This post originally appeared on the Edcamp Leadership blog on 21 July 2014:
Monday, August 4th will see the third annual appearance of Edcamp Leadership, the unconference targeted specifically to educational leaders. Having been a part of the organizing teams for the first two Edcamp Leadership events, this particular Edcamp series holds a special place in my heart. It’s even more special to me this year since this is the first year I will be attending while employed in an official leadership position.
With that in mind, I’ve been thinking about what session I would like to facilitate this year. After a very well-received session on flipping the faculty meeting in 2012, I had to leave the 2013 event early and so didn’t run one. Since I can’t imagine I’ll be the only rookie in the house this time, I’m thinking of holding a New Leaders Roundtable, specifically for people in the first few years of their leadership positions.
I will obviously have more questions than answers, given that I haven’t even started the job yet, but my hope is that we can get a group of folks in their first three or four years of their leadership role to sit down and share experiences, problems, solutions, and just contribute whatever else we think is crucial to the general body of knowledge in the room.
My preference is for these discussions to be truly organic and participant-driven, but as the facilitator I do feel it’s my responsibility to come in with some general overarching questions. Here’s what I’m thinking so far:
- What do you know now that you wish you knew before you started?
- What have been your best- (or worst!) received efforts in supporting teachers?
- How do you balance managerial responsibilities with those of an instructional leader?
- What are your best strategies for remaining connected to the needs and concerns of the student body as you moved away from your teaching position?
- How have you built trust and relationships among and with your staff?
In the spirit of collaboration, I’m asking you, dear reader, to add to this list with any suggestions you have, either as a newbie administrator or as a vet who knows better questions to ask. Tweet them to me at @damian613 and tag them #edcampldr and I’ll be sure to include them in the conversation on August 4. Of course, while the session will likely be of interest to mostly new/emerging leaders, anyone is welcome to attend and contribute to the aggregate wisdom in the room.
If you’re coming, I hope you’ll consider facilitating a session, especially if it’s your first time at an Edcamp. As I demonstrated above, you don’t have to walk in with an hour-long Powerpoint (in fact, we don’t want that). All you need is a topic, some questions, and the willingness to ask, listen, and learn.
Even if you can’t attend the day in person, we hope you’ll follow the proceedings on Twitter via the hashtag #edcampldr.