I’m excited to announce (for those who didn’t hear it on the last episode of Practical Principals) that I’ve been accepted to lead a conversation at Learning 2.0: A Colorado Conversation in a few weeks. While I’m really excited about it, I’m also a little nervous.
I think I’m going to be in the “Leadership and Infrastructure” track and I plan to focus my conversation on the challenges inherent in leading a school in the 21st century. Basically, I want to look at what school-based leaders need to know and be able to do given the rapidly changing landscape in which we work.
When I did my masters a while back, the theme that was woven through all my coursework was, “We are not managers, we are instructional leaders…” I don’t think I’d argue that administrators need to be great teachers and that they need to be able to recognize, inspire, and support great teaching among their faculties, but what else? Surely it goes deeper than that.
From my proposal for this conversation:
Schools face the daunting task of balancing the requirements of AYP and NCLB with the demands of business and academic leaders who are looking for graduates proficient in what are being called “21st century skills.” In light of this shift, the role of the school leader must evolve to cope with the challenge of addressing these seemingly contradictory expectations that are being placed on our school systems by external sources.
Jon Becker got the ball rolling in Philadelphia last month with his conversation at EduCon 2.1. I’d like to continue to advance the discourse that started in that session. To that end, I’ll pose the question here and use the responses to help me pull together something cohesive.
How are the challenges facing school leaders today different than what we faced 5, 10, or 20 years ago? What are the core competencies for school leaders in the 21st century
I look forward to reading your comments here or via a trackback from your own blog. If you’re in or around Colorado on February 21, 2009, I’d love to see you at CO Learning, if not I’ll post a link to my conversation information and live streaming details here as soon as I have them.