QUESTION 3: The BOE is essentially the board of directors of our schools. In a corporate setting, board members bring best practices from the outside world to the company they serve. What one best practice would you like to share?
Board of Education members have to work as a team to make district decisions. As an integral member of the board of education, I will bring my experience in collaborating with professionals from a variety of backgrounds to assist the board in making these vital decisions. As an educator in order to advocate effectively for my students I have collaborated with teams of professionals and parents to agree upon individual goals for my students. Collaboration is a key quality for board of education members as they come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences which shape their opinions and how they make district decisions.
I collaborate daily with the general education teachers whose classrooms I push into to serve students with learning differences. I practice flexibility and have learned when to advocate for philosophical beliefs and, when it’s necessary, to adopt the beliefs of the other teacher. Additionally, I collaborate with a variety of professionals during educational team meetings. Through collaboration, I regularly compromise and communicate with members of these teams to ensure we are working towards the same goals for every student.
Concurrently, as co-leader of the full day kindergarten grassroots initiative, I had the pleasure of collaborating with legal, marketing, and social strategic professionals. I valued their opinions, even when different from mine, especially when discussing campaign matters which I did not feel my expertise could lend itself, thus taking the opportunity to learn. A collaborator on the board of education team needs to be able to accept when other’s opinions and ideas differ from their own and learn from others when they are less knowledgeable on that particular topic.
On the board of education team, I will bring the skills of an experienced collaborator. Communication, flexibility and a desire to learn are essential to effective collaboration.