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COMPETENCIES REFLECTION

University of St. Thomas Prepared by: Avisay Cerda EDUC 6331 Instructor: Dr. May

DOMAIN I: SCHOOL COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP

Competency 001: The principal knows how to shape campus culture by facilitating the development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of a vision of learning that is shared and supported by the school community.
From the beginning, I have been involved with developing and promoting a unified vision for our school. I worked on the team that developed our mission statement, which is to strive for academic excellence, nurture educational growth, and promote a safe and positive learning environment. I helped develop the School Improvement Plan that connects our schools vision with the implementation and budget components. The SIP is a living document that grows and changes with our school community. I further help plan for our school by collaborating with different teachers to create pacing calendars to align lesson plans and assessment dates. We created common assessments based on the TEKS and aligned with the pacing calendar.

DOMAIN I: SCHOOL COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP

Competency 002: The principal knows how to communicate and collaborate with all members of the school community, respond to diverse interests and needs, and mobilize resources to promote student success.
I was able to train parents this year to help monitor a reading program for students after school. The parents involvement allowed more students to stay after school and read and to participate in our schools reading incentive program. Another program I was involved with promotes parents learning how to use the computers alongside their children. They were given instruction in the computer labs about using the schools educational programs and instructional websites with their children. They were given information about internet safety. The goal is to encourage more parents to purchase computers to use and promote their childrens education with technology. I coordinated Family Literacy Nights to involve parents and the community in our children's learning. This included various speakers for parents and hands on activities for students. They were then given the materials to take home and continue learning with the activity.

DOMAIN I: SCHOOL COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP


Competency 003: The principal knows how to act with integrity, fairness, and in an ethical and legal manner.
Our school promotes parent activities monthly. At this time, I participate as a translator and facilitator. The activities vary through the school year including Reading, Math, PTO meetings, LPAC meetings, and various meetings that deal with our community needs such as gang prevention, bullying, family violence, and testing matters. Informative meetings about magnet programs, VIPS enrollment, and online grading (GradeSpeed) registration. Since our school is so diverse we must provide for both Vietnamese and Hispanic parent needs. All materials are always presented or printed in three languages and translators are available for each language. Beyond cultural differences I am careful to include our students with special needs in school activities, field trips, and classroom instruction. Even though our students have varying abilities, I try to ensure that they are always invited and feel apart of our school community.

DOMAIN 2: INSTRUCTIONAL LEADERSHIP


Competency 004: The principal knows how to facilitate the design and implementation of curricula and strategic plans that enhance teaching and learning; ensure alignment of curriculum, instruction, resources, and assessment; and promote the use of varied assessments to measure student performance.
I was able to put in practice all components of this competency when I implemented a research study that involved a three-month long window in which data was collected while students were taught in small groups. A pre-test was administered at the beginning of the research window. After analysis of the results, students were grouped according to their abilities. I formed three groups; a high, middle, and low, to address the needs of each group. During the rest of the window, each group received an amount of small group instruction based on the group needs. The lowest group received at least three thirty-minute small group instructions sessions weekly, the middle group two times, and the highest group one session. The week started and ended with whole group instruction. At the end of the week the concepts were reviewed and tested for understanding. This data was used to plan for small group instruction for the upcoming week. This process repeated for the rest of the research window. At the end of the window, the post-test was administered. The pre-test and post-test data was compared to show evidence that small group instruction was an effective teaching method for all students. Instructional material, resources, and assessment use was aligned with the curriculum to ensure all students were learning grade appropriate objectives.

DOMAIN 2: INSTRUCTIONAL LEADERSHIP


Competency 005: The principal knows how to advocate, nurture, and sustain an instructional program and a campus culture that are conducive to student learning and staff professional growth.
I was able to integrate my comprehensive knowledge of the new assessment model with my duties as a coordinating teacher. I was able to use the assessment rubric to help evaluate my student teacher this year. The input that I was able to give her allowed her to grow and adjust her teaching methods in a positive way. I feel that she will be more prepared for her first year of teaching because of using the new assessment rubric. My classes in clinical supervision have also proved useful because I have been able to use the rubric to coach her instead of using an authoritative style. I realize now how my studies during this masters program has allowed me to grow as an educator, a leader, and an individual.

