As I decided to take the path to becoming an administrator, so many doubts and questions crossed my mind. Would I be able to lead an entire school the right way? How would I deal with conflicts? Would I be able to bring a team together? I prayed, took a deep breath, and promised myself that I would work hard. I am excited to say that all ready in my second class I am learning ways to handle some of the very situations that I was worried about.
This week I have been reading about action research. Action research is a great tool that administrators and teachers can engage in to facilitate change and improvement. In the past, this was left up to outsiders. These outsiders were considered experts even though they did not actually work with students. These "experts" would study about schools, and then prescribe how something should be done. While this was fine in theory, it left a lot of holes and unanswered questions.
Action research makes the people working, day to day, with students the experts. This happens because they actually take what they know and make it better by becoming more knowledgable. For example, a teacher or an administrator takes the time to reflect on practices they have been using. They focus on one specific area at a time. After the area is determined, they then read all pertinent literature on their topic. Once they have gathered information, they then share with others what they learned. When this has been accomplished, they are ready to implement changes.
Engaging in these kinds of practices offers tons of benefits. This is teambuilding in action, literally. People working together experiencing success builds bridges and opens numerous doors. In addition, a faculty that engages in reading and research are continuously learning. This ensures that teachers and administrators are experts in their context area and pursuers of improving school climate and culture. Curriculum will continuously be improving, which will make the student’s lives richer, as well as improve tests scores. Action research also provides a sounding board for dealing with conflict. If the parties involved are willing to take the time, they can work together to find the best solutions.
I am excited to try this process out! I really believe that engaging in these practices will make me a stronger leader! I'll keep you posted on how my experiences pan out.