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Collaborative Literacy Leadership

By Kip Glazer
 | Dec 06, 2017

ThinkstockPhotos-84464828_x300One of my favorite parts about my job as an administrator is that I get to work with teachers. My least favorite part of the job is that I have to evaluate them.  

I believe that, no matter what profession you are in, there is a connotation around the word “evaluation” that makes us all a bit nervous, or even stressed. Because of this, I have worked really hard to make sure my teachers see me as a collaborator rather than an evaluator. Still, it’s often tough to put teachers at ease and to have them see me as their supporter and advocate. It is also tough when I have to provide meaningful feedback to an amazing teacher. I want to give suggestions that will improve their instructional practices.

I have been able to connect with teachers by engaging them in conversations around instructional technology and gaming. Recently I observed a teacher whose students were giving presentations. I suggested that the students, in groups of four, create presentations using Google Slides, record their presentations using Screen-O-Matic or Screencastify, and upload them to the Google Classroom, to be viewed by others. The teacher and I discussed the possibility of students creating and administering post-presentation quizzes using Google Forms.  

Another way that I work to engage my staff is by modeling the behavior I expect from them. For instance, when asked to write an article for my district’s quarterly newsletter, I chose “Restorative Justice and Challenge Success” as a topic, which required research and citations. While conducting the research, I worked with my school’s librarian to find the necessary articles. I was delighted to discover that my district had EBSCO subscription, and I learned to use the available resources. As a result, I was able to bring my newfound knowledge into a conversation with a teacher who is working toward a master’s degree.

When I was a teacher, I always worked hard to be the teacher that I want my children to have. Now that I am an administrator, I am working to be the administrator that I wanted to have. By continuing to build my skillset, I hope I will continue to provide meaningful assistance to my teachers. After all, they are the ones shaping our future!

Kip Glazer is an assistant principal at La Cañada High School. A native of Seoul, South Korea, and immigrated to the United States in 1993 as a college student. She holds California Single Subject Teaching Credentials in social studies, English, health, foundational mathematics, and school administration. In 2014, she was named the Kern County Teacher of the Year. She earned her doctorate of education in learning technologies at Pepperdine University in October 2015. She has presented and keynoted at many state and national conferences on game-based learning and educational technologies. She has also consulted for Center for Innovative Research in Cyberlearning and the Kennedy Center ArtsEdge Program. Her Purposeful Tech column looks at how classroom teachers can think critically about today's instructional technologies.

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