One of my goals this year was to design a 360 Leadership Feedback Survey and implement it with stakeholders in our district. This was no easy task as there really isn’t templates out there for school district tech directors! I first looked at Marzano’s district leader assessment and found I felt very disconnected from it. I extremely appreciated my superintendent giving me full autonomy to design my own. In his words, “This survey belongs to you Jen, what is it you want to know so that you can improve and grow?” I will admit, there are many things I want to know, to become better at what I do – but – I needed the survey to be brief and so I settled in on things that were most important to me. (Click here to see a copy of the survey)
- Leading People
- Leading with Integrity
- Stakeholder Centeredness
- Results Driven
It was important to select key stakeholders as I needed a wide group of people to get the best feedback. I wanted evaluators with varying degree of technology experience. I also wanted to make sure opinion leaders from each stakeholder group was selected. Some I work with directly on a regular basis, others I work more indirectly. 50 people were selected from the educators, administrators, and support staff groups. I had 49 provide feedback. 32 Teachers, 8 administrators, and 9 support staff from across buildings, grade levels, and disciplines. To put this in perspective…it’s approximately 25% of our staff at Byron Public Schools.
First and foremost, I have to say this can be a little scary…to have multiple people evaluate you and your work. (vs a single supervisor/superintendent) But, this evaluation was for me and I had to have the right mindset to accept feedback (both positive and critical) in order to grow professionally. I also knew that I was going to be completely transparent in this process and that included posting the results here, on my blog.
I was extremely humbled by the positive comments I received from all employee groups. I truly feel valued by the district. I also appreciate the concrete ideas I received to become a better leader. I never once felt blindsided by remarks and I want to personally thank all who provided feedback.
I feel good about these results and the direction I need to go. While vision and innovation are my strengths, I have some work to do in stakeholder focus/communication. Below are the results from the survey with key remarks for improvement by each employee group. If you are reading this post and have some strategies of how you would proceed – feel free to reply to this post, tweet, email, ect! My plans are to continue to reflect on this and create a personal action plan over the summer.
- “Make sure to clearly define your “city on a hill” that you are trying to get to. Develop a path to get there and help people see how they can get on the path and move the same direction. Also, make sure that you are not overextending yourself in so many different areas. Make sure that the teams you are on feel supported by you since you are the one with many of the solutions they need.”
- “Keep working in the classrooms to build more support for change and skill development with teachers. How do you get more research-driven practices in the classroom in front of students?”
- “Your strength is your vision. You know what you want. What may be difficult for you is figuring out how to put that vision into action. My best advice would be to do more PD.”
From Support Staff:
- “We have come to realize that professional development is extremely critical and are making every effort to personalize our teachers and students experiences. Do Not FORGET SUPPORT STAFF.”
- “Parents and teachers have been wanting education and tools for iPad safety and regulation. Continue making steps toward offering that.”
- “Jen does have a passion for what she does. However, sometimes her ideas and implementation can be very difficult and or not feasible in the classroom setting. Pushing teachers out of their comfort zone is a good thing…challenge the status quo and continue to push for excellence. Her biggest challenge that she faces is effectively communicating with teachers. Having her get into the classrooms and develop strategies with the teachers would be great to see(Co-teach). I am not sure if she is ever interested in teaching students (k-12), but being in front of a classroom puts a different perspective on ideas and implementation than those that are not.”
- “The top area of focus for improvement is to make sure that all staff members have an equal opportunity for collaboration.”
- “Stakeholder-centered leadership. Many of things that are brought to us to learn do not apply very much in the younger age groups. Maybe if she sees more of that side, it would help her help the early childhood teachers or K-5.”
- “Continue to work towards creating a standard when it comes to resources everybody uses. Perhaps define the standard, communicate expectations (Google apps), and implement checkpoints to be sure all are using the products. This would ensure a consistency of medium for student learning and keep the technology integration focused on student learning. – – I think the director has excellent vision and direction!”
- “Communicating vision and plans with others — sometimes it is hard to keep up. Helping all individuals feel valued, not just key players.”