I am father of a two sons (three and 8 months), and a husband to the most incredible woman I have ever known. My family lives in the perfect house and loves the outdoors, pool time, good food, and going really fast (that is for my three-year old).
I am in my second chapter of leadership as principal of a private middle school in Houston, TX (pshouston.org). I love discussing the concept of education and how to best educate our youth. My role models include John Dewey, Thomas Jefferson, Dr. Michael Thompson, Grant Wiggins, and Will Richardson. These individuals shaped education during their lives and continue to do so. They all ask the challenging questions that must be asked in order to improve the way we learn while emphasizing the urgency of change.
My vision for education will remain grounded in how the teachers with whom I work can utilize methods and tools when necessary to enhance understanding in the classroom. Everyone has a role in a child’s education and development as a learner. Education must be experienced, not witnessed, for life-long impact and inspiration. I hope to be a part of an institution that “does” education for the purpose of building better learners.
Students: The greatest ability students can demonstrate in the classroom is self-analysis via reflection. As a student recognizes the gaps in his or her learning, that student can then begin to develop abilities to fill in those gaps.
Teachers: These classroom leaders, or “lead learners (thanks, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach),” are a vital component in this process; they exist to galvanize learning. I do not wish a content-driven classroom onto anyone. However, content must form the foundation on which learning occurs. A teacher must learn what his or her students need to improve understanding. This requires reflection and analysis on how to deliver content, on student development, and on ways to maximize the two.
Families: Learning to learn is not a skill that a students will gain by going to school. Learning is an ability that students must practice; however, this practice must be facilitated throughout the day. Home is a time to debrief and relax; but, home is also a place to do homework (yes, I believe in homework as a means to reflect on the day’s learning). Thomas Jefferson spent almost every waking hour of the day learning, analyzing, and thinking. Not all of us are self-driven as he; however, we all value the world he helped create for every American. I want to build this same potential into every student I encounter. I need parents to help me accomplish this goal.
Administrators: This is the tie that binds. I do not wish for a dictatorship in the front office; however, I understand now more than ever that big decisions must be made to direct the event of learning. The success of an administrator is evident in his teachers following a vision because of the trust that leader has instilled in the faculty. This is a daily effort of observation, support, kleenex, and accolades.
This is my vision, version 2.0…