Chris, working with kids as a coach is truly powerful. As an assistant principal, I have been directing our theatre program for many years.
To be able to step outside our usual roles, and connect with kids that are united in a passion to do something enhances our work. I agree that all admins and all district level people should work with kids outside of their regular capacity.
Congrats on returning to coaching. Best of luck to your ultimate teams!
Bravo for fantastic idea! Often I believe that teachers feel administrators (both at building and district level) are out of touch with the students and the staff. What a great way to be a part of the students lives. I think it helps students to see them in a different role. Our director (superintendent) helps coach the boys soccer team.
The idea of corporations and politicians being a part of schools is also a good idea. Coaching, working with students in the library & classrooms, and being a part of our daily community would certainly be eye-openers.
Chris, these are great ideas. Why not, then, think about how they could be implemented? Who would benefit from having stronger links between corporations and the schools? The kids, the parents, and the public in general. How could we show them this benefit, so that they would want to support such a change? Through data on the success of the kids, and, for the public, the kids' success after they leave the school. What the public wants are good graduates, not just good students. But your graduates go all over the country, not just to Philadelphia and the rest of PA where your public resides, so your supporters will always only get a partial benefit, through your graduates, of any improvement they support. So they will never be too interested in funding it. If that weren't the case, and we had a national system of public education, we could actually influence the general public out there with our good practices and get them to support what really works. The problem of our state-structured system of public education affects all our attempts to improve the schools.
I am an ex-Latin teacher and ex-assistant principal in NYC.
Great point about administrators having a direct connection to kids. Our public school has multiple Community Conversations, where various admin and school board members, answer parents questions and have informal discussions. Unfortunately, the kids are never involved. I wish our school was structured so that kids felt like it was really their school to run. I think what would help a lot would be to have Student Avidsory groups like you have at SLA.