A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Open thread: What would you like to see in a superintendent?

Just hypothetically: What would you consider to be the characteristics of a great superintendent, especially of a suburban school district which is pretty diverse?

I'm serious. And the last time I had an open thread, I got like three comments. So, a little help here, please, people!

And voting at the 2006 Weblog Awards continues over here-- and you can vote every 24 hours. There're some great blogs out there-- go check some of them out!


At 12/12/06, 5:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like a leader, not a dictator. We need someone that respects the job done by all the district employees and is willing to back us up. They should be approachable rather than hidden in an office protected by a large staff. Common sense would be nice, too many at the top seem to have none.

At 12/12/06, 9:06 PM, Blogger Mike in Texas said...

I would like to see a supt. who gets out in spends a week or two in a classroom, following the mandates he or she has dictated.

At 12/12/06, 10:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to see a super that mandates that the admin team spend a certain number of hours each year in a classroom or working directly with students in some fashion.

At 12/13/06, 6:03 AM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

I guess it's impossible to get a super with experience trying to teach under NCLB-- but that would really be nice.

At 12/13/06, 11:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone who has spent more than 3 years in a classroom. Someone who is aware that classroom teachers know what they're doing and will listen to them. Someone who will see what works in a system before throwing everything out and putting in his/her own pet methods, whether they fit here or not. Some one from the trenches.

At 12/13/06, 4:30 PM, Blogger Tim said...

I agree with graycie. Real teaching experience would be my first criteria for any district level administrator but especially the top person.

In huge systems (like the one I work for), the superintendent is more often a politician rather than an instructional leader.

I'd also like to see someone who's not afraid to let teachers experiment as opposed to coming in with a cook book from which everyone must follow the chosen recipes.

At 12/13/06, 6:41 PM, Anonymous S i L e N C e D said...

Someone who wants his teachers and support personnel to get pay raises/benefits increases (such as district paying for health insurance increases) without groveling, begging or giving up contract language to get it.

One who does not write into his/her contract $600.00 per month of taxpayer money for their personal vehicle expenses.

One who does not automatically "find" high paying school district jobs for his/her spouse, children and assorted other relatives and kin.

One who is part of the community in which he/she is directing the schools and is not afraid to publish his/her home phone number for the public to contact him/her if need be.

One who is in town and on the job and not double dipping with grant money to visit various global cities.

At 12/14/06, 7:40 AM, Blogger MommyProf said...

Someone with classroom experience, but also with a customer service mindset. Our experience with administration is that they are much more concerned with keeping their various stakeholders (school staff, students, parents, taxpayers) from getting what they need than they are with coming up with solutions that make everyone happy.

At 12/15/06, 10:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A leader that listens, is flexible, willing to fight for what is right, and values his/her staff. The best leaders empower the employees, encourage experimentation and risk-taking, delegate responsibility, and believe in the power of his/her staff


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