Building Unified Instructional Leadership Direction In Northern Gateway
I have been a fortunate participant in what I believe to have been a most purposeful and intentional leadership development program within a school division. The BUILDING program of 2009-2011 was a professional development opportunity that was envied by colleagues, including administrators, from within and outside of the Division. Careful thought and attention to detail was evident as we were led through experiences, seminars, scenarios, and conversations that would facilitate our competency as school leaders.
What I thought I was capable of prior to taking part in BUILDING was unrealistic when I consider the vast learning that occurred in a mere eighteen months. When we received our certificates of completion, there was confidence: in our knowledge about the Principal Quality Guidelines, in our understanding of the role of administrators, in our ability to find the background and deliver appropriate responses to tough questions, in our transformation as instructional leaders, in our Division Office personnel who had so willingly offered to continue to be a part of our professional learning network, and in our connectedness as a cohort group.
So, in an effort to answer "What?", I would point out the following, recognizing that this is not an exhaustive list:
- leadership capacity
- communication skills
- interview repertoire
- professional and personal relationships
When I consider where I was in the fall of 2009, I sometimes wonder what I was thinking applying to the BUILDING program. If I were to share some big pieces in a limited context:
- returned to teaching after a year's maternity leave with my second child (to a position where 8 of the 11 assigned core courses were either new in curriculum or completely new to me)
- enrolled in a Masters of Education program (due to complete in April 2010)
- fourth principal in five years at the school I worked at
- the school was due to undergo a review that year