Success Stories Good Leaders Make Good Schools

Reflecting & Collaborating

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Counseling in Schools partners with many high-energy principals and teachers, who demonstrate leadership by reflecting and collaborating as a team.

A picture is worth a thousand words, especially when it involves leadership, trust and engagement between principals, administrators, teachers and students.

New York Times writer David Brooks published an opinion piece on March 12, Good Leaders Make Good Schools, that immediately brought to mind the partners that Counseling In Schools works with in the NYC school system.

The word ‘partners’ is used very deliberately in this context because of the references that Brooks makes to the school systems in Washington, New Orleans and Chicago, where the graduation rates have increased by 20 percent since 2011, in large part due to the partnerships and collaboration with principals as keys to their successes.

In a recent blog post, we referenced the CIS procedure for assessing the strengths and assets of a school community when we begin our engagements. Parallel to David Brooks’ point, our partnerships with principals are fundamental to our mutual success. A significant statement in Brooks’ piece is about how the delegation of power and making room for the elevation of voices make a principal effective. A few weeks ago, Counseling in Schools held an all-staff development day where one aspect that we examined was ways to strengthen our relationships with principals.

Counseling In Schools Success Stories: Good Leaders Make Good Schools. High School students working at a table.

Counseling In Schools understands that it is instrumental for our directors to build trusting relationships with principals as we align ourselves with a wide array of stakeholders, thus supporting the achievement of the children. We believe that good leadership is found in active learning through inquiry, reflection, and collaboration.

We have recently brought CIS partner principals together in forums where interschool inquiry, reflection and collaboration took place. There has been a high level of engagement between principals and with us as we explored common goals and cited specific examples of where our relationships and collaborations have effectively influenced the culture and climate of the whole school in support of student achievement.

Our dialogue validated that “rituals for welcoming members into the community; the ways walls are decorated to display school values; the distribution of power across the community; the celebrations of accomplishment and the quality of trusting relationships,” to paraphrase Mr. Brooks, are hallmarks of effective principals, strong partnerships and successful schools. Counseling in Schools is proud to work in partnership with many high-energy principals as together we “circulate through the building, offering feedback, setting standards, and applying social glue” to the benefit of all students.

Hope, purpose and determination can flourish.

Together, let’s work toward a bright, resilient future for New York City’s children, families and schools.

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