Principals’ & Teacher Leaders’ Forum
The Principals’ Forum is a network of education leaders (teachers and principals) united by a common desire for authentic relationships and vibrant community in their professional and personal lives.
Are you interested in starting a new Forum?
The Principals’ & Teacher Leaders’ Forum is a network of education leaders (teachers and principals) united by a common desire for authentic relationships and vibrant community in their professional and personal lives. PLI alumni are eligible to participate in the Principals’ Forum.
What are the issues?
Many highly motivated leaders report a sense of isolation once they have moved into leadership roles. They are consumed with their daily challenges, concerned about setting the right tone and unsure whether they are implementing best practices. They have a desire to connect with others in similar roles and a time and place for airing out the issues they face in a place of safety and respect. While the formal structure in which teacher and principal leaders work often provides some support for the tactical issues of their jobs, there is little opportunity to explore their unique situation at a whole life level and to reconcile the idealism with which they entered their chosen profession to the harsh climate they often face on a daily basis. Forum provides a solution to these needs.
Anyone who has had a “mountain top” experience knows that words are inadequate at expressing the awareness, emotion, context, or value of the moment. The same is true for this thing we call “forum.”
Call it a “circle”, a “kitchen cabinet”, or even a “tribe” and you’ll get to about the same place… a small group of professional peers, committed to engaging together through the rough and tumble realities of life. In the broadest sense, a forum is a perfect expression of community used by leaders and business professionals throughout the world. A number of international organizations use forum as a tool for strengthening the membership experience, including the Young Presidents’ Organization, World Presidents’ Organization, the Entrepreneurs’ Organization and others.
Forums are composed of 8-12 individuals with an affinity to one another but no conflict of interest. Members in each forum are typically “level-alike” ranging in tenure and diversity as to the enterprises they lead. What they have in common is that they have an intense desire to make a difference.
Forums meet monthly for 3-4 hours in a prescribed format and give members an opportunity to share, in a confidential safe environment their challenges, aspirations and frustrations. In doing so they learn from the other members with similar shared experiences, best practices for solving dilemmas, and regain focus towards the lessons of leadership and personal growth that they have learned throughout their careers.
Forums create a unique identity recognizing the unique capacities of each member. Members share leadership responsibility to achieve goals for the common good and engage the diversity of individual talents and skills to do so. Care and affection take place spontaneously. Reflection upon experiences provides knowledge about truth, relationships, and future direction, while activities may incorporate celebrations and social events. The line between work and play is blurred as members enjoy both at once.
All people belong to multiple communities and groups: extended families, work teams, faith congregations, sports teams, neighborhoods, towns, cities, and countries. And, while most people have professional support networks that include peers, supervisors, subordinates and many others, as the principal leader there is often no peer, supervisor, or subordinate to turn to. Forum then becomes a unique and special place to bring the issues in the workplace and in life that do not have a home elsewhere… the highest highs and the lowest lows.
Belonging to a forum of highly motivated peers calls each member to an even higher level of performance. Forum members report a sense of community and connection as a result of their participation, as well as growth in their professional leadership and communication skills. In addition, forum provides members a valued venue for gaining clarity and often solving business and personal life issues. As leaders engage at a high level of authenticity within their forum, the skills and benefits transfer into other areas of their lives as evidenced by a more fun and fulfilling environment at work and at home.
This Forum is graciously funded by Jack Corwin.
PLI receives job postings from schools and districts who are looking for administrators and teachers. We post them here: https://centerx.gseis.ucla.edu/jobs/.