Saturday, March 6, 2010

Ten Big Ideas Of School Leadership

During his senior year of college, he taught math to 26 inmates, none of whom had finished high school. What he faced was 26 examples of the failure of American education. What he did not realize is the profound effect this would have on his career as a school leader. After teaching for five years, he became a principal because he felt that he could help underserved kids better in that role. Here is his ten ideas that he learned about in the 30 years since he was a principal.

1.Your School Must Be For All Kids 100 Percent of the Time

2.Create a Vision, Write It Down, and Start Implementing It

3.It's the People, Stupid

4.Paddles in the Water

5.Find Time to Think During the Day

6.Take Responsibility for the Good and the Bad

7.You Have the Ultimate Responsibility

8.Have a Bias for Yes

9.Consensus is Overrated

10.Large Change Needs to be Done Quickly

Mike McCarthy is the principal of Helen King Middle School in Portland, Maine.
This article was also published in the April 2010 issue of Edutopia magazine as "Mike McCarthy's Ten Big Ideas Of School Leadership".

Full article is at

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I am the Director of Technology at a K-12 School system.