October 2016

Onward Leaders Blog: Cohort 1

I think we too are the people who, on the one hand, want to listen to Jesus, but on the other hand, at times, like to find a stick to beat others with, to condemn others. And Jesus has this message for us: mercy. I think — and I say it with humility — that this is the Lord’s most powerful message: mercy. Pope Francis

From the Director:  The excitement and joy of the new school year wanes a bit during October. Behavior issues that were barely perceptible in August and September emerge and thwart lesson plans and policies and procedures neatly typed into staff and family hand books that few have read.  Quirky personalities, once charming, morph into distractions during collaborative faculty time and parent meetings. Lead Leaders are recognizing that human beings rarely operate according to the manual. All those well-designed policies often crumble as we weigh our call as Catholic leaders to be compassionate and merciful while maintaining both a physically and emotionally safe learning environment.  Deliberately choosing mercy and kindness is the only prayerful response available, but often is interpreted as lacking among different shareholders. We can’t control the interpretation, only our actions or non-actions, we can only be consistently transparent and fair in our dealings with each member of the community.


Meg Samaniego, Onward Leaders Director

Onward Leaders Reflections on Learning:

Academic and Behavioral Supports to support all students.

To ensure academic excellence and the development of faithful disciples we must acknowledge that behavioral issues can disrupt our mission for our students and should be handled with care and concern for all.

We have to remember that no matter how frustrating certain student behavior may be, they are God’s children and we need to be patient.

What behavior and academic interventions/structures can be put in place school wide to support academic achievement for all students?

The intentional and meaningful incorporation of Core Instructional Practices across a school can greatly impact student learning. Behavior supports help ensure that student learning is being supported for all.

I was able to participate in resolving some of the behavioral issues this week and feel more comfortable with speaking to students and investigating the issues to help determine how to handle the situation appropriately.

Reassuring and dealing with parents is a crucial part of ensuring a strong Catholic community.

Children should feel safe and cared for each day while they are with us.

I want to find out the best ways to mentor/help teachers without making them feel like I do not trust them.

Is directly addressing an issue better than reassuring stakeholders as they bring their concerns?

Teachers should reflect on best practices as well as areas that they struggle in. Realistically, we all have shortcomings, but recognizing and making small goals to improve is a great way to become a better teacher and leader.

We need to connect with our students, gain their trust and make sure they know we care while holding them to high standards.