Affirmation as an instructional leadership responsibility refers to the necessity for routinely recognizing and celebrating the positive things that take place, and having the courage to admit and learn from the failures. An effective leader is trusted. Trust requires actions that match words, thus the importance of communicating candidly internally and externally. This will enable stakeholders to trust a leader even when situations prohibit full disclosure.
The use of data is one way to ensure a focus on student and achievement, and will provide results to celebrate or indicate areas that should be addressed. When leaders communicate using data to drive the conversations, it keeps the attention on students, and minimizes bias on particular programs, software, etc. Is it working becomes the focus, and if not, what needs to be changed?
Many resources are available to support data analysis and others to create visuals that allow for better communication of information. Google, Zoho and OpenOffice provide free spreadsheet apps and are intuitive to use. To visually present data from spreadsheets (or other sources), a wide range of free tools exist. Word clouds such as Wordle and Tagxedo can be used to show the relative importance of written data, and Tagxedo allows for that to be shown in a variety of shapes. Also, Infographics can be created with ease at Canva and Piktochart. Both are free, easy to use and allow for uploading your own graphics. To receive a daily infographic, sign up at dailyinfographic.com, which is the source for the infographic on this post.