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  • Writer's pictureJim Mercer

SamTastic Weekly Tip: 7/5/23 - Realize You are Different than the Average School Leader

This week’s tip: Realize you are different than the average school leader

SAM and TimeTrack leaders are far better than they may realize. Leading Forward, formerly National Staff Development Council, suggests that only 13% of leader time is spent focused on leading the instructional program.

In the years leading up to the pandemic, NSIP shadowed 5,000+ school leaders for five days, each, taking data every five minutes. The result: The average school leader spends 28% of their day instructionally engaged. This is a far better assessment of leader use of time than the “guess” made by Learning Forward/NSDC…but not nearly as good as what leaders do once they start the SAM process.

SAM leaders crush this indicator of leader focus and effectiveness. The average instructional time, for over 1,000 TimeTrack users during the 2022-23 school year, is 52%, nearly the four times greater that the NSDC/Learning Forward guess.

Even better, the longer a leader does the SAM process the more time they spend instructionally engaged:

The research also shows that school communities like SAM principals better, believe management is better handled and appreciate the clear student-centered focus of the principal. Is it any wonder that the research also shows that SAM leaders are happier, more optimistic?

Even better, SAM leaders spend twice as much time in classrooms, seeing instruction, than leaders who have not started the SAM process yet. Even better, the amount of time spent giving non-directive feedback increases by three fold.

Your job is tough. Likely harder than any other leadership position. Take a breath and realize that, as a SAM leader, you are the cream of the crop. Your effort and work make a difference.

All five keynotes and five selected breakout sessions from the 16th Annual, 2023, National SAM Conference are now available in HD video:

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