« WHY “GENERATION WE” KIDS INSIST ON DESIGNING THEIR OWN TATTOOS | Main | Recommendations for the Obama Cabinet: Secretary of Education and Secretary of the BCS »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Dave Sherman

Congrats, Kim.
I hope you will be able to spend a lot of time in classrooms with teachers and kids. This is where you will really learn what is going on in your new school district. I am not talking about a "quickie" walk through in a couple of rooms. I am talking about a solid 10 minutes or more in every classroom in the district (assuming the district is not huge). Do this together with the principal and then spend time afterward debriefing on what you both saw. My own superintendent is doing this with every principal and assistant principal, and it has been enlightening for her and for me. She brings an interesting perspective after observing the classrooms, and I can do the same for her.

Good luck!

Steve Poling

Congrats and best of luck being a sup!

Kimberly Moritz

Dave, I wonder how your teachers are responding to the visits? My entry plan includes a lot of time in the classrooms. A positive outcome of working as the assistant superintendent was gaining a district perspective and giving up my "territorial" protective principal's stance. I certainly had the authority to be in every classroom, but I gained entry through the reading pilots. Teachers didn't feel as threatened because I was there to see the pilot. It allowed me to get to know our K-6 teachers and program in ways I otherwise never would.

Especially in districts where it hasn't been a standard practice for the superintendent to visit classrooms, I wonder how this is accomplished in a non-threatening way. I truly want to visit to learn as much as I can about our students, teachers and school so that I can make informed decisions. Still, I know this will be a surprising shift for some. Just want to do what I can to make it a welcome shift.

Dave Sherman

Rethinking my comments, I believe a new superintendent needs to build some positive, trusting personal relationships first. Then, visiting classrooms will be more comfortable for you. I realized that my superintendent did not observe too many classrooms her first year, but she did spend time in schools talking with staff, and she attended a lot of district-level meetings to hear issues. She came to faculty meetings, stopped in the teachers' lounge, hung out in the office, and so on. Use the general visits to explain to people that you will be stopping by classrooms in the future, and share what you will be looking for (student engagement, critical thinking and higher level questioning, appropriate student behavior, etc.)

However, if the superintendent is hired to be an immediate change agent (due to major problems/issues in a school district) then he/she should be in classrooms immediately.

This is just my opinion, obviously. I am certainly not an expert on the superintendency! I have just worked with some good ones and some ineffective ones in the last 22 years.

Kimberly Moritz

Okay Dave, good to know. I will look for those kinds of opportunities. I do think I need to get into the classrooms, but it should probably come with a whole lot of transparency and openness about my reasons--thinking that my positive support will take me a long way toward that trust building. It's a great district already, not one where I've been hired to "fix" things. Just really looking forward to the leadership end.

I'm at the New York State Association for Computers and Technologies in Education 2008 conference right now and can definitely say I'm excited about the possibilities of entering a district and making a real difference for teachers and students--lots of great ideas floating around here.

The comments to this entry are closed.

About this blog