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Career Story: Principal For An Urban School

Principal For An Urban School

Job Title: School Principal

Type of Company: I work for an urban public school district in Boston.

Education: EdM - School Leadership, Harvard Graduate School of Education •• BA - Political Science, SUNY-Buffalo

Previous Experience: This is my 8th year as a school principal; prior I taught for 8 years.

Job Tasks: My responsibilities as principal include:

1. Demonstrate high expectations for all students and staff and a commitment to providing the support required to attain them. 2. Ensure a safe and nurturing environment for students, staff, and families. 3. Demonstrate cultural competencies and antiracist leadership through behaviors and decision-making. 4. Develop and implement a Whole School Improvement Plan that sets the direction for school improvement efforts. 5. Analyze student performance data to inform school improvement efforts and benchmark progress. 6. Design and implement a professional development strategy that addresses instructional improvement priorities defined by student achievement and the individual needs of staff members. 7. Conduct daily classroom observations to analyze instruction, and supervise staff to ensure continuous improvement in teaching and learning. 8. Ensure that the learning needs of all students--Special Education, English Language Learners, and Regular Education--are met. 9. Reduce and ultimately eliminate the achievement gap, through classroom interventions, school culture, and programming beyond the school day. 10. Establish a collegial environment that honors and encourages staff's continuous learning. 11. Foster teacher leadership through delegation, and shared leadership and decision-making. 12. Align the use of time, people, money, and materials to school's instructional priorities. 13. Manage school, facilities, and operations 14. Cultivate and sustain meaningful partnerships with families and community members that support student achievement and well-being. 15. Engage in continuous learning and on-going professional development with other principal/headmaster colleagues

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is the interaction with students and the potential to impact hundreds of young lives. I thrive on the challenges of urban education and strive to continually make a difference for each young person with whom I engage. The worst parts of my work are the operational aspects - ie getting the recycling dumpster emptied regularly by the contracted company, completing necessary paperwork, etc.

Job Tips: I firmly believe you must be a classroom teacher for an extensive amount of time prior to moving into administration, and the key is remembering your classroom experiences as a principal. Have frank conversations with colleagues. Develop strong networks of support. Make all decisions with the focus of doing what's best for kids, all of the time.

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