Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - 32

As principals, relationships are so
important because we can't do
everything. ... I want people to feel
comfortable enough to come to
me and tell me what isn't working,
or what's working really well."
-Carmen Concepción, principal, Oaklawn Language
Academy, Charlotte, NC

"We really dig into the data to determine action items and next steps," she
says. "We determine from the data what
students need-these kids need to be
remediated on this particular standard,
these can be enriched."

Managing Processes
Because Concepción has new teachers rotating into (and out of) Oaklawn
Academy on a regular basis, she devoted
extra effort to establishing onboarding
processes for international teachers.
"Previously, there was a negative
dynamic between the English and the
Spanish teachers because there weren't
supports in place to support the Spanish
teachers, so that fell to the English
teachers," Concepción says. "Processes
were lacking, and therefore people were
not fitting well together."
So, now, when Concepción hires
an international teacher, she sends
them two books by Harry Wong; the
books introduce American education
and include classroom management

32

tips. When the teachers arrive in the
United States, they engage in differentiated professional development that
includes logistical information-such
as how to make copies and log on to
the school's attendance system-and
curricular details.
"Once we put those processes in
place, people were able to relax and
create the relationships we need to be
effective," Concepción says.
In his first year at Bruns, Angerer is also
focusing on process. He says that as the
school prepares to transition to a magnet
school over the next few years, "we've
put in some systems and are partnering
up with people." Angerer has systematically scheduled time to attend school
board meetings, build relationships with
stakeholders, and get positive information
about his school out into the community.
"I've been on the news more over
the few months I've been principal at
Bruns than I ever was at my previous
school," Angerer says. "This year, we're
really working on setting up some

PRINCIPAL * Special Supplement - May/June 2018

wraparound services to support both
students and parents."
At the same time, Angerer is taking
care not to move too quickly or introduce too many changes all at once. "I
didn't want to come in all gangbusters
and say it's time to wipe the slate,"
he says. "So, we build protocols and
expectations. You monitor. You coach.
You conference."
Effective principals are prepared to
improvise. Much as a masterful conductor has the ability to make an "off"
note feel like an essential part of a
performance, a great principal knows
when to highlight beauty and back off
from challenges.
"You've got to kind of roll with the
punches as you see what comes at you,"
Miles says. "You learn how to be really
good at prioritizing 'this has to happen
right now' and 'that's going to have to
wait a bit.' " *
Jennifer Fink is senior editor of
Principal magazine.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018

Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - Cover1
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Principal - Wallace Supplement - May/June 2018 - Cover3
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