21 COMPETENCIES FOR SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
Throughout the Principal Residency, Mr. Do has clearly demonstrated growth in each of the 21 Competencies for School Administrators.
1. Communication – Effectively listens to others; clearly and effectively presents and understands information orally and in writing; acquires, organizes, analyzes, interprets, maintains information needed to achieve school or team 21st century objectives.
- Throughout my Principal Residency, I had the opportunity to participate in a series of crucial conversations with a variety of stakeholders. These conversations required that I be an active listener, be reflective in my practice, and collaborate to design solutions to ensure student success. In addition, my role also required that I utilize email for a significant amount of my communications across the school community. These digital communications articulated messages which were professional, clear, and concise.
2. Change Management – Effectively engages staff and community in the change process in a manner that ensures their support of the change and its successful implementation.
- I collaborated with staff and administrators as we introduced the DSA Advisory Program to the school community. This included ensuring that we gathered feedback from stakeholders and communicated regularly with families and staff.
3. Conflict Management – Anticipates or seeks to resolve confrontations, disagreements, or complaints in a constructive manner.
- Throughout my Principal Residency, I was given multiple opportunities to successfully practice conflict management. This was most clearly demonstrated in managing Office Referrals. This work often required that I conduct a thorough investigation in a timely manner by communicating with multiple parties.
4. Creative Thinking – Engages in and fosters an environment for others to engage in innovative thinking.
- I was asked to collect data about the current senior class. Specifically, my Mentor Principal asked that I document how many of each of the arts concentrations are represented in the senior class, how many seniors are on the CTE pathway, and how many members of the class of 2020 kept one or two arts concentrations. I used creative thinking to design a process to collect the date by analyzing each senior transcript. In addition, I then used Google Forms and Google Sheets to illustrate and present the data.
5. Customer Focus – Understands the students as customers of the work of schooling and the servant nature of leadership and acts accordingly.
- Throughout my tenure at DSA, I remained committed and focused on doing what is best for students. This mindset allowed me to make tough decisions and navigate challenging situations. Reviewing my personal mission and visions statements on a regular basis also encouraged me to keep a customer focus attitude at all times.
6. Delegation – Effectively assigns work tasks to others in ways that provide learning experiences for them and in ways that ensure the efficient operation of the school.
- From the moment I stepped on campus, I was intentional about identifying talent throughout the DSA community. I was constantly making mental notes about the various strengths and unique perspectives of the individuals I came in contact with. These observations proved to helpful when it came time for me to delegate tasks to ensure the success of the school.
7. Dialogue/Inquiry – Is skilled in creating a risk-free environment for engaging people in conversations that explore issues, challenges or bad relationships that are hindering school performance.
- I used my ability to ask questions to build a culture that was not afraid to take risks and test new ideas. In addition, I demonstrated a growth mindset when working with others to solve a problem.
8. Emotional Intelligence – Is able to manage oneself through self awareness and self management and is able to manage relationships through empathy, social awareness and relationship management. This competency is critical to building strong, transparent, trusting relationships throughout the school community.
- Emotional intelligence continues to be a strength of mine which allows me to build meaningful relationships across the school community. This is accomplished by honoring the stories of others and to "seek first to understand, then to be understood (Covey)." For me, emotional intelligence also means being a reflective professional who is constantly searching for ways to improve one's practice. This encourages a leader to determine what areas need attention in order to help all stakeholders fulfill their full potential.
9. Environmental Awareness – Becomes aware and remains informed of external and internal trends, interests and issues with potential impacts on school policies, practices, procedures and positions.
- Being a large school in downtown Durham, I immediately became aware of the many external and internal trends that can impact a school on a daily basis. These trends could include suspected gang activity, facilities issues, and severe weather. All these cases gave me unique opportunities to manage situations that required clear processes/procedures and strong leadership from the school administration.
10. Global Perspective – Understands the competitive nature of the new global economy and is clear about the knowledge and skills students will need to be successful in this economy.
- I continue to grow in my understanding of curricula and how learning objectives can be tied to the knowledge and skills our students must have at graduation. Discussions with school counselors also gave me helpful insight into what options are available to students once they graduate from high school and what the admissions requirements are in order to gain acceptance into institutions of higher education.
