Laura Casey

Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy
Acworth, Georgia

Best Practices

1) Part of my responsibility as an administrator is to provide restorative practices.  When dealing with behavior infractions, it is of utmost importance to teach students self-awareness, responsible decision making, and how to interact and control one’s emotions.  Students are learning how to respond to one another in a positive manner.

One example is how we created “The Zone” instead of ISS.  Within “The Zone,” we have our guidance counselor provide restorative practices as well as our ISS teacher who provides Circles where she discusses their behavior choices as well as better choices.  In certain cases, our students enjoy ISS and actually say that they prefer this setting compared to the regular classroom due to the personal attention.

In addition, we also have a CCES Cares committee where we focus on the importance of Restorative Practices.  We meet monthly and focus on Morning Meetings, Circles, Affirmative Statements, Strategies for Best Practices for Behavior, and Proactive Awareness.  During this time, we discuss Best Practices, but we also focus on distributive leadership in bringing this information back to their teams.

2) One of the most important parts of being a leader is continuous learning.  I regularly read professional books and articles to make me a leader that people want to follow.  One of my favorite books that I am currently reading is The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell.  The focus of this book is what components are necessary in leadership and how to be a true leader where people follow.

I strive to be someone who focuses on networking and always learning from others.  I was a part of the GAEL Aspiring Principals cohort.  Through this opportunity, I met new Assistant Principals across the county and learned through their experiences.  I gained more knowledge and understanding as well as shared my own experiences with others.  I was honored to present at the GASSP conference about ways to “Recruit, Retain, and Recharge” teachers with some of the initiatives that we had at Clark Creek STEM Academy.   Being a continuous learner is necessary in an ever-changing and innovative profession of education.