Maine ASCD Journal of Maine Education

Journal 2015

The Journal of Maine Education is published by the Maine chapter of ASCD with acknowledgements of in-kind contributions from the University of Maine at Augusta. Our mission is to shape, energize and customize learning for all Maine educators.

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Page 25 of 122

Volume XXXI - Page 26 - 2015 Empowered, Professional Learning Culture - THROUGH BOOK STUDY GROUPS Looking back at my 12 years as an elementary school principal, my goal from the outset was to be a teacher's principal. By that I mean a principal who strives to look at the school from the perspective of both teachers and students and to make decisions that are in the best interests of both. In my mind, they are inextricably linked. I believe those who work most closely with students on a day-to- day basis, as I once had as a teacher, have enormous insights to share and should be listened to more oen than they generally are. I believe principals would do well to be mindful of their teachers' insights, so as to have more comprehensive and honest information about how their school functions. As principal, I didn't want to forget the realities of the classroom. School-based study groups helped me to achieve this goal in three important ways. First, they were a structure that promoted on- going and purposeful conversations on topics of importance to us as an entire school. Second, they enabled me to nurture and empower the leadership capacity of my staff. ird, the study groups helped develop a school culture in which administrator, faculty, and staff were invested in working together in order to make the school an effective environment for teaching and learning for all. IRENE HANNIGAN "I have yet to see a school where the learning curves of the adults were steep upward and those of the students were not. Teachers and students go hand and hand as learners or they don't go at all" (Barth, 2001, p. 23).

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