An end of the year check-up – looking back, looking forward

Image by Vitualis from Flickr

Image by Vitualis from Flickr

For most of us it’s time to put things back in the cupboards and close the book on this school year. As a school leader, it is good to reflect back on the school year, and worthwhile to ask yourself some reflective questions:

  1. Did I move my school closer to meeting our mission this year? What evidence do I have? How do I know?

  2. How did I as a leader improve the school this year? Did my words and actions encourage faith and motivation to learn in my staff and students?

  3. Did I settle for only visible improvements of bricks and bucks or did I also improve the less visible aspects such as the quality of instruction, the distinctiveness of the curriculum, the quality of instruction, and the bondedness of the staff and parent community?

  4. Was my focus on how successful my school was or how much students and staff understood how to be bringers of shalom?

  5. What must I commit to in the next school year?

Recently McKinsey & Company put out an interesting report “How the World’s Best-Performing School Systems Come Out on Top.” In the report they make this summative statement: “The available evidence suggests that the main driver of the variation in student learning at school is the quality of the teachers.” They go on to say that high-performing schools consistently do three things well:

  • Hire the right teachers – “The quality of an education system cannot exceed the quality of its teachers.”

  • Develop teachers into effective instructors.

  • Put in place systems and targeted support to make sure that each child benefits from excellent instruction.

According to their synthesis of research, each principal’s time in effective schools is focused on instructional leadership. In our schools spiritual leadership is even more important. What implications does this have as you make plans to foster spiritual and instructional leadership growth in your school next year?

TTFN – As Tigger of Winnie the Pooh fame always said – Ta, Ta For Now! This set of four postings will be the last postings until next fall when I will resume posting on this site. This gives both of us, dear reader, a chance to catch up on our reading . . . . and reflection. Hope to see some of you at convention this summer. Have a terrific end of the year and summer!


Filed under distinctively Christian, leadership, mission development, mission measurement, staff development, student outcomes, use of time

2 responses to “An end of the year check-up – looking back, looking forward

  1. Dan,
    This is a fantastic list of reflective questions. Thanks for generating it. What is on your summer reading list?

    • Dan Beerens

      Thanks, Jim. I am currently reading Ecological Intelligence by Daniel Goleman (should be required reading for all who teach science plus all Christians who are serious about restoring creation!), Longing for God: Seven Paths of Christian Devotion by Richard Foster and Gayle Beebe, Interior Castle by Teresa of Avila, and The Promise of Paradox: A Celebration of Contradictions in the Christian Life by Parker Palmer. Of course there are many more in piles as I am sure is true for you also!

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