We have known Jennifer Hook for many years, and have always been impressed with her passion, commitment, and dedication to collective leadership. She shared with us recently an example of how she worked with her team of teachers to identify guiding principles and a shared vision that inspired them all.
"At Creation School, we have 8 part time teachers and one full time "headmistress" (teacher/director). Over the summer, we worked out some of of our guiding principles of who we are.
The heart of the Creation Teacher: * is committed to help the whole program; *provides authentic relationships and authentic experiences; *knows the importance of professional development; *has the whole family of the child in sight; and *understands the importance of being a guide.
In late October, we got together again to brainstorm and focus on the big ideas, looking ahead to planning for next year. We divided into small groups and talked about things we would like to see happen for next year and beyond.
When the two groups came back together, we noticed that both groups were on the same page with what they felt was important as we looked into the future.
One area that was a common concern was the need for parent education classes. We knew we needed to provide opportunities, but didn't know how the details would work. Together we agreed that, while not all the details were in place, we would support the parent educator with whatever resources we could provide, including child care.
What I really appreciated about this experience from a "director's" point of view, is that I was able to see what the other teachers felt was important, and that we were able to work out together a solution and commitment to that goal."
Thanks so much Jennifer for your inspiring leadership and for sharing this story about you and your team.