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Running head: COMPETENCY REFLECTIONS

Competency Reflections
Grant Smith
University of St. Thomas

COMPETENCY REFLECTIONS

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.

During my internship, I was afforded the opportunity to create a speech and debate team

for the purpose of inter-squad competition. In working with my co-sponsor, we were able to
create a vision and a plan to achieve success by collaborating with the community. I paid special
attention to the desires of my campus principal, our parents, and our students when formulating
the vision, goals, and procedures for this new speech and debate team. In addition, I was also
fortunate enough to serve on campus leadership teams whose primary task is the formulation and
implementation of the campus vision.

Competency 002 The principal knows how to communicate and collaborate with all members of
the school community, responds to diverse interests and needs, and mobilizes resources to
promote student success.

Throughout the past two semesters, I have looked for opportunities to assist in the

communication of our campus mission. I adopted a school twitter account to assist in providing
the community with a glimpse into the daily happenings and philosophy of Seven Lakes Junior
High. In addition, I assisted in the implementation of incoming 6th grade Crush Camp and Parent
Night in order to communicate and collaborate with incoming Spartans. Most notably, I assumed
responsibility for the campus suggestion box. I advertised the campus suggestion box through the
use of campus announcements, and created a google document to share responses from Dr.
Medrano on each of the suggestions. While anonymous, I believe this project served to bring
campus needs to light.

COMPETENCY REFLECTIONS

Competency 003 The principal knows how to act with integrity, fairness, and in an ethical and
legal manner.

Perhaps one of the more difficult competencies to address, I have looked for opportunities

throughout my internship to embrace procedures of ethics and integrity. First, I have taken the
responsibility of preparing and publishing notes from parent-teacher, special education, and
response to intervention meetings. During these experiences, I was tasked with ensuring the
procedural safeguards of numerous students whose education is affected by a disability or
struggle. I learned the integral role the note-taker plays in recording the deliberations in these
sessions, and the importance of those minutes to future deliberations.

Finally, I took on a district level mandate project to create an avenue for students to have

their course fees waived due to financial constraints. The district asked that each campus create a
system for a student to appeal a course fee and have that fee waived due to family income
circumstances. I consulted board policy and the districts legal department before creating a
campus notice to be posted in common areas. Furthermore, I gathered the necessary forms that a
potential student would need to protest a course fee, and created an avenue for the distribution
and collection of those forms in a confidential manner. Finally, we used the school
announcements to advertise the program. Through this experience, I learned the value of acting
in a fair and judicious manner to ensure the quality education of all students.

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

COMPETENCY REFLECTIONS

curriculum, instruction, resources, and assessment; and promote the use of varied assessments to
measure student performance.

During my internship, I have addressed the fourth competency through assisting in new

teacher orientation, data analysis, and participating in the connected learner initiative. First, I
began the year by volunteering to present and assist in new teacher orientation. I believe that the
biggest impact a principal can have on the education of students starts with the quality of the
individual that the principal hires and trains. In education, we far too often assume that new
teachers know exactly what to do and say in the classroom, and this is often not the case.
Through this experience, I was able to impact the quality of instruction on the campus by helping
to orient new staff to Seven Lakes Junior High.

Next, I was able to participate in campus data analysis in order to identify tools that could

help professional learning teams identify ways to improve the education of our students. We used
district reports to identify campus strengths and weaknesses. Finally, I joined the connected
learner initiative in the Katy Independent School District (ISD) in order to learn new and
exciting ways to weave technology into my instruction.

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.

Competency five was perhaps one of my strongest competencies throughout the

internship process. Early in my intern journey, Dr. Medrano asked me to assume responsibility
for the campus-wide adoption and implementation of the Fundamental Five. I was responsible
for taking charge of staff development sessions in May and August, and promoting a summer

COMPETENCY REFLECTIONS

reading assignment. By utilizing campus resources, we procured copies of the book for each and
every teacher, and then provided staff development in May and August for the implementation of
the books strategies in our classrooms. Both staff developments were a success and teachers
embraced the common language and strategies provided by the book.

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.

Competency six provided me with perhaps my most rewarding experience as an intern.

During the clinical supervision course, I designed and implemented a tool for the observation of
a classroom lesson. I chose a teacher to observe and provided feedback after the lesson. I chose a
teacher older than myself, but with fewer years experience. I wanted to ease into observing
teachers with more experience and years than myself. Throughout the experience, I used my own
feelings and emotions when being observed to guide how I would want to be treated in the
process. Furthermore, I was able to take contemporary knowledge on the subject of quality
supervision and utilize that to create a document to observe a teacher in action.

Competency 007 The principal knows how to apply organizational, decision-making, and
problem solving skills to ensure an effective learning environment.

One of the hallmarks of my internship has been the opportunity to serve on both the

campus and district level site-based decision-making committees. Currently, I serve on the
campus Faculty Advisory Committee, the Superintendents Employee Roundtable, and the Katy

COMPETENCY REFLECTIONS

ISD Improvement Committee. Through my membership on these boards, I have realized the
amount of time and effort that goes into gathering information from various viewpoints to
marshall an organization and make a decision. Through these experiences, I have learned that
quality change within an organization starts with a conversation during one of these meetings.
Slowly, the actors in these meetings feel out the community at large to ascertain the communitys
willingness to change. Principals and superintendents can then utilize these committees to move
the community as a whole towards success.

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.

While this competency has proved difficult to attain hours in the practice of budget and

personnel, I have been able to accrue some experiences towards the goal of this competency. By
creating a student organization, I have been responsible for the fundraising efforts and budget
associated with that organization. While the budget is small, I have been able to ask questions
and experience first-hand the bureaucracy of the school district budget. Furthermore, this
semester I was asked to assist in the interviewing of substitute teachers for the district. I was able
to ask candidates questions and recommend the hiring of several quality applicants. This
experience highlighted the difficulty in managing the financial and personnel aspects of the
school. However, this experience also highlighted the importance of these functions.

COMPETENCY REFLECTIONS

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.

Throughout my internship, I have taken the occasion to assist in the promotion of campus

safety through various duties. I have taken on lunch, hallway, and after-school duties in order to
experience the importance of maintaining a safe and civil environment for our students. I have
learned that an integral part of being an administrator is being seen around the campus as much
as possible. Furthermore, I serve on the campus safety team during emergency drills. I have
learned the ins and outs of creating a system for the accounting of a large number of students
during a disaster drill. Moving forward, I hope to continue to learn ways to promote campus
safety.