Guest post by Jodie Pierpoint Have you ever left a conference knowing that you wanted to go home and make a change? Try something different? Take a risk? I felt that way after leaving the 2017 National Principals Conference. As an aspiring school leader, I left that conference knowing that I had to do something for others like myself. I am a strong believer in mentoring relationships and knew that other aspiring leaders would benefit from being paired with experienced schools leaders. I also know that online relationships are how we connect for personal growth and learning: ed chats, blogs, ...


I'm selfishly hoping that by sharing my struggles right now, I will feel better for writing about them and also have folks who I know can understand, despite how lonely and alone I feel when I go through it.


Throughout my leadership coursework, I've been asked to reflect on a number of different things. In one class that I really enjoyed, we had excellent reading materials that often encouraged me to dig deep into my new experiences, watching closely what I was feeling and thinking to tackle new experiences while also charged with leading a team. Some of my thoughts below are taken from throughout my first few months in the position and looking back now really ring true. More recently, I've started reading and listening to Leadership on the Line and many of the experiences you'll read about ...


As I continue to grow in my new position, I'm learning the value of building the relationships and trying to understand what different stakeholders want and need so that I can better communicate what we need to do in a way they can hear it. Although I may not be able to challenge state assessments yet in NY, I know that there are alternative pathways and assessments for some students and I also know that there are schools exempted from the state tests.


Being new is never easy, but it does have its benefits. Learning to trust takes time and forgiveness and a willingness to bounce back and try again, maybe just in a different way. We can't give up on each other, that's no way to grow.


Learning is deeply personal and engaging when done right, and every school can be developing lifelong learners by setting up expectations that involve student and teacher participation.


Guest blogger Dr. Douglas Green shares how he applies the lessons in Christopher Emdin's book, "For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood ... and the Rest of Y'all Too."


When we consider what we teach students, we must ask ourselves why every piece of content is where it is. Who owns the learning and how can we empower students more and more to be in charge of what it looks like?


Leaders in schools come in all shapes. How a character in "Dead Poets Society," teacher Mr. Keating, can be a model for earning students' trust and respect.


We cannot afford to cut funding to the arts. It is the arts that generate a sense of humanity that connects all of our contents together. As classroom teachers of any content, we must consider the powerful skills associated with the arts and incorporate them into all of our lessons. Whether drama or art, media formats or music, the addition to these assorted techniques can enrich any learning environment.


The opinions expressed in Work in Progress are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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