With this new position comes a lot more responsibilities. I will admit to feeling overwhelmed by what is before me. I know that I have a big learning curve ahead of me and because of that I reached out of to some of my amazing Lead Learner friends for words of advice. I am so happy to have them as part of my Personal Learning Network (PLN). Here are just a few of the amazing words of advice that they gave me.
Dr. Joe Mazza @joe_mazza - Project Manager for Connected Teaching, Learning and Leadership in the North Penn School District
"My advice would be to listen most. Now matter how bad you want to get in there and show them what you're made of, take good notes & get to know the players, the history,culture and any landmines you will need to do your best work...Keep blogging and reflecting as well - this will help you and role model transparency for your team."
Jay Eiter @iSuperEit - Superintendent of Lower Alloways Creek School District
"What I also learned very quickly that was very hard for me to take; You can’t make everybody happy, and not everybody is going to like you. This job requires some tough skin. You’ll grow it in no time."
Eric Sheninger @NMHS_Principal - Principal of New Milford High School
"It is important for YOU to establish your vision for teaching and learning and collaborate with staff to make is a shared vision that is embraced."
Brad Currie @bradmcurrie - Vice Principal and Supervisor of Instruction for the Chester School District
" Be incredibly patient and know that most are not as tech savvy as you. Really take about a year to understand culture and listen to what people need. If you build they will come! "
Tom Murray @thomascmurray - Director of Technology and Cyber Education for the Quakertown Community School District
"Form relationships. Show people they matter. Cultivate teacher leadership. Show humility. Keep kids at the heart of all decisions. "
Daisy Dyer Duerr @DaisyDyerDuerr - K-12 Principal Saint Paul Schools
"Leadership must be something you are willing to share and you must be willing to seek out others to be leaders....some of those 'reluctant leaders' I have found have proven to be my BEST leaders! "
Tony Sinanis @TonySinanis - Lead Learner Cantiague Elementary School
"Change must come from within so try to get staff voice behind a change so they feel it’s coming from them, not you.Take your work seriously but do NOT take yourself too seriously! Keep learning and model that each day for your teachers… that is huge!"
John Fritzky @JohnFritzky - Vice Principal Byram Township Middle School"Be a dot connector! The state of NJ and the Dept of education throws out a lot of things that teachers have to do. Teachers view these things and independent mandates, it is up to us as admin to connect these dots and show teachers how they can connect and can benefit students whenever possible. "
I can not tell you how grateful I am for there words of advice! What are your words of advice? What do you think new administrators need to know? What did you wish you knew when you became an administrator? I would love your thoughts!
Elissa Malespina is the Middle School Teacher Librarian in Somerville and a Presenter, Author and much more. Find my full resume above.