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Teaching and leadership resources

The following is a list of recent resources for those focused on the professional improvement of teachers, principals, and other educational leaders.

How Do You Test For Teaching Talent?  What test should school teachers have to pass to earn a license in Illinois? The Illinois State Board of Education takes up that question at their meeting Wednesday. (NPR Illinois)

Why are teachers paid so much better in Europe than in America?  Education might not be featured across cable news 24/7, but a wave of teacher strikes this year has put a spotlight on education funding in many states, raising the stakes of next month’s midterm elections. Cut funding more or raise it? Disagreement over that question has motivated a growing number of teachers to run for office themselves and has already dealt several blows to Republican contenders.

How Principals Can Banish Toxic Adult Behavior  Complainers. Freeloaders. Procrastinators. Backstabbers. Know-it-alls. Bullies.  Former principals Stephanie D.B. Johnson and Diane Watkins have seen them all in schools—and not just roaming the halls or slouching in the back of class.  Like any workplace, schools can be plagued by adult slackers or agitators who, whether intentionally or not, can sabotage morale and campus culture.  And principals, especially those new to the job, often need help dealing with those adults hiding in plain sight, working against principals’ proposals and best-laid plans, the veteran educators say.

Why Principals Need to Make Student Mental Health a Priority  Within the first eight days of school this year, three students in a suburban district East of Los Angeles killed themselves.  None of the deaths were related—the students had been from different schools, in different grades, and didn’t appear to know one another.  But the quick succession of suicides left the community reeling.  “I’m not sure how to explain that, it’s a punch to your gut. It’s just absolutely unbelievable,” said Mat Holton, the superintendent of the Chaffey Joint Union High School District. “But as a superintendent or a principal, you have to move into the mode of OK, what is our next step? How do we best help the kids? And you just move right into crisis mode.”

What Principals Can Do to Keep Good Teachers in Their Schools  Principal Mary Beck knew that in order to transform her Chicago high school’s staff culture, she had to go the distance—13.1 miles, to be exact.  Beck, who is the principal of Nicholas Senn High School on the North Side of Chicago, ran a half-marathon last year both to raise money for her teachers and to encourage them to prioritize their own wellness. It had been a tough few years in the cash-strapped Chicago district, and teachers were feeling burnt out and, increasingly, leaving the classroom.  “The culture of my building wasn’t very strong,” Beck said, adding that she had to hire 21 new staff members when she first came on board in 2015. “We can say we appreciate teachers, but it’s hard to really show it.”  To change the culture, Beck started inviting teachers to work out with her.

Most Principals Like Their Jobs. Here’s What Makes Them Change Schools or Quit Altogether  Principals love their jobs, but some would ditch their current jobs immediately if a higher-paying gig came along, according to a new survey of the profession.

‘I Want a Job and a Life’: How Principals Find Balance in All-Consuming Work  Just a few months into her first year as principal of Oak Knoll Elementary School in Menlo Park, Calif., Kristen Gracia was on a fast track to burnout.  She’d been assistant principal for four years and felt in command of that job.  But as principal, there was so much more to do, and things were falling by the wayside.

ESSA Brief Series: Investments in School Leadership  UCEA is proud to release six policy briefs developed as part of our comprehensive review of the treatment of school leadership in the 52 consolidated state plans (50 states, DC and Puerto Rico) submitted to the U.S. Department of Education to comply with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Research Empowers Principals – A group of East Carolina University (ECU) researchers studying the effects of school leadership has secured a five-year, $9.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education. AACTE member Matt Smith of ECU reports on the award, which will fund a study of strategies to support principals in improving student outcomes with research-based professional development programs. Principals across the country will have the opportunity to earn micro-credentials from ECU in academic discourse, advanced academic discourse, and educational leadership.

Supporting Novice Principals on the Job: Mentoring Support in Difficult Situations Webinar  Wednesday, November 28, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. EST  The job of a principal is a lonely one, but new principals don’t have to wrestle with difficult situations on their own. Many districts and universities are exploring options for providing support and mentorship. In this third webinar of a four-part series, you will hear from a new principal about the challenges of leadership and how mentorship helped him succeed in his role.

Supporting Novice Principals on the Job: Principal Preparation for the Complexity of the Work Webinar  Wednesday, December 12, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. EST Strong leadership is a necessary catalyst for student learning, yet the complexity of the work makes it sometimes hard to focus on the role of instructional leader. Join the discussion with new principals on how to best prepare principals for entering the profession in this final webinar of a four-part series.

Report: Long-Term Coaching Critical in Retaining Principals  The NYC Leadership Academy announced the publication this week of new research on the impact of coaching principals in a report entitled “Still in the Game: How Coaching Keeps Leaders in Schools and Making Progress.” (Education Dive)

50-State Comparison: Teacher Leadership and Licensure Advancement  Thirty states now have a system in place that allows teachers to advance beyond a standard professional license. It’s one policy of many that states are developing in an effort to support and retain excellent teachers. Learn more in our new 50-State Comparison, which includes current state policy approaches to supporting teacher leadership and licensure advancement.

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