Tuesday, March 8, 2016

School Leader In Focus: Imelda Caravaca Ferrer 2 of 2

In this second interview, Madame Imelda Caravaca Ferrer, shares seven tips for school leaders who are starting out new as educational administrators. Experienced school leaders may find her tips as helpful reminders as well. In admin work, school leaders often lean to the work that needs to be accomplished. But true leaders know what matters: people.

1. First, develop good people skills. As John Maxwell, my dear friend says (Hah!), people don’t care how much you know but how much you care. A head full of knowledge is important, but one must also have a heart.

2. Second, Listen to your people. “The ears of the leader should ring with the voices of the people”. I read that in the book “If you don’t feed your teachers, they’ll eat the students.” To get to know your people, spend time listening to them. At Maximo Estrella Elem. School, I made it a point to have a meal with them, one teacher at a time. I got to know their dreams, the things that they live for, the things that make them laugh, cry, sing about.

3. Third, I told my teachers that I’m not a mind reader. I told them to be open to me, that if I ruffle their feathers, they are to tell me but albeit in a nice way. Two came to me and said their piece, in the end, they realized that I meant nothing by it. A great leader knows how to apologize when she/or he inadvertently commits a mistake. It takes great humility to be able to own up to one’s mistakes.

4. Make your people realize that their input is valued. At the end of every meeting, I often say this “Is there anything you would like to suggest to make the running of the school better?” And these are not empty words. I really value the inputs of my people.

5. Inspire your people. My teachers tell me that what they like best about me is that I don’t dwell on academics alone. They like the fact, that I give them new experiences, that I see to it that they have fun. I exposed them to dream/vision boards, happiness jars, the healing runes, gratitude journals and even fortune cookies. Imagine my surprise when some  told me that it was their first time to see a fortune cookie! My teachers in PIO I valued the fact that I gave them a two sessions on discovering their inner selves together with my friends. I also selected several teachers to talk about the different emotions. I asked the shy one to talk about shyness and how to deal with it. They realized the value of bringing emotions out into the open then allowing them to fester on the back burners of their minds.

Leading by example, Ma'am Imelda
followed through my activities during the
DepEd Library Hub workshop I conducted in Feb. 2016
6. Read, read, read. Get to read about the best minds of our generation. Be inspired. Get inspired and inspire other people. Be upbeat and stay positive. Breathe and live inspiration for in that way, you’ll bless other people.

7. This can be a cruel world. Be an oasis of grace and compassion.  You cannot do everything, but with God all things are possible. Try to make a difference in the lives of your people.You cannot do this if you have not touched base with yourself, if you have not communed with God  and still continue to do so. Connect to a higher being and as you do so, you will change yourself and others as well for the better, Bo Sanchez once said that other people do not read the Bible, but how you live your life is their only Bible. It is always awesome to choose to try to be our best self not tomorrow but today.

Madame Imelda Caravaca Ferrer is M.A. Reading graduate of the University of the Philippines Diliman. She has an AB Sociology degree from the Bicol University and a Certificate in Campus Journalism and Bilingual Advising from the Philippine Normal University, She has been conferred numerous awards in the public school system. She is a big fan of The Moring Rush, a radio program of the RX Monster Radio. She likes cosplaying and is a fun-loving person who is into books, music, movies, theater, art, doodling, journalism and LIFE.

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