The old saying goes that the most important factor (that a school system can impact) in a child’s education is the teacher they have. There is truth to that claim. However, a rival factor for that first place distinction, and definitely a second place nod, is the principal of the child’s school. Another way of putting this is: leadership matters greatly when it comes to the quality of educational experiences.
But where as we can easily discern a teacher’s impact on students, through practices related to instruction, feedback, assessment, and class culture, it may not be as apparent how education leaders impact on students (note, by leader, I mean individuals in formal positions of leaders like superintendents, assistant superintendents, and principals). One way to illuminate that murkiness is to focus on a word that both ignites hope and conjures distress - change.
Below, I have outlined four common change topics and practices that are related to those innovations. It is important to note that the conventional wisdom for the impact of change in education is that it will take 5 years to see substantial effects. With that timeframe in mind, it will be important to approach school with the knowledge of where they are in their change implementation. Knowing that sequence and plan will empower you to market products and services to a current or future phase and not to one that has already passed.
Changes in school and district leadership happens often. With each change to these formal position comes the potential for additional innovations. What’s more, the new leader may wish to take the school or district down another path altogether. In either scenario, opportunity presents itself and therefore being informed of changes in school leadership is imperative.