Michael Fullan THE PRINCIPAL —Three Keys to Maximizing Impact
It is interesting when you learn something new to deepen your practice. For me it’s about recognition and awareness of how it fits into the other existing systems. Rather than one more thing, it has the potential to enrich what is already in place. Asking me to do one more thing, just might put me over the edge. Helping me to do what I am already doing with greater clarity and purpose—well that’s doable.
Michael Fullan's newest book, The Principal, clarifies what specific actions are needed by the principal, to be the change agent to for all students to reach their goals. Although not as an instructional leader, as was my previous practice, but leading change with team learning. Creating the system where we collaboratively work together towards a common goal by learning alongside one another collectively.
Effective principals know the importance of spending time with teachers in and out of the classroom. Those rich engaging conversations are actually one of the most fulfilling aspects of being a principal. Providing support, specific feedback, and recognizing and celebrating success is an amazing opportunity for the principal to share their passion for teaching and learning.
My “ah-ha” moment occurred when I learned the "more powerful way" to becoming a change agent is developing "Professional Capital." Fullan explains "school leadership as the driver for change," focusing on three intentional practices:
Human Capital: Inspire individuals and help develop them as new leaders but "use the group to change the group."
Social Capital: Collective thinking occurs when "peers learn from each other in purposeful, specific ways to improve learning in the school."
Decision Capital: The lead learner (principal) then seeks the collective knowledge of those around them "to make expert decisions that dramatically improve learning for all students.”
Fullan states, "The principal as the direct instruction leader is not the solution!” Nor do they lead all the instructional learning. The principal invests in time for collaboration to ensure intense instructional focus and continuous learning are the core work of the school, and does this by being a talent scout and social engineer, building a culture for learning, tapping others to co-lead, and being a learning leader for all.