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Competency Reflections

Divina Browne
Administrative Internship II (EDUC 6331 KNW)
Domain I School Community Leadership
Competency 001: The principal knows how to shape campus culture by facilitating the
development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of a vision of learning that is shared and
supported by the school community.
The predominant culture and/or climate of an organization are somehow a reflection of the
existing leadership. The dynamics of the group, the presence or absence of camaraderie, and
collaboration can be attributed to leader. As the Math Department Chair, I lead 20 teachers who
teach a variety of Mathematics subjects. In my department, I can confidently say that there exists a
strong camaraderie and collegiality and mutual respect between and among the teachers. One can
freely observe the sense of support that each one has for the others.
At the start of each school year we review and reformulate our department protocols and
guidelines to make sure that all our actions are aligned towards our campus vision. This year our
departmental effort is focused towards increasing the level of achievement of our Algebra 1 retesters.
In my department, I hold a monthly department meeting in which we not only discuss
administrative policies and procedures, but we also share teaching strategies, and resources.
During these meetings, there is open communication from which we brainstorm ideas to address
concerns about student discipline, classroom management and instruction.
During these meetings I includes a mini-professional development where teachers can
showcase teaching strategies and resources that they effectively use in their classroom. At the start
of the year, I do the first two, then as the year goes by, and as I learn about the wonderful things,
such as new technology, teachers are doing in their classroom, I ask them to share these during our
meetings. I have found that the teachers enjoy doing this because they get a sense of validation and
recognition for the hard work that they do. When I see that a teacher is doing something
innovative, like technology use I include this as part of our agenda.

In addition to this, I make it a part of the monthly meeting to celebrate each teachers
birthday with a small gift. I also highlight their achievement, and other recognitions they might
receive from outside the department (i.e. e. students winning contests, or if they are nominated as
teacher of the month).
Our department also holds a luncheon at the end of each semester to sustain and promote
camaraderie and collegiality. I make it a point, that whatever we do in the department, teachers
input are always sought.
Since I have worked with most of the teachers for the past 14 years, they know me, my
work ethics, and the standards that I go by. On the other hand, I cannot assume that when I assume
the job, my constituents will know me, so I need to reach out and show them who I am, and what I
can do. As one of my mentors had told me, Teachers do not respect you because of your position,
teachers respect you because of what you can offer to them.
Competency 002: The principal knows how to communicate and collaborate with all members of
the school community, respond to diverse interests and needs, and mobilize resources to promote
student success.
As the head of the department, I know that we have different groups of students wit urgent
needs. I also know that the teachers have different levels of expertise. When I developed the master
schedule for the department in collaboration with the Skills Specialist and the Assistant Principal
for Instruction, I had to make sure that I assigned a specific class with a specific group of students
to specific teachers to ensure effective classroom instruction.
This year, I know our department also needed to have intervention classes for our Algebra I
EOC STAAR re-testers, so I needed to communicate with the teachers that I needed some of them
to be teaching these classes. I also had to explain the plan and make them understand what the plan
and expectations were.
With recommendations from the District Program Coordinator, I had to recreate and regroup
the re-testers based on their EOC data so that we could better serve their needs. As a result, I had to
convince the counselors to revamp the intervention classes they created and re-schedule the
students. I also had to facilitate the physical movement of the students from one classroom to
another with the help of the Skills Specialist and the Assistant Principal (AP) for Math.
After this, I collaborated with the teachers to develop the curriculum and assessment plan,

