Ashby Johnson, Assistant Principal, Henley Middle School
What has been the most challenging aspect of becoming an administrator?
I am learning a lot about our Teacher Performance Appraisal (TPA) system and how to help teachers set goals and measure student growth. I’m learning how to give meaningful feedback that is focused on instruction. It’s always challenging, yet rewarding, to help teachers reach their potential.
In what new ways do you support student learning?
This year, Henley is focused on developing 21st century skills, specifically the 4 C’s – Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, and Critical Thinking. We have built a school-wide professional development plan in which teachers learn new strategies and share and provide feedback to others. Ultimately, the students will benefit from this work as they will be exposed to higher levels of thinking and learning in the classroom.
What are you doing to engage the community at your school?
It’s important for me to be as accessible and visible as possible during the school day, but also before and after school. I don’t spend a lot of time in my office. I’m out and about visiting classrooms, meeting with teachers, supervising the cafeteria during student lunches, walking in the halls during the change of classes, talking to students, etc… I like to make positive phone calls home to parents as well as send post cards to students about all of their hard work and accomplishments.
How will you respect your school’s history and culture while making the decisions necessary to educate young people for their future?
I’m still learning about the school’s history and culture. I think it’s important to talk to people, ask questions, and observe. Simultaneously, my main concern is student achievement, so that is always in the front of my mind. Our big emphasis is 21st century skill readiness, and my personal goal is to prepare students for college and/or careers.
For the next few weeks, to learn about the transition out of the classroom, Charlottesville Tomorrow's Meet Your Educator profiles will feature new administrators.