At a time when turnover at the top is increasingly common in school districts throughout the country, new and aspiring superintendents must equip themselves with the knowledge and tools necessary to thrive in an undoubtedly complex profession. Often, superintendents are let go before they have time to create real change simply due to their inexperience, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
Each year, the Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) provides educators and district leaders with hundreds of insightful sessions and keynotes designed to educate attendees on the latest trends and innovations impacting the K12 space today. Among these sessions are some that new and aspiring superintendents in particular may find valuable as they address some of the most pressing concerns new leaders face.
If you’ve just entered the superintendency—or you’re planning to in the future—here are three sessions you won’t want to miss at next year’s event on January 23-26:
Cultivating Innovative Leadership: Fostering a Culture of Creation
District leadership is fast-paced and constantly evolving. Thus, it requires one to be innovative and impactful beyond what traditional management and administration requires.
In this session, you’ll hear from Matthew Joseph, assistant superintendent at New Bedford Public Schools in Massachusetts, about how you can prepare your own district for dynamic change.
Throughout this interactive session, you’ll be asked thought-provoking questions, including: How do you know students are learning? Are we teaching them for their future or our past? Will the pressure beat you?
“Let’s explore answers to these questions and start creating a mindset on how to always have your school/district ready for dynamic change,” the session description reads.
Your First Superintendency…Keys to Successfully Building Your Professional Networking Pipeline
Your first job in district leadership shouldn’t be tackled alone. In fact, you should have a strong, diverse network of people who will support you and drive personal growth.
This session will be hosted by Neil Gupta, superintendent at Oakwood City Schools in Ohio, who will arm you with tips on how to construct your own professional networking pipeline to ensure “you are equipped to navigate the challenges and seize opportunities that come your way,” per the session description.
What is Your District’s Calling Card? Branding is the Answer
Once you enter district leadership, you’ll find yourself competing against other neighboring districts for things like your students, professional talent and community perception.
At a time when teacher shortages and student enrollment continue to be some of the most pressing issues leaders face, superintendents must learn to move beyond the traditional methods of promoting their district’s brand. Static websites and predictable taglines simply don’t cut it anymore.
In this session, you’ll hear from several inspiring leaders about how you can build a community and culture that “reflect the academic programs at an intellectual, social and cultural level creating a more positive and supportive environment for all,” according to the session description. Register for FETC 2024 or view the full program agenda.