The development of the next generation of school leaders in Massachusetts

Name what you want: build management capacity, the cultivation of a new crop of potential leaders or just planning ahead. However you want to describe it, in Massachusetts a real need for this.

Fact: more difficult to fill many senior positions in recent years in the school districts. In some cases, a little (or not) qualified candidates even submit an application.

If you take the view that teachers today – school administrators tomorrow, we need to redouble our efforts to develop more leaders within the teaching ranks. We need to do this immediately.

Of course, some positive efforts already under way. To fill this gap, a professional organization, such as managers of high school in Massachusetts and # 39; Association (MSSAA) and the Association of Massachusetts professional administrators (MAVA) created their own teacher training to the management of the program. MSSAA manages licensing program leadership (LLP) and licensing program leadership – chief (LLPS). MAVA guides Leadership Academy for middle managers (Leadership Academy I) and Academy II guidance for the preparation of future directors and supervisors.

Massachusetts Association of School Business Officials persons (MASBO) carries out licensing program for future managers of the business school. Massachusetts Association of School leaders (MASS) to carry out an induction program for newly appointed chiefs.

Department of Elementary and Secondary Education of Massachusetts (DESE) helps to fund many of these programs.

All of these commendable efforts, but need to do more.

As a veteran school administrator, I believe that the school districts and the heads of their obligation to help fill this gap in management. And I think we can do it, with little cost and effort.

Here are five specific ideas for school leaders:

The idea number 1: Every year treat at least one employee in the program or MSSAA MAVA guide.

• Advantages: Constant increases the management capacity at a reasonable cost per annum from 2000 to 8000 dollars. Potential eligible for funding through a federal grant.

• Possible negatives: there are costs. Teachers who are trained can leave the county.

The idea number 2: Create a training program at the school to get more teachers who are entitled to administrative work.

In school districts already have a mentoring program for teachers. Just expand its to include an internship program for novice administrators. The official program of the & # 39; unite novice administrators with current administrators who are willing to share his thoughts with his protégé and lead them through a series of practical projects.

• Advantages for the area negligible or not spent. And it's easy to get these programs approved by the Department of Elementary and educational institutions of Massachusetts. After a successful competition teachers have administrative license.

• Possible drawback: you need a teacher for each of the teachers. To obtain a license it is necessary for teachers to put hundreds of hours of work. Teachers may find confidential information. Teachers who are licensed, can leave your area.

Idea number 3: Allow teachers to participate in the process of budget development.

• Advantages: no contact with the area. A simple way to teacher training for the development of the annual spending plans. Many future administrators do not have experience in this key area.

• Possible drawback: the teacher can gain access to confidential information. Current administrators lose some measure of control.

Idea number 4: Let the teacher involved in the planning of real importance to the school subjects.

Enable teachers to self-study / review and planning a coherent program and a visit to the regional teams for accreditation.

• Advantages: no contact with the area. It gives teachers practical experience in planning, with which administrators actually regularly face.

• Possible negatives: the teacher may find the problem in the school, which did not know before. The current administrators may feel a loss of control.

The idea number 5: Let the teachers do some real "heavy vzdymki" at school.

Do not isolate them. Involve them. Ask them to make a meaningful presentation to the Board of schools or school committee. Invite them to come to the meetings of the City Assembly and the City Council.

• Advantages: the school is not necessary. Hones the skills of public presentation. Many of the future administrator, is in a class without feeling experience performing large public authorities. This is a key skill.

• Possible negatives: the teacher may find the problem in the school, which did not know before. Teachers can make mistakes in public. The current administrators may feel a loss of control.

Conductors with a keen eye to notice that these ideas are worth little or nothing. They do not require a lot of & # 39; the amount of work area. And they do not require additional staff.

But they have great benefits: they help future administrators to develop key skills. And they help to build management capacity in the teaching ranks.