Our Collective Super Power! (Part 3 of 3)

In earlier posts, we shared our individual super powers. We both imagined having superpowers that would help our students. Whether it be the power to see the heart of each student or to guarantee that very student felt cared for by every adult, we had a great  time dreaming of what superpower we would have if given the chance to have a super power. While our individual dreams of superpowers were interesting, we want to take a moment to highlight a unique superpower that we share.  Our Co-Principal superpower is Collaboration!  Our unique model truly allows us to collaborate on such important work.  We realize most school leaders do not have this opportunity.  Being a principal can be a lonely position as there are few that can truly understand what we do on a daily basis. Often folks ask questions such as , “Who’s really in charge?”, or “How do you split responsibilities?” What is apparent to us, is that many are limited in their thinking when it comes to the co-principalship. They use traditional models of school leadership to reference how our non-traditional approach might work. Great leaders know and understand that leadership really isn’t about being in charge. Leadership is about building the capacity of others to lead and work together to create a cumulative effect. No matter how smart you are individually, when you experience true collaboration you clearly recognize the power in thought partnership. Collaboration is a true super power for any educator.  All too often, principals and school leaders are left out of the collaboration conversation. While much of the research highlights the impact of teacher collaboration on school success, very little is known or shared regarding the importance of leader collaboration. As Co-Principals we are able to share ideas with each other, gain each others insights on issues, compare our perspectives based on our varied experiences and backgrounds,  and compare notes as we lead our school.  We are two very different individuals,but have a mutual trust and respect for each other that allows us to collaborate at a deep level.  It is an amazing way to run a school! In addition,our early experiences lead us to believe that stress levels and leader feelings of isolation are greatly reduced via this model of leadership. We faced many challenges our first year and have many more as we start our second year as Co-Principals.  However, we know we have each other. That is encouraging.We are fortunate in that we experience every school day in a trusting partnership, sharing both burdens and successes. We often wonder how we can help scale this model (or at least find ways to help facilitate collaboration among principals).  We know this collaborative structure is beneficial to our school and to us as leaders.  Collaboration is our super power!

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