Washington students and teachers need great leaders. My favorite question is, “What does that look like?” In the Educational Administration program our goal is to answer that question. Our context is, “How do we best prepare our students to be successful in their world?” It must begin, as Covey says, with the end in mind. A statement that has haunted me throughout my career as a superintendent and now as a professor is, “Every organization is perfectly designed to get the results it is getting.” That means we never blame the teachers, the kids, their families, their culture, or their context – we just design the best systems to overcome any challenges and provide the tools and support needed to facilitate their growth and success. For us, once we deal with reflecting on our core values as leaders, we look at building a true community of learners (some call it a Professional Learning Community but this is a misunderstood and misapplied term for far too many school leaders). According to Rick DuFour (2015), “I am frustrated by the fact that educational processes that clearly have a positive impact on student achievement have not yet become the norm in American schools.”
For us, the 21st century educational leader understands the importance of creating and sustaining a culture focused on student ownership of their learning and the role of the teacher as a facilitator of the process. Roles, responsibilities, tools, and resources have dramatically changed. Heritage Ed Admin principal candidates understand this and have a clear vision for “what it looks like” to lead such a critical transformation in our schools.
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