I'm been having difficulty thinking of a topic to blog about. In the past two weeks, I've started and deleted several blogs. The one with the most promise focused on the power of social media as a professional development resource, but somehow, it didn't quite have enough "substance." Besides, I'm still a novice who's not confident enough to become an active participant in the discussions.
I really believe that without a support group, principals can burn out or are continuously spinning their wheels. We are often so burdened by all the requirements of the position that we sometimes forget to step back and look at the big picture and why we became principals. I also believe that principals don't set aside time for professional development -- not the mandatory trainings -- but professional development based on what's best for our school or for ourselves.
That's why I'm looking forward to my upcoming vacation to visit our son and his family. My grandson just started kindergarten, and I will be visiting his school and meeting with his principal. I've never met the principal, but I sent him an email and he welcomed my husband and me to spend some time with him. I'm really interested in learning about how they fund their international school, how their district's growth model works, how they evaluate teachers, and how they're implementing the Common Core State Standards. I want to see how they teach in an international school and see if it's something we could consider at our military-impacted school. Finally, the principal will be showing us their marine lab, and maybe we can have some of our classrooms share about our sea urchin project with their students.
This is the kind of meaningful professional development we should be taking advantage of as educational leaders. I would love to spend a day with another principal and have him/her spend a day at our school.. We all face challenges, but through collaboration, we can learn new ways to tackle problems.
If it's not possible to make time during the school day to develop these collegial relationships, perhaps an online PLC is the next best solution. I need to look into joining a group and being an active participant.