“Returning from work feeling inspired, safe, fulfilled and grateful is a natural human right to which we are all entitled and not a modern luxury that only a few lucky ones are able to find.” -Simon Sinek, Leaders Eat Last
Currently, I am reading, "Leaders Eat Last" by Simon Sinek. Something in the first few pages have got me stirred about our instructional assistants. At the beginning of each school year, we work so hard to make sure that teachers and students are ready for learning, but what do we do for our instructional support personnel? It reminded me of a video we watched once at a conference about how aware we are when we are focused so hard on something else.
I have been so focused on "counting passes" by one part of our system, that I have failed to see something that has great value right in the mix. Due to this reflection and realization, we have put together a draft of meeting schedules to formally place instructional support staff as key players in our school improvement plan. As we embark to reduce chronic absenteeism and work on full co-teaching inclusion, our instructional support staff will need support, access to administration, and additional learning. We need to make sure that the feel "inspired, safe, fulfilled, and grateful" as they spend so much time directly working with students and parents.
Our first step is to develop our understanding of their needs. It is our goal that they will be able to use our time together to address their support needs - do they feel safe and comfortable in their current (which is slightly new to them) roles. Our overall goals will be to train them in our PBIS model, Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP), and Literacy. If they know what we expect of the certified staff, they will have a better vision of where they should be focusing their time.
Category: Shared Vision, Management
Ryan Dumkrieger is the principal of Sioux City North High School.