• APP Curriculum Guide and Seminar Description

    Balanced Leadership


    The Aspiring Principal Program will utilize the Balanced Leadership Framework (Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning or McREL). Participants will be provided with a crosswalk to show the correlation between Tennessee Instructional Leaders, the Tennessee Educator Acceleration Model (TEAM) administrator model, Balanced Leadership responsibilities, and the new Aspiring Principal curriculum.

    This Program will reinforce the “support educators” component of the Tennessee Department of Education’s strategic plan by expanding new administrators’ access to research-based resources and best practices. Our response to the current demands of and the future expectations of educational leaders is illustrated and explained in the Balanced Leadership Framework. Through this framework participants will be provided a simple model that helps define and emphasize a set of leadership responsibilities that are associated with higher levels of student achievement. The 21 leadership responsibilities based on the 66 associated practices found in the research are supported through an exhaustive review and application of the literature on leadership.

    Participants will complete a reflection and provide an artifact for each of the 21 responsibilities. The objective is to build capacity through meaningful and applicable staff development in individuals and organizations to do what they already know and do it even better.

    The Balanced Leadership Framework has four components:

    1. Leadership
    2. Focus of Change
    3. Magnitude of Change and
    4. Purposeful Community


    Building School and Community Relations


    This seminar will develop the leaders’ understanding of interpersonal relationships with stakeholders and the importance of the school/community connection. Leaders will understand strategies for interacting with the media. An examination of the various approaches to conflict resolution will be explored. Knowledge and skills required for building purposeful partnerships with parents and community will be targeted.  

    Topics for this seminar include:

    1. Conflict resolution
    2. Media relations: Public relations and marketing (interdisciplinary module)
    3. Interpersonal relationships: Principal, teacher, leader, parent, community
    4. Parent involvement
    5. School/community connection
    6. State/district/school connection


    Human Resources and Supervision


    This seminar will focus on the skills necessary for aspiring principals to effectively work with faculty and staff. Concepts and approaches for planning and implementing activities for effective human resource management will be explored. Current theories and practices relating to recruitment, development, and appraisal of personnel will be covered. The seminar will examine specific personnel functions such as recruitment, selection, retention, and evaluation. Additional topics include conflict resolution, effective communication skills, managing the change process, and creating and maintaining a positive school environment. Special attention will be given to evaluation strategies, measuring results, and designing training and developing programs for faculty and staff. Evaluation of personnel for the purpose of meeting school objectives and for professional development will receive emphasis. Professional development plans and core beliefs that emanate from the Tennessee Educator Acceleration Model (TEAM) will be examined.

    Topics for this seminar include:

    1. Introduction to the Seminar & Perfecting the Professional Self-Presentation
    2. Cultural Competence
    3. The Basics: Recruitment, Selection & Hiring, Placement, Induction, Retention
    4. Legal Issues: Constitutional, Federal and State Laws, Civil Rights
    5. Talking with the Expert Practitioners: Panel Discussion
    6. Effective Supervision of Personnel & Professional Development/Mentoring [for marginal teachers]
    7. Evaluation of Personnel & Employee Discipline
    8. Legal Issues
    9. Talking with the Expert Practitioners: Panel Discussion
    10. Strategic Performance Management and Compensation/Benefits


    Focus on Instruction


    This seminar examines the work of improving instruction in K-12 schools. We begin with defining some of the key challenges to improving instruction. Then we move into examining the factors that support improvement and the corresponding practices that an instructional leader enacts, including: (a) defining learning goals for students; (b) monitoring student achievement; c) promoting ambitious instructional practices; (d) designing and managing a school context for student learning; and (e) designing and managing a school context for teacher and leader learning. As we study these factors and practices we will also learn more effective ways for teachers and school leaders to interact about and reflect on instruction using advanced skills for listening, paraphrasing, and questioning. 

    Topics for this seminar include:

    1. Knowledge/Understanding of alignment of curriculum, instruction, and assessment
    2. Performance accountability
    3. Culture of learning/school-wide professional development
    4. Principles of adult learning
    5. Creationandsustainabilityof mission, vision, and goals


    Organizational Leadership


    This seminar examines the processes of leadership through the lens of management.  The responsibilities and authority in operating the educational enterprise will be examined.  This seminar stresses organizational theory and the processes, protocols, and procedures necessary for effective organizational leadership.  Particular emphasis will be given to developing a conceptual understanding of how theoretical frameworks of organizational theory can serve as a means to viewing and solving complex organizational issues.

    Topics for this seminar include:

    1. Organizational Theory & Practice
    2. Case studies of organizational leadership
    3. Organizational Culture & Change
    4. Process, protocols, and procedures of a learning organization
    5. School structures (chain of command; scheduling; duties and responsibilities; collaboration)


    Diversity, Equity and Inclusion


    Candidates will examine issues related to equity, diversity and their implications for educational settings. Personal and community biases will be scrutinized regarding: race, gender, socio-economic status, culture, sexual orientation, religion, second language learners and persons with special needs. Candidates will be challenged to examine their attitudes toward these critical issues and to become sensitive and proactively responsive to them. Candidates will learn of the leadership capacities needed to ensure access, academic and social equity for all members of the extended school community.


    Leadership for Change


    This seminar will assist aspiring leaders in developing strategies for implementing change in school settings. The seminar will include emphasis on creating conditions for change as well as planning, implementing, and managing change through the collaboration, involvement, and motivation of all stakeholders. First- and second-order change will be considered as part of this emphasis. Reform models, as well as transitional and sustainable leadership, will be examined.  

    Topics for this seminar include:

    1. Organizational and personal change
    2. First-order and second-order change
    3. Strategies for planning, implementing and managing school change
    4. Transitional and sustainable leadership 


    School Finance

    This seminar provides an overview of school resource management; a study of fund sources, equity and adequacy in school finance; principles of budgeting and cost accounting; the relationship of education to economics; Tennessee school finance; human resource management; and related finance issues. It is designed to be a primer on the basic principles, mechanisms, and terminology in the world of education finance.

    Topics for the seminar include:

    1. State Funding of Public K-12 Education
    2. District Budget Strategy
    3. Retrenchment & Budget Cuts
    4. School Resource Management


    Professional Practice and Rotation


    Each aspiring principal candidate will spend a minimum of one day a month with an exemplary principal. Specific assignments will be developed for the rotations. In addition, each candidate will complete a capstone project at their base school.