Last week I started reading The Principal: Three Keys to Maximizing Impact by Michael Fullan (2014). Fullan argues that principals are required to do a lot of work that doesn't really result in the improvements to learning they hope for. Principals micromanage curriculum. Principals conduct numerous observations with pre- and post-observation meetings with each of their teachers each year. Principals apply pressure to teachers and students to raise test scores. These things may have small effects on learning, but other actions by principals can have much greater effect.
According to Fullan, principals will improve the teaching in their schools far more by fostering collaborative professional development than by employing arduous individual appraisal systems. Principals must develop professional capital within their faculties so that lots of the detailed work of instructional leadership can be shared with knowledgeable and skilled teacher leaders.
Delegation is one of those skills I need to develop further. Part of my hesitancy is a lack of trust that the person I delegate a job to will be able to do it well. This line of thinking makes it clear that before I delegate, I need to build trust and professional ability with my colleagues. Delegating an important task to someone ill-equipped to handle it is folly. As a school leader, I need to hire teachers with great capacities to learn with me and with their colleagues. Learning and collaboration need to be part of the job description for everyone in education. It is more important to hold teachers accountable to these tasks than it is to spend time evaluating lessons that may not be very representative of how a classroom really looks everyday.