Thursday, October 27, 2016

3 Things Every School Leader Should Have on Their Radar

As a School Leader, you witness the special ecosystem created each year as a unique set of students and teacher embark on learning together.  Yet, creating this ecosystem is not easy and it feels like the ground might be shifting under our feet.  As an Independent School Board Member, I ran across two articles that speak to this changing landscape.

In Four Roads Converge, an article published in Independent School MagazineAl Adams discusses how improved access, an environment of inclusion, overall student success and a focus on public purpose contribute to “each student bring(ing) a unique set of gifts that enriches the school’s learning community” (40). There is much to be gained from a heterogeneous environment, but the real work to strengthen community is found in how your culture fosters and supports this difference.

And, it's not just students.  In Jeffery Marino's article, California Fails the Affordability Test for Teachers, he highlights the growing gap between housing costs and teacher salaries in California.  He states that only 17% of teachers can afford to live near where they teach.  He quotes Eric Heins, President of the California Teachers Association, “Costs associated with living in the Golden State make the teaching profession look less attractive to young people considering a career in education. We are facing a massive teacher shortage, and unless the state and local school districts do something to make education a more attractive and financially sustainable career choice, that shortage is going to get worse and negatively impact millions of our students for a long time to come.” Turns out who’s in the classroom is impacted by where you live.

What can we do? We need to have the following action items on our radar:
  • Demand Difference - We must look at every classroom and build an ecosystem that thrives in its difference.
  • Be Like Fresno - We must understand if we can be like Fresno, a place Jeffery Marino highlights, where one can teach and afford to live. 
  • Know Our "Uber" - When more and more students can’t afford tuition and teachers can’t afford to live where they work, education is ripe for disruption.
       We can put these on our radar or react to them later. 

      Laurie Price is the Founder of SquareRoot Project, an Independent School Trustee, and a graduate student at Northwestern University in the Information Design and Strategy Program.  You can find her on Twitter @LauriePrice20 or Linked In

No comments:

Post a Comment