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Dr. Tisha Shipley has been in education for 17 years. She has taught Pre-K, Kindergarten, Gifted and Talented 3rd-6th Grades, Dr. Shipley was an elementary principal, a cheer coach, and was on...
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What Do Strong Leaders Do?

When you think back to the best manager, boss or leader you have ever had what are the traits or characteristics you remember? As a principal, there were several things I liked to do to make sure that my teachers felt supported.  It is important that our teachers feel like they are valued, a part of a community and what they are doing matters. 

These are listed of ideas, in no particular order, because they are all number one in different situations, that I liked to do as a leader:

1.     Listen.

2.     Show empathy.

3.     Model.

4.     Provide relevant and important professional development.

5.     Ask them what they need, if you can help them, and  what will make their job better.

6.     Do recess and lunch duty.

7.     Get input.

8.     Build a school wide community that shares, engages, encourages and is collaborative.

9.     Put them first.

10.   Know names and stories.

11.   Have fun! Laugh!

12.   Be a real person.

13.   Support them.

14.   Build relationships.

15.   Recognized them.

16.   Give awards.

17.   Fill their glass (with words, and encouragement).

18.   On Fridays, I always gave my teachers a handwritten note and a goodie (candy bar, small gift card, something).  Tell them they are great!

19.   On Friday afternoons, the last 15 minutes of school, we had a dance party in the hallways. 

20.    On payday, I had donuts ready for them in the teachers’ lounge.

21.   Pot luck lunches each month to get everyone together to celebrate successes (personal and professional).

22.   Build your budget that allows for new materials, curriculum and “wants” from your teachers and staff.

Leaders have the opportunity to truly impact a school. Leadership and the way the school runs starts with a strong administration. The administration needs to build an accepting and positive culture where everyone wants to be. It should be the larger community that transfers into the smaller classroom communities. The leader must build reciprocal relationships that are built on trust, respect and collaboration.   

What is one new thing you will do to start the new school year?