Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Knowing when administrators should call an expert

  In the midst of a recent room renovation, I called an electrician for help with a wiring problem.  While he worked, I commented that though I am not necessarily the most accomplished DIYer, I typically try to take care of issues before calling a professional - EXCEPT with electrical work.  I believe I said, "With plumbing, I am not likely to drown myself if I mess up.  Electrical is another issue altogether!"

In my mind, I know when to try something new (after researching the issue and possible solutions) and when to call an expert.  Usually, the scale begins to tip towards the expert when my attempt to fix it involves a greater than acceptable risk of serious injury to myself or damage to my home.

In my professional work, I have been called upon to provide support in areas which I have a history of success.  These areas include personnel management, strategic thinking, synthesis and analysis, and goal setting.  Of course, I am not an expert in all things, so as with my home projects, I am sensitive to when I need to seek an expert in matters concerning schools and students.  These areas have included individual counseling matters, subject specific curriculum adjustments, and outdoor education (to name a few).

As school leaders, administrators should not shy away from tackling new issues and try to resolve problems with reasonable and historically effective solutions.  However, there are times when the problem may exist within an area which if you try to resolve them yourself, the potential for damage to your own professional standing and the health of the school is put in unnecessary jeopardy.

Know when to call an expert.
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