Marla A. Turpin
Roopville Elementary School
1) I believe future-focused learning pushes leaders towards truly reflecting on what we feel are best practices in our field. Being positive is very important to me. In education, we’re faced with challenges and tough situations daily. That will never change. In being positive, I’m modeling to teachers that every problem has a solution… or at least a path to get to the solution. I want every teacher in my building to feel that they themselves are making a positive impact and contribution. My hope is that through my positivity and praise towards their efforts and successes with support in their struggles, they will see that there is always a path towards a solution, as well as an appreciation for what they do each day. They will likely then pass this positivity on to their students and parents.
2) Another best practice I try to follow is to never stop learning. My personal motto is a part of a Maya Angelou quote, “I did what I knew how to do until I learned how to do it better.” Both personally and professionally, I am constantly growing. I’ve learned that there is something to be learned every single day. Just as they want their students to embrace learning and growing, teachers, too, should always be willing to learn and grow. Education is a field that is ever-changing, and we all have to be willing to learn in order to stay on top of our students’ needs.
I have also realized that this is extremely important in leadership because as a leader, you can’t possibly know everything. I feel that it’s important to say you don’t know something, and that you’ll figure it out and then all learn together. After all, this is again what we want our students to do! I find joy in going to a teacher to ask her opinion on a matter. For example, we have a teacher in our building who is the Queen of Lexile Levels. I have gone to her several times with questions, and I can tell that she feels important and appreciated for her professional knowledge that is useful to the school as a whole.