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.”
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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.
In response to a pandemic spike in discipline referrals and educator burnout, AP DeAnna Miller urges school leaders make a concerted effort to be visible even though it is hard, to take time to listen even when they seem to lack the time, and to do something restorative for themselves.
With the school year starting so differently from what everyone had hoped, AP DeAnna Miller recounts the challenges her district is facing, including pushback on the decision to require masks. She admires the commitment of educators to support kids’ learning, no matter what.
Sometimes you just wanted to scream, writes assistant principal DeAnna Miller, but staying focused on compassionate care, supportive relationships, and flexibility in the face of misdirection and uncertainty helped her remain centered and expand her leadership skills.
Showcasing Robyn R. Jackson’s Buildership Model of leadership, AP DeAnna Miller describes how leaders can move beyond “showing the way” to including teachers in a process that will transform not only our staff and schools but also our way of thinking. DeAnna is ready to start!
Student discipline is high on the job description of most assistant principals. After three years as an AP, here’s what DeAnna Miller has learned about this essential aspect of working with kids: (1) use it as a teachable moment, (2) make it fair, and (3) love them anyway.