"Wholed" Me Accountable

ASCD 2015 Annual Conference

Houston, Texas

This content was presented by ASCD 2013 Emerging Leader Allison Rodman as part of an Ignite series on accountability at the ASCD 2015 Annual Conference in Houston, Texas. The series is part of a larger ASCD Forum on accountability.

Regardless of whether we are pro-test or anti-test, most individuals will agree that tests are only one measure of what a child has learned and the degree to which he/she has grown from the previous year.

"Accountability" has been thrown around lately like a dirty word.

At the end of the day though, as a school leader, I should be held accountable... for more than just test scores.

Like teachers, most school leaders are not trying to avoid accountability - they welcome it.

However, they know that much more is going on within the four walls of their school than a week of bubble sheets.

So, what should we be held accountable for?

"Wholed" me accountable for #HEALTHY students.

Hold me accountable for noticing that a student is sneaking extra cereal into his backpack at breakfast. He didn't have dinner last night, and this will most likely be his dinner tonight.

Hold me accountable for modeling a healthy lifestyle for my students and staff by walking around the track on my lunch break, putting a treadmill in the staff lounge, and starting a "Read and Ride" program where students with extra wiggles can ride stationary bikes while they read.

Hold me accountable for making a space for mindfulness - both in the classroom and our professional development schedule - and supporting staff/student yoga.

Hold me accountable for providing recovery time for students that allows them to reflect on their choices, including identifying their own logical consequences.

"Wholed" me accountable for #SAFE students.

Hold me accountable for working with the local police department and community leaders to maintain a safe corridor for our students.

Hold me accountable for creating a welcoming school environment where students feel safe, warm, and loved... a place that many do not want to leave at the end of the day.

Hold me accountable for keeping drugs, weapons, and bullying on the corner rather than in the classroom.

Hold me accountable for working with teachers to create safe learning spaces where students are not afraid to take risks, debate, and challenge the status quo.

Hold me accountable for designing and maintaining a safety net for students - one that allows failure to be a First Attempt In Learning (FAIL) and not a life-altering mistake.

Hold me accountable for promoting a grading policy that does not just encourage - but requires - opportunities for retake and revision.

"Wholed" me accountable for #ENGAGED students.