Arnold takes pride in establishing regular routines that improve the learning of all students. She believes that with flexible approaches to education and learning, she and her staff can not only meet the needs of her community, but effectively impact the lives of many.
“Our students are our number one goal,” Arnold said in an interview. “I know that as principal I have final say. But I look to my …show more content…
Having taught for 14 years before becoming a learning environment specialist for 3 years, Arnold shared the hardest decision making process that changed the way she still handles situations today. A staff member died in the building while her principal was away on professional development. As the learning environment specialist, she was next in command and charged with the duty of handling the crisis.
“I will never forget that day,” Arnold said. “It was January 27th. I couldn’t break down and cry because I was in charge. It changed my whole perspective on leadership. I learned that I can get through anything with composure and focus.”
With this life-changing experience under her belt, Arnold says she looks at her experiences with previous principals as ways to craft and change her leadership practice today.
“I have seen principals act in both positive and negative ways,” Arnold said. “Those experiences help me to decide whether to follow in their footsteps or not follow in their …show more content…
“Groups can be fluid, and if not, we have to determine why a kid may be staying at a specific level and then what we can do to them to the next level.” This is where Arnold’s flexibility becomes a major part of her practice. She allows teachers to adapt district curriculum if it means meeting the students’ needs in a more effective way. She says that too often teachers fell threatened to follow district curriculum. By allowing herself to be available for staff input and flexible on giving teachers the ability to employ their own ideas, she built a stronger learning community. To establish a more positive culture, Arnold also implemented an instructional cabinet--where all subject areas and grade levels are represented--renamed the discipline committee to the school culture committee, and established monthly faculty meetings. “My goal has been to build a stronger community,” Arnold said. “I want this school to be as positive as possible because many of the things our students face sometimes impede their learning.” As principal, Arnold looks to ways at addressing some of the community and student needs to better support their learning once they get to school. She relies on staff input to help guide her to support students who may be struggling because of a specific