The Conference Insider
Friday, November 9, 2012

Being a Principal:
Ideas and Advice with Barbara Brodhagen, Ann Yehle, and Alan Harris

By: Rachel McMinn

"There's no escaping leadership: The principal's role in highly affective schools". This was the first thing I saw as I walked into this session. This heading was projected up on a board. Smiles greeted us as I found a seat in the front. We met the three presenters: Ann YehleBarbara Brodhagen, Ann Yehle, and Alan Harris. As they began the presentation, they talked about things that principals can use and work with in their school. “You [principals] cannot control everything, but you can control a lot,” Barbara Brodhagen said. She compared being a principal to rock climbing; it's your job to get yourself to the top of the mountain, not anyone else's. Teachers are very important and wonderful for a school, but the most important job in the school is the principal. He/she is the one that makes things happen.

This trio of educators shared what guides their leadership as principals, such as dignity, inclusivity, shared responsibility and decision making, seeing good teaching, and “a school where all students are valued.” The most important is the student voice. It is a huge portion of their vision of a great school. They care about the students. As quoted from Ann Yehle, “all the kids in the building deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.” They believe the same thing goes to all teachers and staff. No matter how misbehaved they may be everyone deserves to be treated with respect.

One thing that principals put together in order to increase student teamwork is Co-Teaching. Co-Teaching is working with your staff for ideas and suggestions. They run through activities that they plan to do in their class with other teachers, in order to flatten out all the bumps in it and to make it perfect for their students. Also, it's used to make sure that all students are included.

This conference newsletter was written by student reporters from Robert Gray Middle School, Portland, Oregon.


2...Being a Principal
3...Did You Know?
4...Lego Robotics and Their Affect on the World
5...Jack Berckemeyer
6...Integrating Middle School Standards Through Stations
7...Watersheds in Seattle and Salem


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