A Principal on Leadership for a Turnaround School – Part 2 |

(January 23, 2017) The school principal has a critical role in leading staff to educate every student on the campus. IDRA’s STAARS Leaders project has been guiding principals in San Antonio to view their work through a social justice lens by cultivating leadership competencies that lead to successful outcomes for all students, as described by the Chicago Public Education Fund. In this episode, we continue our conversation with Principal Gregory Rivers as he describes how he has brought these competencies to life in his school. In Part 2, he focuses on competencies of problem solving and building in others the confidence to lead. Gregory is interviewed Nilka Avilés, Ed.D., an IDRA senior education associate and director of IDRA’s STAARS Leaders project. Send comments to podcast@idra.org. Sign up to receive free e-mail notices when new episodes are available. Show length: 17:21 min.

Related Resources

Fostering Excellence through Social Justice Principles in Schools Serving English Learners, by Nilka Avilés, Ed.D., IDRA Newsletter

School Turnaround Leaders: Competencies for Success, Chicago Public Education Fund

What Every Principal Needs to Know to Create Equitable and Excellent Schools, First edition, by George Theoharis & Jeffrey S. Brooks, Teachers College Press, Columbia University, 2012

Reaching and Teaching Students in Poverty: Strategies for Erasing the Opportunity Gap, by Paul Gorski, 2013

The New Meaning of Educational Change, Fifth edition, by Michael Fullan, New York, NY Teachers College, Columbia University, 2016

“Leaders Turn Around Schools – Transformational Equity Focus Makes College Readiness a Priority,” by Nilka Avilés, Ed.D., IDRA Newsletter

“What a Principal Can Do to Create a College-Going Culture,” by Nilka Avilés, Ed.D., IDRA Newsletter

Courage to Connect: A Quality Schools Action Framework, edited by María “Cuca” Robledo Montecel, Ph.D., & Christie L. Goodman, APR, IDRA, 2010

Video: Contagious College-Going Culture in Elementary School, Interview with Principal Rebecca Sánchez

“Professional Development in the 21st Century – Nine Structures for Coaching and Mentoring,” by Juanita C. García, Ph.D., IDRA Newsletter

“Community Engagement Tool for Educators,” by Rosana G. Rodríguez, Ph.D., Juanita C. García, Ph.D., and Abelardo Villarreal, Ph.D., IDRA Newsletter

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Show Notes

  • Greg talks about building the leadership competency of problem solving.

  • Greg shares his approach to instilling teachers with the confidence to lead, noting the importance of self-awareness and knowing one’s story.

  • Nilka asks Greg about the challenges principals face in developing key competencies, and what advice he would give to overcome those challenges.

  • Greg explains why new principals need to “shrink the change.”

  • How will administrators know when key competencies have taken hold in their schools? Greg shares some success indicators.

  • Greg discusses his work with IDRA and the STAARS Leaders project, and explains why having a sounding board has helped him become a stronger leader.