Brandi is an elementary assistant principal in the Kansas City suburbs. She's fierce, kind, and whip-smart, and we got to pick her brain to share her genius with YOU to help celebrate Principal's Month!
What's the number one root problem you are currently working to solve in your building?
We have been working for some time to provide academic interventions for students, and more recently we have been working to provide behavioral interventions for students. What we are beginning to see is that these are not separate concerns, but rather concerns intertwined directly impacting each other. We are working to determine the implications of this, and how best to address the impacts of the spillover from each of these. Education Week published an article (Black-White Achievement Gaps Go Hand in Hand With Discipline Disparities) that begins to discuss the findings from some research out of Stanford School of Ed. that has me focused on this.
What is your 'philosophy' on how to have difficult and direct conversations with staff?
My philosophy is have it, don't wait. It's easier to have difficult conversations when you have a relationship, when you have trust, and when you are working toward a shared vision. If we sit back and reflect on our "why", it should always come back to kids and our mission & vision of serving kids. When you have a trusting relationship with kids at the center, difficult conversations can happen, and those conversations are usually a guide/path to get you back to the "why."
What's your easiest/best tip for looking fly? If I'm being honest, I have never been much of a fashionista, but I am currently obsessed with wedge booties - comfort for walking all over the school, and oh-so-cute!