Kyria K-J Wilson
Hot Springs Junior Academy
Hot Springs, Arkansas
1) As an assistant principal, keeping a focus on instructional leadership is a best practice I exhibit. I am a lifelong learner and I continue to gain knowledge on instruction, strategies, and how to implement effective instruction into the classroom to improve student achievement. It has been said before that how a person spends their time shows what they value. I spend most of my time as an instructional leader, prioritizing, monitoring, assessing, and learning to increase student achievement. To effectively increase student achievement, I monitor instruction and curriculum to determine the needs. I make sure to practice shared leadership toward a common vision, aid in data collection analyzation, and influence teachers to contribute meaningfully to their learning communities and measure students’ progress.
As a leader in terms of monitoring instruction and curriculum it is important as educators to ask our selves what do we want the students to learn, how are we going to get them there, how do we respond when they do not learn, and how do we respond if they already know it. Assistant principals support the teachers in this work by demonstrating what is expected and providing them with the training and resources necessary to do the work towards increasing student achievement. I visit classrooms regularly and provide feedback to teachers to guide them in their planning and instruction to promote a culture of positive reflection. As an instructional leader, analyzing student data is critical to success and achievement. I strive to create a culture of continuous improvement and that requires for data to be looked at and used to drive instruction. This culture cannot survive with me alone, it must be shared amongst all of the individuals involved. Collective commitment and shared efforts must be had by all in order to reach school goals. As I focus on instructional leadership, I create opportunities for teachers to work together and empower teachers to be leaders, while distributing leadership. An instructional leader is what I practice daily to ensure high levels of learning for all.
2) Another best practice that ,I as an assistant principal, exhibit is communicating clearly and effectively. Effective communication can increase school performance, so it is something I practice daily. Verbal and written communication must be practiced making sure everyone knows what is going on. Also, timeliness is critical as well with communication. I maintain an open-door policy where anyone can come to talk or ask questions without trepidation. This has been an important process for me because I want to foster the positive culture for accepting feedback and communication regardless of the criticality of it. I truly believe that for there to be successful growth and school improvement effective communication is necessary with all stake holders.
With my staff communication does not only come in the form output, but I as a leader must also be willing to listen. In listening I build that trust and foster that relationship to where communication can continue and make an impact. I have observed that communicating with my staff highly motivates them and increases their performance and equivocally student achievement. Communication with students and parents daily is also part of my best practice. In terms of student’s daily communication from and administrator gives them a sense of value. If I talk about the game, they had last night or how their schoolwork is going, they know that I have taken an interest in them and they will be more willing to perform needed tasks. When I communicate with parents it is not only for discipline issues, sometimes I call to talk to parents about positive things as well. Building relationships with parents is essential to student success. This same communication works outside of the school walls as well. I can build that trust, rapport and open communication if I see students and parents, at the grocery, a football game or another location outside of school. Communication never stops, interactions with stakeholders ate necessary for productivity and transparency to any high performing school so it is something that I practice daily and will strive to continue.