I had the awesome pleasure of participating in the AVLF (Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation) screening for the Class Divide. Our Superintendent Dr. Carstarphen gave the awesome charge for legislators, community developers, and schools to work together to provide our families with stable and affordable homes. Dr.C mentioned the impact on cluster schools as several principals had to LEAD through threat of apartment closings and family displacement as day one approached. As leaders, we must be compassionate and caring as students face challenges that impact their daily focus and academic progress. Often they deal with social issues way beyond their control or choice. Please share your thoughts below if you have experiences to share on how we can better support our students impacted by housing crises?
School leaders can find themselves responding daily to a plethora of requested tasks that may not align to the main goal of ensuring student learning and mastery. Although all issues and needs must be addressed in a timely manner, It is imperative as leaders to keep the main thing the main thing. When we ask leaders to put blinders on, it does not force blindness to the distractors but forces a concerted effort to move the eye from the designated target of student learning and mastery. We can still pivot when needed but our eye always reconnects with the goal. Comments welcome below.
As a principal, every morning I would carve out three minutes to speak into my students the greatness and potential I saw in them. A daily morning discussion ensued that centered on the laws of reciprocity and how all results evidenced in your life are directly related to your focus, strategy, commitment, and belief. As school leaders and principals with the DYNAMIC, we must give great to get great results and outcomes; the law of reciprocity. Comment below, share your best practice and/or give your thoughts...Thank You!
Is your Ladder Against the Right wall?
Our school leaders need encouragement just as much they give it. The Principal Dynamic Encouraging the Heart segment is designed to encourage the heart and minds of our leaders as they tackle the weekly challenges and successes that will surely arise. As I reflected on an awesome first few weeks of school and reflected on the opportunity I had to participate in some leadership team meetings, PLCs, and walkthroughs in buildings, I was in awe and so proud of the tremendous start we had to the year and was so grateful for the dynamic leaders I support. I knew many had placed the ladder on the right wall. The encouraging the heart quote above is powerful as it emphasizes the importance of being strategic in where we place our ladder for the inevitable climb to student mastery and high-levels of success. We must make sure that we are analyzing what has worked, those areas that still need tweaking, and putting a strategy in all identified gaps. Our students are depending on us to place our ladders on the right wall of instructional strategies, helpful feedback, curricular resources, professional development, data analysis, culture building, and capacity building of our teachers. They are expecting us to LEAD! I encourage you to ponder the quote above. How can you and your team ensure that YOUR ladder is against the right wall? look forward to viewing your comments below. Have a great week!
Dr. Emily AbrAms massey
Associate Superintendent of Schools
My years in the principalship have been some of the most rewarding of my professional career. For over 18 years of administrative service as assistant principal, principal, and associate superintendent, I have gained the utmost respect for the position of principal and the influence it holds. I now deeply understand the importance of uplift and encouragement for all those who lead our schools daily. I have worked around some of the most amazing educators in multiple counties and I have noticed whether innate or professionally developed, there were leadership skills and traits, strategy, confidence, influence, presence, and a DYNAMIC that could be seen in those principals who were successful or those who genuinely wanted to be successful. As we seek to increase the world’s advocacy, understanding, support, compassion and empathy for our school administrators, it is important for us to really understand what that DYNAMIC is that they bring to the table. I've noticed, especially as a principal coach, that sometimes you can just see a dynamic or compilation of dynamic traits in a principal when you walk through the door. I have had the honor of working with some of the most dedicated and effective principal leaders whose passion and strategic approaches to school design created a contagion that made you stay focused on the right work. They all possessed the "IT" factor that allowed them to excel or move the work and I coined the phrase "the principal dynamic." Whether innate or taught, they exuded the professional knowledge, passion, love, compassion, strategy, influence, drive and care needed to impact student outcomes. This website, blog and future book will honor and show respect for the profession of education and those principal leaders that give countless hours every day to every student, parent, and to their community to support our nation's children living their highest potential. As a career educator, The Principal Dynamic is dedicated to highlighting and recognizing those dynamic educators all over the country, sharing best practices and strategies that build the capacity of principals to be dynamic, and encouraging the heart of all educators as they support their district, faculty, staff, and students. Again, welcome to the Principal Dynamic.
Dr. Emily Abrams Massey is a former Associate Superintendent in a metro-Atlanta school district, principal and leadership advocate, educational consultant and career educator.