Reflections of an Author
Submitted by Frank Murphy on November 27, 2012
Shortly after retiring as the principal of Meade Elementary School, I took a part time position working as a distributed leadership coach. In this position for the last year and a half I have worked closely with the staff of a school located in the Kensington area of Philadelphia.
My involvement with this school team has been a personally rewarding and professionally satisfying experience. Together we have strived to establish professional learning communities within the school, collected and analyzed multiple sources of data to determine the strengths and needs of the instructional program and established a peer observation and support process. It has been interesting work. My attention to and involvement with this school team has taken up much of the time that I previously had focused on writing commentaries for the Philadelphia School Notebook and City School Stories.
Frankly, I have enjoyed this redirection of my attention to active involvement as opposed to passive reflection on educational practices. Working in a school with teachers and students in order to improve the quality of the instructional experience that children receive has been and still is my primary interest as an educator.
This doesn’t mean that I intend to stop writing commentaries concerning educational leadership, governance, policy and finances. The opportunity to do so and to share ideas with a wide audience of educators, parents and elected officials has been a valuable experience. I plan to continue to write about education topics, balancing my time between actually working in a school and writing about my reflections on the work that takes place in schools. In doing so, I feel that I will more effectively advance the mission of cityschool stories.com: using actual educational practice to inform educational theory.