Personalizing the Superintendency

Like most people, looking back at the main events in my life, I can see where everything has happened for a reason.¬† Everything from my childhood growing up in a half-rough family, to marrying my husband, to our kids, to the career path I’ve walked have been perfect for me and none were exactly well planned.

Rick Weinberg posted a question about planning for the superintendency in a comment on my last post. The timing of this week’s conference was perfect for me and in particular, my attendance in the personalization strand. It confirmed for me that personalization works in leadership in the same way that it does in our classrooms. Who doesn’t want their boss to think about who they are as individuals and to try to reach them?

When I was a teacher and now as a principal, I’ve been approachable and “close” with students. I do this job because I genuinely enjoy the kids and always have. As a teacher, I can remember a year when I had a particularly difficult group of boys to whom I had to teach how to form the preterit tense in Spanish. They couldn’t have cared less about that topic. I always tried to read my class, never just kept going if I could see some had “zoned out”, so I quickly¬†compared the whole lesson to a Ford engine in a Chevy truck and well, I’ll spare you the details, but it was an example that caught their attention and helped them to remember.

I bring this up because personalization has always been what this job is all about for me–from that lesson as a teacher to the kids who feel comfortable to stop by my office as principal. I plan to take this same approach with faculty and staff as an assistant superintendent, to see the best in our employees and hopefully, that will encourage most to want to be their best.

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