In self assessing my own strengths and weakness against the leadership responsibilities in the Marzano reading, I found that I do some things very well and have other responsibility areas to work on. Some of the definitions of the various responsibility areas differed from my own definitions, which provide a deeper opportunity for reflection in these areas. The correlation with student achievement was also an interesting perspective to explore and provided insight in how I define my role within the school. This perspective also helped me explore how I can have a greater impact on student achievement though the intentional development of these leadership responsibilities.
The improvement areas, as highlighted in the self-assessment were “change agent”, “monitor/evaluate”, “order”, “flexibility”, “visibility”, “situational awareness”, and “discipline”. Some of these areas I could have predicted before taking the self-assessment. For example, I know that I need to work on being more visible during the school day. I easily get caught up in the barrage of emails I get on a daily basis, and days seem to slip by while I work in my office on various projects. As Marzano, describes, interactions with students, teachers and parents throughout the school day are extremely valuable in conveying a message of engagement and involvement in the school. Much of my communication with these groups is electronic. My goal for this school year is to be much more visable in the hallways, classroom and school events. This will naturally lead to informal data gathering to inform my work.
The leadership responsibility definition of flexibility was different than my initial definition. I have always thought of myself as a flexible school administrator. I adapt my work to the meet the needs various stakeholders and I allow my perspective to change with additional information. According to Marzano (2005) flexibility is described as “the extend to which leaders adapt their leadership behavior to the needs of the current situation and are comfortable with dissent” (Chapter 4, Section 7, para 1). This comfort with dissent is a weakness of mine, therefore I found the responsibility of flexibility to be an area of improvement. Flexibility had a higher correlation to student achievement (.28) than other areas, so I do realize the importance of the this leadership responsibility and will work on improving this area of my work.
My strength areas included the areas of “outreach” and “culture among others. Both of these areas had higher correlations to student achievement, .27 and .25 respectively. Outreach, as defined by Marzano, includes the extent to with an administrator advocates for the school, to a variety of individuals and groups. As the director of technology, a large part of my role is advocating for funds for technology to enhance and differentiate student learning. This can be challenging, but also a very rewarding component of my job.
Marzano, R., Waters, T., & McNulty, B. (2005). School leadership that works: From research to results. [Kindle Version] Alexandria, VA: ASCD.