It is the first of August. School administrators across America are working diligently to prepare for the rapidly approaching school year. To do lists are growing by the minute and meetings seem to take more time than normal. The anxiety and excitement is building around the knowns and unknowns related to the start of a new school year. This is one of my favorite times of the year.
As does most every other principal on the eve of a new school year, I spend time reviewing data. The purpose of this data review is to help me know the needs of my campus. I use the data to identify areas of strength and areas of growth. When data is used properly, it can reinforce the work of a faculty and when it is used recklessly it can destroy the morale of a campus. Data analysis and use is critical to the success of a school.
Today, I spent a great deal of time reviewing engagement data. I was not looking at data to show the growth rates and improvement of students. Instead, I was looking for the engagement data of my staff.
I spent time reviewing over the data that reflects if my staff is engaged in their work and accepting of my challenges. In my opinion, this is some of the most important data a principal can collect about his or her campus. I reviewed staff attendance rates, budget expenditures and usages, paper consumption, printing costs, student program participation rates, number of student club sponsorships, and attendance at professional learning opportunities.
In short, I am looking at the engagement levels of my staff. Why? A couple of years ago Gallup Poll released this study about teacher engagement in America. If you are not familiar with this study and report, you must to read it.
Staggering isn't it? 70% of the teachers in America are either not engaged or actively disengaged in their work. This means that only 3 out of 10 teachers in every school are engaged in their work. That is unacceptable. That should not happen. According to Gallup, it happens each day.
What did I find? I found engagement. Lots and lots of engagement. I am very pleased with the data because it shows that my faculty and staff are active and a part of my school. The data I reviewed shows that my faculty is accepting my challenges to grow, improve, adjust, and challenge the status quo to do what is best for their kids. That is critical.
I am not going to put any spoilers here because I want to share this with my staff before I share it with my PLN… sorry, it is just a respect thing. So why am I sharing this with you? I want to challenge you to see if your faculty and staff is engaged in your school.
Look for that engagement data. How do you know if your staff is really engaged in your school if you never look for the data so show the engagement?
Think. Achieve. Succeed.
Director of Instruction and Leadership Development
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are
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