Online workshop gives co-admins strategies for preventing “fires”
August 22, 2022
Many co-administrators walk into the role under-prepared for what it takes.
“They are handed an electronic communication device upon their entry into school and told to put out the daily fires that erupt on campus,” said Sherman Garnett, a veteran administrator and founder of Sherman Garnett & Associates. “The fires come in the form of dealing with parent complaints of bullying, a contentious IEP, a section 504 plan, and completing the school safety plan, to name a few.”
Garnett calls co-administrators the “lifeblood” of the school, yet he says they are assigned duties they were not amply prepared for during their university coursework. They also rarely have the opportunity to attend district or statewide trainings because they’re too bogged down putting out fires.
“They are the first one there and the last one to leave. They hardly have time for a lunch and are forced to gobble it down in order to put out the next fire,” he said. “An effective administrator should have the ability to prevent the fires.”
That’s why ACSA’s Day in the Life of a Co-administrator workshop is designed to give attendees proactive measures and unique strategies that will allow them to put down the proverbial fire hose.
Garnett will be leading this online workshop, which is held over two 3-hour sessions in October. He said the format works well for busy co-administrators and gives them the ability to ask questions that pertain to the challenges they are facing.
“The purpose of this workshop is to provide this administrator with the tools necessary to becoming a successful co-administrator and eventually earn a promotion to principal,” he said. “We will discuss during the workshop the task of student discipline, attendance, angry parents, Section 504 and other school site functions to keep them in sync with current law and best practices.”
The audience for this workshop is co-administrators — commonly known as deans, assistant principals and associate principals — and can include teachers who are serving in an admin position under an intern credential.
When he was starting out as a dean, Garnett said he was only told about the duties in the job description.
“It was sink or swim from there,” he said. “I did not have the formal training to administer student discipline and to supervise all attendance and special education on campus.”
Fortunately, he had supportive principals who shared their best practices — something he hopes to do for co-administrators at this workshop.
A Day in the Life of a Co-administrator
What: Virtual workshop for co-administrators, deans, vice principals and assistant principals When: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. Oct. 5 and 12 Cost: $199 ACSA members Register:
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