11. Judgment – Effectively reaching logical conclusions and making high quality decisions based on available information. Giving priority and caution to significant issues. Analyzing and interpreting complex information.
- Throughout my Principal Residency, I learned how to prioritize my list of daily responsibilities. This often required me to make quick decisions based on the information which was available at the time. In addition, this competency helped me learn how to filter through significant amounts of information and identify the most important details.
12. Organizational Ability – Effectively plans and schedules one’s own and the work of others so that resources are used appropriately, such as scheduling the flow of activities and establishing procedures to monitor projects.
- I managed my work responsibilities by keeping an organized calendar at all times. This allowed me to arrive to meetings on time, complete assignments given to me by my Mentor Principal, successfully conduct teacher observations, and submit all of my graduate school assignments. This organizational ability allowed me to utilize my time and the school resources efficiently.
13. Personal Ethics and Values – Consistently exhibits high standards in the areas of honesty, integrity, fairness, stewardship, trust, respect, and confidentiality.
- I continue to place a high emphasis on personal ethics and values by consistently demonstrating elements of the competency in my personal and professional life. This competency was clearly illustrated when I managed Office Referrals and was required to have tough conversations with families and students. Establishing that foundation of trust was critical to working towards a solution that focused on what was best for the student.
14. Personal Responsibility for Performance – Proactively and continuously improves performance by focusing on needed areas of improvement and enhancement of strengths; actively seeks and effectively applies feedback from others; takes full responsibility for one’s own achievements.
- Throughout the academic year, I met with the Assistant Principals, my Mentor Principal, my Executive Coach, and the NCSU Cohort Director. These meetings gave me multiple opportunities to reflect on my practice and participate in conversations which focused on my growth as a school leader.
15. Responsiveness – Does not leave issues, inquiries or requirements for information go unattended. Creates a clearly delineated structure for responding to requests/situations in an expedient manner.
- I developed a system that allowed me to remain up to date on all email communications, projects, and responsibilities. Being prompt and accurate became a regular norm which allowed me to utilize my time well.
16. Results Orientation – Effectively assumes responsibility. Recognizes when a decision is required. Takes prompt action as issues emerge. Resolves short-term issues while balancing them against long-term goals.
- As a Principal Resident, I learned how to see both the short-term picture and long-term picture. My new perspective as an administrator required that I step back and see the school environment as one large ecosystem. The weekly DSA Administrators Meetings helped me develop an appreciation for the importance of addressing immediate issues while also seeking to look towards the future and build foundations that will yield future success for stakeholders.
17. Sensitivity – Effectively perceives the needs and concerns of others; deals tactfully with others in emotionally stressful situations or in conflict. Knows what information to communicate and to whom. Relates to people of varying ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds.
- I used the sensitivity competency to determine when, where, and with whom to share certain information. This skill allowed me to navigate complex situations which were often stressful and unpredictable. Furthermore, I used my NCSU specialized trainings to help me relate to stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. This was especially helpful at the beginning of the academic year as I was introduced to the DSA community.
18. Systems Thinking – Understands the interrelationships and impacts of school and district influences, systems and external stakeholders, and applies that understanding to advancing the achievement of the school or team.
- My Principal Residency often required that I collaborate with a variety of stakeholders from the Durham community. This included law enforcement, community activists, the Central Office, and parent groups. These interactions created a network of resources which proved to be helpful on numerous occasions.
19. Technology – Effectively utilizes the latest technologies to continuously improve the management of the school and enhance student instruction.
- Technology was a tool which allowed me to carry out my duties on a daily basis at DSA. Specifically, I found that Google products were especially helpful in organizing and sharing key information.
20. Time Management – Effectively uses available time to complete work tasks and activities that lead to the achievement of desired work or school results. Runs effective meetings.
- Throughout my Principal Residency, I demonstrated high levels of time management skills. I am particularly proud of being able to balance a rigorous graduate level academic schedule and my many responsibilities at DSA. Furthermore, I was intentional about how I designed meetings with teachers. This was done in an effort to respect and protect their valuable time.
21. Visionary – Encourages imagineering by creating an environment and structure to capture stakeholder dreams of what the school could become for all the students.
- I attended Staff Meetings, Department Chair Meetings, and School Improvement Team Meetings throughout the academic year. These meetings were essential in allowing stakeholders to build foundations and design goals that kept the focus on student success.