The Emerging Lower School Leaders Institute is an nine-session program designed by Chris Robertson, Lower School Director at Congressional Schools of Virginia, to assist teachers in their exploration of Lower School leadership. Participating teachers join a cohort that meets bi-monthly to hear speakers, discuss topics relevant to Lower School leadership, and share personal insights. Through a process involving collaborative discussions and real life experiences, teachers gain a broader understanding of school leadership as experienced at the Lower School level.
Registration is currently unavailable for the Institute. Independent Education will be offering the next cohort of the Emerging Lower School Leaders Institute in Spring 2014.
- Expose teachers to the administrative tasks, duties, responsibilities, challenges, and rewards associated with being a Lower School leader.
- Develop a didactic dialogue among a cohort of teachers willing to learn, share, and question information pertaining to leadership in Lower Schools.
- Have each member of the cohort explore personal goals for leadership and construct an individualized plan to achieve those goals.
- Create a community of learning and collaboration with peer schools by building relationships among and between teachers with similar goals.
Teachers joining the cohort should have three or more years of Lower School teaching experience, a demonstrated interest in learning and sharing knowledge, and a positive and collaborative attitude.
Cohort teachers are expected to:
- Attend and participate in all meetings
- Facilitate (present the topic and lead the discussion) one of the eight meetings
- Read the weekly Institute blog and post comments
- Schedule and make a visit to a participating school to “shadow” for 1 ½ to 2 hours a Lower School division head and meet briefly with their Head of School
- Develop a “Plan for Leadership” outlining benchmarks for professional growth
Plan for Leadership
At the conclusion of the program, participants will have completed a “Plan for Leadership” that includes a personal roadmap for professional growth in the area of school leadership. The process to develop the Plan will include a self-assessment of each participant’s leadership orientations and a reflection on their strengths and weaknesses as a leader.
At the first “Welcome Meeting” the cohort will review suggested topics and select one to address at a scheduled meeting. At each subsequent meeting, two cohort teachers will be responsible for introducing the topic and facilitating the discussion (total of 10 minutes each). After the discussion, an advisory board member will offer additional information and strategies. At the end of the meeting, the cohort will review the presenting teacher’s performance. Meetings will be from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and will be held at participating schools.
To stay connected and continue the dialogue in between the bi-monthly meetings, the cohort will log on the Institute blog. Here the cohort can develop discussions about leadership and each other with the Advisory Board. Members can also post any insight, question, or reflection generated during the meeting. A section of this web page will also be available for teachers who wish to view and/or share relevant articles, websites, or other resources.
As part of the program, each cohort teacher will have an opportunity to visit another school. The visit should last between one and 1 ½ hours and include time for shadowing the Lower School Head, meeting with the Head of School to discuss interviewing and hiring, and, when appropriate, sitting in on a team/teacher meeting.