Day in the life of
Head of School – Miriam Rube
My Typical Day
I come in early before all the students and teachers have arrived. I checked my emails to keep the inbox to a minimum of unopened emails responding to parents and colleagues in a timely manner. If I want teachers to respond to parents within a certain standard level of delivery, then I have to set an example of that expectation. Then, I create a list for the day and check off progress on tasks and projects due for the week.
My key responsibilities are maintaining a campus where the staff and students are happy, safe, and learning. Much of my work can be monitored and completed online, but I make a concerted effort to walk around several times a day and check in on each student by name asking them how they are doing. We provide snacks and hot cocoa in the café, but I like to walk around a few times a week with some snacks for the students. These checkpoints give students an opportunity to voice their concerns or ask me simple questions, as I am casually passing and accessible to them. They know I monitor their progress daily and have open communication throughout the day with teachers and parents regarding student needs. Sometimes, I will ask if they want to look at their progress together and they come into my office where we discuss progress and collaborate on ways to improve if needed.
- Working directly with students on how they progress in real time. Through the learning management system, I can quickly see any student’s pace, current course grade, activities open, started or completed, assignment grades, and the time spent overall and on any given task. This personalized approach and really knowing the students is often distanced from principals in traditional settings.
- Working with students and parents on their choice of courses and daily and weekly schedules while creating their personalized learning plans and roadmaps to reach the ultimate goal of graduation.
- Working with the staff on monthly community service projects and presentations and seeing their enthusiastic participation and teamwork on activities that extend beyond the content of their courses.
- Working with teachers on strategies to reach each student and better the environment as a whole, including professional development as a group and on an individual coaching basis. Time is more efficiently spent on teaching methods than on the paperwork of lesson plans (already well designed by the online learning management system) or classroom management.
- Implementing and training teachers on effective and productive ways to use the technology for students and staff to work smarter not harder by knowing when and how to use the asynchronous lessons and the synchronous lessons to optimize student mastery of the objectives.
- Reshaping the school day to fit student and family lives.
- Rethinking and implementing the approach to homework that could be done in the coursework during the day rather than busywork at night.
- Being able to respond to health and natural weather emergencies while maintaining consistency of learning on and off campus.
- Always searching for more affordable technology upgrades and advances that add intelligent benefits for students and teachers and not just aesthetic appeal.
- Letting parents know they have an option in Xceed that is beyond the traditional setting with the same traditional values and goals to educate their children to succeed in college and life.
- Meeting student and staff social and emotional needs as appropriate so they can focus on their studies when the news in the world can be overwhelming.
Advice to aspiring Head of Schools
To succeed as an educational leader in our digital age, one has to have an appreciation for the past history of educational practices, skills of the present technologies, and the willingness to always grow with our students through their challenges and their triumphs.
Personality and characteristics
- Strive to be the best educator you would envision for your own family
- Love children on their best day and their worst day
- Have an internal compass for work ethic, integrity, and professional satisfaction
- Never stop learning
- Be willing and able to coach rather than manage your team or there will be high turnover which negatively impacts student learning
- Accept leadership opportunities at every step – not for the title but for the experience
- Accept the concept of change and thrive on the challenge
- Attend to the details while seeking the higher vision through action
- Be resourceful, organized, and patient remembering to respond rather than react
- Be knowledgeable, skilled, and current in the areas of digital learning and hybrid environments to enhance onsite and/or online learning
- Choose a school environment that matches your values and philosophical approach to education
Education and professional choices
- Study what interests you
- Make the most of the education you pursue
- Be qualified, experienced, and credentialed for the position you are applying to hold
- Choose a mentor you respect, admire, and wish to emulate
- Hold as many positions as possible in the system you wish to lead
Head of School
Xceed Preparatory Academy