Where can assistant principals turn when they need to find encouragement and renewal in one of education’s toughest jobs? Veteran AP DeAnna Miller has found ways to strengthen her confidence and optimism as a leader through online communities and authors like Baruti Kafele.
Author: DeAnna Miller
DeAnna Miller’s participation in a national teacher educators’ conference after a long personal learning drought energized her and gave her hope for the future of public education. “I had an epiphany,” she writes. “I was starved for professional engagement and camaraderie.”
To help combat negative perceptions that can surround administration, DeAnna Miller offers three ways school leaders can cultivate mutual respect among staff: (1) offering meaningful feedback; (2) being highly visible; and (3) not being led astray by the Good Idea Fairy.
Creating a dynamic communication model so that information flows effectively among the leadership team, faculty and staff, and parents and stakeholders helps nurture a culture and climate of shared leadership where all voices are heard and appreciated, writes AP DeAnna Miller.
Educational leadership classes are great for the principalship. Not so much for the job of assistant principal. AP DeAnna Miller shares helpful advice she has found on her own in the books of Baruti Kafele (values and beliefs) and Ryan Donlan (day-to-day management and more).
When DeAnna Miller became assistant principal in 2019, she could never have anticipated the challenges pandemic schooling would bring. Looking back now, she identifies her most important lesson learned: “Real leadership is recognizing that we must serve the people we lead.”
To address the variables and obstacles that hinder equal education for all students, school leader DeAnna Miller recommends Teaching for Racial Equity: Becoming Interrupters by Perry, Zemelman and Smith as a tool to support critical conversations in schools and communities.
Amid all the stress and organized chaos that comes with state testing, there can be bright moments that make everyone smile. AP DeAnna Miller shares how her school’s staff (and students) brightened their test season to encourage kids to do their best after a challenging year.
School leader DeAnna Miller remembers the geometry class of her teens as an unwelcoming place with low expectations for most students. She agrees with Stanford’s Jo Boaler that math can be a more vital and engaging subject when teachers help students adopt growth mindsets.
When administrators use their instructional coaches effectively, writes AP DeAnna Miller, they can watch the culture in their buildings shift to one of positivity and engagement. Without clear guidelines and indepth PD for coaches AND leaders, expect mistrust and dissent.