all the while reporting to several meetings and consultations with the AP for Curriculum and
Instruction and the TEA representative. During these meetings, I became part of the Campus
Leadership Team charged with developing the Campus Improvement Plan to ensure the success of
our re-testers on the STAAR. I coordinated with District Program Director and the Skills Specialist
to procure more resources for our intervention classes.
I also served as the coordinator for Saturdays School for both Math and English Language
Arts. With this I made sure that parents were contacted and informed through letters and phone
calls. I also requested a budget for snacks to motivate the students to attend Saturday school, in
addition to other incentives. I also worked with our Broadcast Journalism teacher to include the
Saturday School in her daily announcements.
One other area that I worked on was to solicit support from local business partners. I was
able to solicit some donations but it was not much, and not where I want it to be. My goal is to
continue to learn how to get more buy in from the teachers to help me get out there and get more
involvement from local business partners. I also want to learn more about increasing parental
involvement. The Saturday School attendance was not where we hoped it would be, and I feel that
this was due to insufficient parental support.
Competency 003: The principal knows how to act with integrity, fairness, and in an ethical and
legal manner.
I am calm when dealing with the many different personalities in my department. One
specific instance is when I acted as the intermediary between two teachers who were having some
misunderstandings with each other. I gave them the opportunity to talk things over and iron out
their differences. I also had to contain some frustrations about the scheduling of classes. I serve as
the intermediary between the administration and the teachers.
I try to always maintain a positive and neutral demeanor when confronted with conflict.
During our meetings I always see to it that we end with a consensus. I dont display negative
attitudes about school policies, because I understand that everything is all aligned towards
increasing student achievement. I know my teachers know that I am on top of my responsibilities
as the department chair, while also teaching several classes, involved with curriculum writing,
student competitions, and taking charge of the curriculum materials for the Intervention classes. I
model what I say and I walk the talk.

Domain II Instructional Leadership


Competency 004: The principal knows how to facilitate the design and implementation of
curricula and strategic plans that enhance teaching and learning; ensure alignment of curriculum,
instruction, resources, and assessment; and promote the use of varied assessments to measure
student performance.
As part of my responsibilities, I check lesson plans every week. When I do, I see to it that
the topics, content, strategies and the level of rigor of the lesson are aligned to the districts scope
and sequence, and to the state standards.
I coordinate four PLCs in my department. The PLC meetings are run by protocols and
guidelines that emphasize planning for rigorous lessons, meaningful student engagement, and
increased student achievement. During these meetings, the teachers share teaching strategies and
resources, and write common assessments, which I also check. This year, I have pushed for more
problem solving in teacher-made tests.
I also encourage and support the team leaders to participate at the district level in
curriculum and common assessment writing. I arrange substitutes for them when doing this. I am
also leading the department in using the Lead4ward data management system to drive their flexible
grouping for classroom instruction.
I also have done professional development training for vocabulary learning for the school
in collaboration with the ESL Skills Specialist. I also have also facilitated an after-school tutorial
partnership between ELA and Math.
Of late, I have been working with a new teacher to help her improve her classroom and
instructional management to facilitate more student success.
My principal has involved me with communicating to our district directors and our Area
Superintendent about our assessment data, and our plans to address those data.
I want to visit more classrooms so I can further develop my skill at articulating and
communicating my observations with teachers. This requires that I need to balance my time better
so I can set aside more time to visit classrooms. I want lo learn more about how a principal will
address a combative teacher.
Competency 005: The principal knows how to advocate, nurture, and sustain an instructional
program and a campus culture that are conducive to student learning and staff professional growth.

Although our department is focusing all our efforts on the STAAR re-test, I am not
exerting any less effort on promoting the welfare of our other students. In addition to the
intervention classes for re-testers, I also have had to create College Level Examination Program
(CLEP) classes for our more advanced students. This is also the fourth year that I took on the Math
UIL. From the CLEP classes, the IB and the AP classes, we recruit students to participate in math
competitions to continue to maintain rigor in our instruction. The teachers who I have gotten on
board to help me with these have been very happy with the professional and personal challenge
and development that these classes offer. All these and the professional development component of
our monthly meeting shows that I am advocating for continuous professional development so that
we can provide the best education all our students need.
I have always been the biggest advocate for professional development. I share with my
teachers, professional development opportunities that I could find. I dont only email them about
this, I talk to them personally to ask them to sign up. In fact, most of us have already signed up for
the upcoming Region IV Math Conference.
I also help new teachers find and register for professional development training that can
help them further their knowledge and skills in content delivery and student discipline.
Competency 006: The principal knows how to implement a staff evaluation and development
system to improve the performance of all staff members, select and implement appropriate models for
supervision and staff development, and apply the legal requirements for personnel management.
I helped a new teacher understand the requirements of INVEST, the new teacher evaluation
system that Aldine ISD is using. I also helped him/her write her action plan and develop her goals
for this school year. We have developed a plan with specific steps to help him/her achieve those
goals. I actually have started to see some positive changes in the classroom.
When I shadowed principals, they showed me and explained to me what INVEST was all
about, and what it was looking for. I went with them to observe teachers, and we discussed my own
impressions on what I saw. They advised the documentations required if they had to put a teacher
on a growth plan. I feel that I need to learn more about the actual process of collaborating with a
teacher to develop his/her growth plan.
Competency 007: The principal knows how to apply organizational, decision-making, and problemsolving skills to ensure an effective learning environment.