DOMAIN 2: INSTRUCTIONAL LEADERSHIP


Competency 006: The principal knows how to implement a staff evaluation and development system to improve the performance of all staff members, select and implement appropriate models for supervision and staff development, and apply the legal requirements for personnel management.
Being part of our schools Site-based Decision Making Committee, I have been on the ground floor of the implementation of Houston ISDs new teacher appraisal system. This new system is being developed in stages. In the first stage, each SDMC in HISD was asked to develop a list of objectives that will help identify an effective teacher. Then each SDMC sent two members from their committee to represent their school and to meet with all SDMC representatives. They then finalized the objectives by categorizing and condensing all the SDMCs objectives into a unified list. The district then developed a rubric with all the objectives. In the second stage, all principals and other evaluating staff were trained to use the rubric. The district further decided to use the rubric during two ten-minute and two thirty-minute observations in the 2011-2012 school year. The teachers were then trained on the implementation of the new appraisal system that they would be evaluated with this year. Stage three provides further training for the teachers through online modules which educate them about further evaluation through student growth and test scores.

DOMAIN 2: INSTRUCTIONAL LEADERSHIP


Competency 007: The principal knows how to apply organizational, decision-making, and problem-solving skills to ensure an effective learning environment.
As an intern, I shadowed the principal and worked closely with her as she worked together with grade levels in Professional Learning Communities (PLC). We worked as a team to make decisions and discuss issues relevant to student learning. We examined student data and available resources to decide whether or not strategies have been effective. Based on the data and available funding, decisions were made about purchases and student needs for the next year. Decisions are always data driven. As a grade level chairperson, I have facilitated our grade levels PLCs and now I am able to see the dynamics of both sides. Every two weeks, student data is reviewed by the grade level team. We collaborate and discuss the data results and refer to our pacing calendar to check which objectives have been mastered and how to reteach subject matter if necessary. We compare resources and strategies used and track student progress.

DOMAIN 3: ADMINISTRATIVE LEADERSHIP


Competency 008: The principal knows how to apply principles of effective leadership and management in relation to campus budgeting, personnel, resource utilization, financial management, and technology use.
As an SDMC member I have been involved yearly with decisions about the budget, personnel, and purchasing school resources including technology. Towards the end of the year, we begin discussing budget allotments for the upcoming year based on enrollment projections. We discuss any upcoming personnel changes and what budget strands should be used for those salaries. The building needs are then reviewed to see what priority issues must be addressed. Funds are allocated into the budget strands as needed for upcoming regular expenses. Funds for needs such as tutorials, intervention, transportation, office supplies, and classroom resources are distributed. Technology needs are discussed and the technology plan is reviewed.

DOMAIN 2: INSTRUCTIONAL LEADERSHIP


Competency 009: The principal knows how to apply principles of leadership and management to the campus physical plant and support systems to ensure a safe and effective learning environment.
I am currently assisting with dismissal issues at our school. Since we have 1050 students in our school, dismissal is always challenging. After seven years without traffic issues, we were suddenly faced with the police department issuing tickets to our parents as they waited on their children. We had to come up with a plan immediately to help our parents but at the same time, keep our students safe. A principal must sometimes display strong leadership skills in order to lead when great changes are made quickly. For those changes to be successful, management is key. Because of these changes this year, we have already anticipated changes that will be needed at the beginning of the new school year. I am charged with developing a dismissal plan for our younger students that will keep them safe but also dismiss them efficiently. Other dismissal issues must also be reviewed and addressed for the upcoming year.

SUMMATIVE REFLECTION
Early on, I found that education has been transformed as a cocoon goes through a metamorphosis to become a butterfly. This same metamorphosis applies to how I feel I have been transformed from this experience. As a principal intern, I have walked along side my principal and seen through her eyes. I see now that an effective principal must be able to multi task, be a good communicator, and have a balance between a leader and a manager to run a school. I have seen that staying informed about budget, curriculum, and resources is always necessary. Being able to communicate well with others is a key factor to establish a good community environment between staff, parents, and students. A good leader knows when to share responsibilities and allow others to take on new leadership roles. Teachers then learn how to problem solve and share decision-making responsibilities for the whole school. An effective principal should be able to motivate everyone around to strive for the best and serve as a role model for others. As a leader, my obligation is to create a campus culture that promotes student and teacher success. Both must be provided opportunities to grow and learn. I must be an advocate for both teacher and student providing them with a safe environment where they can be nurtured and allowed to pursue diverse interests. I must always act with integrity and with our school vision in mind. I need to be proactive and anticipate anything that can alter the dynamics of our school culture. I have learned that all of these competencies make a great principal and this opportunity has given me the aspiration to be what I want which is a great principal.