Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sharing the Wealth

Photo from TaxCredits.net
When I was hired to be the new Headmaster of Saipan International School, my contract came with $2500 toward professional development. I was happy for the access to this money, because continually developing myself and learning are things I enjoy doing. I had made early plans to travel to Malaysia and attend the EARCOS leadership conference. Once I was back on the ground in Saipan, however, I realized that the entire school faculty needed access to professional development; we currently have no funds dedicated to PD. After some careful consideration about options before me, I decided to use my $2500 for the entire faculty. Improving the leader will help the whole, but improving the followers does it more effectively and efficiently.

Step one was to join the ASCD website. For those who aren't familiar, an ASCD membership is a great resource for professional development. They offer online courses, Educational Leadership magazine, and hundreds of educational books from the best minds in learning. In addition, I ordered some books about differentiation and supporting ELL students in the regular classroom, which are areas we are working on improving through our WASC accreditation process. Step two, I provided the entire faculty a short article on the power of feedback in the learning process from our new Educational Leadership subscription. I want to encourage the faculty to begin reading journals for their own improvement and growth as educators; plus, by sharing articles, we can have educational discussions about a common theme with a common language.

We have about $2200 more to spend on PD, so I'm thinking and exploring what other options could work for us. When you share, you can make a little go a long way and help everybody. Didn't a famous guy once say something like that...