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Husband. Father. Educator. Nerd.

My name is Sam Zakaria, I run Education Hunt. Field Notes for the modern Educator.

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  • If you could change anything about how our education system is set up, what would you want to change first?

    Sam Zakaria's avatar image.

    Great question. When I left the classroom to become an Assistant Principal I had a very clear idea of I was dissatisfied with. Communication. Then, as it is now, seems simple yet elusive.

    Education does suffer from a current PR crisis. I am not sure there's a more important occupation that carries negative perceptions. As a leader in my building, I promote autonomy, mastery, and purpose for my teachers. Autonomy is achieved through a partnership. It takes time, but it is possible. I am proud to support teachers I work with as professionals who have autonomy to make decisions about instruction within their class.

    I encourage and provide professional development. Calculated risks is a catalyst for mastery. As an Assistant Principal,l I may have a direct impact on two of the three most important factors for establishing a positive culture.

    Purpose may be the most important of the 3 factors. There is no puzzle when I work with my students, teachers, and the community. The purpose of our work is noble. To be honest, there are times when I struggle. Education is a rare field where your personal integrity may be attacked and the expectation is such that you walk into a hallway of 2000 people and greet each one with a smile. Helping novice teachers believe there is a greater purpose in hostile conditions is a real barrier.

    If I could change anything about our education system, I would change the negative perceptions associated with teachers, curriculum, and the work which takes place in schools across the country.