The Reflective Principal

I don’t often give enough credit to my principal for allowing me a lot of freedom for many of the projects that I do with my students, but I should. Over the years, as I have had my students blog about the Darfur Crisis, or podcast with other students from around the world, or publish stopmotion movies, or use wikis, or Glogster, or whatever, he has been totally supportive.

This topic came up in a conversation the other day with some folks who are planning an inquiry research project around technology and media in the classroom, and we were talking about the constraints that many teachers have in integrating technology. I noted that I have been lucky in this regard, in that I have a principal who supports technology.

He “gets” that technology and multimedia is part of the changing landscape of learning, but he also knows that much of our staff is not quite there yet (example: our website is full of completely blank pages for teachers, even though there are volunteers willing and ready to post things for teachers, if they just give the volunteers a newsletter or note or whatever.)

We all (including him) like to joke that his use of Survey Monkey for gathering data from us is close to an addiction, but I like that he trying to use the technology himself and not just talking about it.

This morning, we received an email from the principal, in which he explains that he is going through his own reflective process as an administrator, and it occurred to him that he should gather input from us, the staff. Of course, he turned to Survey Monkey, but I think the very act of asking the staff — even if he is not required to do so — for an evaluation of his performance as our principal is admirable.

He ended his note with this: “I  will use the results to reflect and improve my

How many of us teachers ask our students to do the same kind of evaluation for us? And what would that show, do you suppose?

Peace (in the support),

  1. How great that the principal willing asks for feedback. Our union conducts a principal survey to rate your principal but it always feel more like revenge than truly desired feedback. And additional props to the boss for knowing how to use survey monkey.

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