Each summer our administrators and teacher-leaders gather for two days to work collaboratively on school improvement. This year, we had the opportunity to work with the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA) on the Connected Action Road Map (CAR). I was impressed with this model for a few reasons.
First, the model is not a “new initiative” or the “next big thing.” In actuality, the CAR method is based in research, and best practices no matter what your school emphasizes. Secondly, the model encourages shared responsibility between teachers and administrators to unpack standards and make them understandable for students, develop process-centered Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), and establish norms on the climate and culture of your building.
During the two days we worked collaboratively, we had to opportunity to take inventory of our school. We explored what we are doing well, and what we need to improve upon. As a school leader, it was refreshing to see teachers being honest, and supportive of the process. In the words of one of our teacher leaders, “I am cautiously optimistic.”
As I reflect on the past two days, I too am cautiously optimistic. I understand we have a lot of work to do, but we will have the continued support of the NJPSA, as well as the school-based leadership team that is committed to embark on this journey….. together!