Leadership in Action
My experience thus far in the MAT@USC program in conjunction with my first year of teaching has been testing. Teachers are constantly tested and held accountable for their work with their students. Teacher accountability or what has come to be known as a “value added system” appears to be the direction that education will be/is heading, and my experience in the classroom has helped me see why.
The value added system can be highly effective when implemented strategically, something I have been fortunate to see at Aspire Public Charter school in South Los Angeles. Aspire is very data driven and holds its teachers to the highest standards, a combination which produces outstanding student achievement. Further, Aspire prides itself on professional and open collaboration amongst its educators.
Just a week ago my principal came in to my class and taught a reading lesson for me. Prior to the lesson we met and discussed aspects of my own teaching which needed improvement based on ongoing observations my principal had made, and then she came in and essentially showed me how it was done. For someone who loves to learn through observation, this was amazing. How many principals do you know who would or actually do this for their teachers? I recognize that I am lucky to have such an outstanding leader, and in particular one who leads by example. Something which really stood out to me at the beginning of the year was when my Principal said to all our teachers, “If you are not successful this year, it’s not because you have failed, but rather because I have failed you”.
It’s leaders with this kind of work ethic and ability to inspire who will pave the way for education in the years to come.