I am leading the department in using Lead4ward more effectively to guide teachers in their
instruction. I developed the curriculum plan for our STAAR intervention classes in collaboration
with the teachers, the AP for Math, and the District Coordinator for Math, and based on the students
EOC scores.
My principal asked me to do a presentation to the Area Superintendent, and other district
personnel how my department was analyzing assessment data, and what our plans were to address
the weaknesses identified by our data.
Our department also has system in place for collecting, organizing and analyzing student
data. In our PLCs, we reflect upon these data and create action plans to continue to achieve
student achievement growth
When the school cant get enough substitutes, I assign specific teachers to cover classes and
prepare substitute plans in coordination with the absent teachers PLC team members. When I
developed the schedule, I saw to it that the conferences and planning times were spread out so
classes are always covered by a teacher when things like this happens.
Under this competency, it is my goal to learn more about the Plan for Learning, the
campus improvement data management system for the district. My principal has given me
permission to study it so I could be of help to him in managing all the documentations in
running a school. I have not had time to sit down and see it. I think, over all, what I really
need is to learn to juggle my time better so I have time for everything.
Domain III Administrative Leadership
Competency 008: The principal knows how to apply principles of effective leadership and
management in relation to campus budgeting, personnel, resource utilization, financial management,
and technology use.
The principals I have shadowed strongly emphasized to me that if a principal is not careful
with his money, he could get fired for misappropriations of budget. They all emphasized, You
dont want that. In my conversations with the principals they stated that most of their budget comes
form Title I which must be spent it on instructional purposes only. Most of the Title 1 money is spent
on teachers salary. They also advised that principals should also set aside enough money to buy
teachers instructional resources to support instructional needs.
As the chair I work closely with the skills specialist to determine the resources our teachers

need to be more effective in the classroom. I keep a careful inventory of teaching supplies and
materials, including calculators. Towards the end the year, I ask the teachers the resources that they
want and that is what I request from the principal.
I want to learn more about the role of the Site-Based Decision Management teams role in
developing the budget. I also want to see how the principal works with the bookkeeper. I actually
have a good opportunity to learn about this because my principal suggested that when I shadow him,
I should be right there as he starts his day. He stated that his day starts with meeting the bookkeeper.
Competency 009: The principal knows how to apply principles of leadership and management to the
campus physical plant and support systems to ensure a safe and effective learning environment.
I volunteer to assist the Assistant Principals (AP) for after school duty. I help man the
hallways. In one of these after school duties, the AP I was shadowing showed me the camera
room, and explained to me how to use the cameras to visually sweep the hallways, and to identify
areas of concern. I also help supervise students during the evening meal program, and also assist
with bus loading for extended days.
I follow the plan for fire drill and lockdown drills. I check teachers morning duties every
other week to ensure that entry points and exit points are covered before classes begin.
I communicate to the teachers, procedures and protocols in reporting damages, and breakage or
any other related matter regarding repairs. I help follow up requisitions like this.
In one school where I shadowed a principal, I have witnessed first hand how the principal
and an assistant principal have properly handled a situation where a parent came to the school and
threatened another student and his family. The administrators of that school handled it effectively.
They filed a police report, and communicated the incident to the district office right away.
I need to learn more about the food services, because it is one area where I have not done a
lot of observations. I also want to learn more about crisis management, and how principals manage
their custodial, administrative and teaching staff to ensure that the building is safe, secure, and
clean and conducive to learning.