July 16, 2014 13:32 Age: 4 yrs

Building Leaders for District Schools: A Resident’s Story

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The Residency Program for School Leadership recently held its first graduation ceremony, honoring this year’s residents from New Haven Public Schools, Hartford Public Schools, Bridgeport Public Schools and Achievement First. The event also celebrated previous residents who have graduated from the program since its inception three years ago. Christian Arsenault, a 2013-14 resident from Hartford Public Schools, remarked on the experience:

One of the major themes of the Residency Program was “a school building is a manifestation of the leader’s vision.” Learning this lesson, and practicing the skills and mindsets behind it, has made this experience invaluable to me as a school leader.

The Residency Program experience has redefined my instructional bar of excellence and helped me to hold higher expectations for students. As a school leader, I will make sure my school is focused, with urgency, on rigorous instruction. Our kids need to be pushed academically, and they need solid teaching and support.

I have also learned more about the importance of exhibiting strong emotional intelligence. As school leaders, we make countless decisions that influence the way others view us and our schools. We must constantly think about building strong relationships, and we must admit to mistakes and work to fix problems.

A school leader needs to build a trusting, caring and overall positive relationship with the entire school community. I learned that you cannot do this job alone. To be a great school leader, you need students, staff and parents all rowing in the same direction. Once the direction is set and people agree on a destination, you are way more likely to achieve the results that you need to achieve for your students.

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