When Principals Empower Others - Principal Tribe Principal Perspectives

PRINCIPAL PERSPECTIVES

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 -  Tara L. Desiderio  - 

Our featured principal this week is Principal of Wescoville Elementary in East Penn School District, dedicated to helping educators nd students embrace a love of learning and happiness.

 When a Principal Empowers Others

Principal Perspectives #14, April 29, 2019

What happens in a school when a principal empowers others? What's the result when a principal has a mission to inspire and build up staff members and teachers? How does it impact culture? What happens to the school climate?

Those are big questions. 

But empowering others is also a big mission - a mission that fits well with the overarching purposes of education. It's a mission that's pursued by principal Tara Desiderio.

In this Principal Pers​​​​pectives, we look at a few of Tara's ideas on empowerment regarding:

  • Valuing People to the End of the School Year
  • Empower Hour
  • Empowering Voice and Choice
  • Helping Others See Their Own Potential

Instead of counting down days to the end of the school, what if we count down the days left to make a difference in someone's life? #PrinLeaderChat

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Each Day, Each Person - Find Value

In a school, there are countless tasks to accomplish each day. Not only that, there are issues that need quick problem-solving. Add to that the pressures and mandates...it's easy to lose sight of the people.

Tara has a unique perspective.

Instead of counting down days to the end of the school year, she recommends counting down the days left to make a difference. 

The Principal Perspective

My hope is that we choose to value each day we have left with kids. Instead of counting down, let’s count how many days left to make a difference. We need to create an environment supportive of both teachers and students until the last day together.
 - Tara L. Desiderio

She offers a vital starting place - creating an environment that is supportive to everyone, all the way to the end of the school year.

Empower Hour

The Principal Perspective

I also love empowering our team to lead those around them. We hold a monthly “Empower Hour” where teachers facilitate learning for their peers on topics they choose.
 - Tara L. Desiderio

What better way to empower others than to afford them with the opportunity to share their strengths?

When teachers facilitate learning for their peers, they are "teaching" to their strengths. It celebrates them in an area they are comfortable and confident.

Additionally, it allows teachers to receive feedback from their peers - from the practitioners in the classroom. The end-result is synergy - learning that compounds. 

When Principals Empower Their People Amazing Things Can Happen at School! Principal Tribe

Empowering Voice and Choice

The Principal Perspective

Empowering student and teacher voice/choice has taken us to great heights. Empowering those around you to take a risk while feeling supported is an amazing accomplishment!
 - Tara L. Desiderio

It is an accomplishment in itself - creating a culture where people are empowered to take risks. But it takes a focus on culture.

Managers seek compliance. Leaders craft culture. Some cultures stifle, others empower.

Tara's advice is spot on. When people have a voice and make choices, they can be empowered. They can take risks to solve problems because they feel supported. 

Helping Others See Potential

The Principal Perspective

This is one of my absolute favorite things to do. Seeing each team member as a leader and helping them to see the leadership potential in themselves is priceless. So often they don’t see it and when they do it changes their outlook!
 - Tara L. Desiderio

Encourage literally means to instill courage; to give others the courage to be bold.

This is exactly what empowerment is about. It's about giving others the courage to see the potential in themselves and to step out and be their best selves.

Managers seek compliance. Leaders craft culture. The former engenders permission seeking, the latter, empowerment.

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You can connect with Tara on Twitter @tlpear

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About the author

Principal Tribe Editor

Principal Tribe is connecting and amplifying the voices of principals and school leaders. Focusing on school leadership, educational research, and learning.

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