work with principals and teachers that I can answer these questions.