Best Selling Author & K12 Education Leader
Principal Baruti Kafele, a highly regarded urban educator in New Jersey for more than 20 years, has distinguished himself as a master teacher and a transformational school leader. As an elementary school teacher in East Orange, NJ, in addition to being named the East Orange School District and Essex County Public Schools Teacher of the Year, Principal Kafele was a finalist for New Jersey State Teacher of the Year and a recipient of the New Jersey Education Association Award of Excellence. Read More >
One of the current hot topics in education is "Diversity, Equity & Inclusion." This highly engaging, interactive, self-reflective workshop or keynote address focuses on school leadership relative to issues of diversity, equity & inclusion in their schools. It challenges school leaders to look within themselves relative to how they see, treat and relate with their staffs and students in these areas. It challenges school leaders to confront whatever biases they may bring to their own leadership practices which may be implicit or explicit. It argues that high-performance is an impossibility in school learning environments where the recognition of diversity coupled with equitable and inclusionary practices fail to exist. Principal Kafele will share strategies toward creating and sustaining equity and inclusion in a diverse student learning environment which will be inclusive of important conversations around race and cultural competence.
One of the current hot topics in education is district, school and classroom level equity toward children of color and other underserved student populations. This highly engaging, interactive, self-reflective workshop or keynote address focuses on school leadership relative to issues of equity, social justice education and race in the classroom. It challenges school leaders to look within themselves relative to how they see, treat and relate with their staffs and students in these areas. It challenges school leaders to confront whatever biases they may bring to their own leadership practices that may be unconscious, implicit and / or explicit. It argues that high-performance is an impossibility in school learning environments where equity fails to exist. Principal Kafele will share strategies toward creating and sustaining an equitable school environment which will be inclusive of important conversations around race, diversity, cultural competence, and the infusion of social justice education.
Based on Principal Kafele’s best-selling book, Is My School a Better School BECAUSE I Lead It?, Principal Kafele will challenge each principal and assistant principal to examine their own leadership identity, presence, impact, mission, purpose, vision and value as the leaders of their schools, which will include discussions on whether or not they have in fact defined these leadership attributes within themselves. The entire workshop is highly engaging and interactive and the keynote is high-energy. It promises to inspire principals and assistant principals to think deeply and critically about their roles as leaders of their schools and whether or not their schools are better schools because they are the leaders of them. As Principal Kafele states in his opening, “My intent is to create discomfort, tension and uneasiness in the room. Inspiration lasts for a few hours. Discomfort, tension and uneasiness endure until they are corrected.”
In this empowering workshop or keynote address, Principal Kafele takes school, team, department, division and district leaders on an in depth, self-reflective, highly interactive journey that will force participants to view with a critical eye who they are as leaders within their given leadership capacities which will include the intentionality behind all aspects of their work. Principal Kafele will challenge school, team, department, division and district leaders to look deeply within themselves for greater meaning and understanding of their own personal value and worth to the staff and students that they lead. As one workshop attendee stated, “Principal Kafele, your questions have shaken the very foundation upon which my leadership stands!” This workshop is certain to take participants to higher levels of leadership effectiveness.
Principal Kafele contends emphatically that, “The purpose of staff supervision is the continued improvement of instruction!” Due to the complexities of the principalship, it is easy for principals to be so inundated by the non-instructional aspects of school leadership that the instructional side of their leadership suffers. When their instructional side suffers, it adversely impacts the entire school. The principal is the instructional leader of the school. Consequently, there is a direct correlation between how effectively the principal leads the school instructionally and student achievement. To that end, in this highly-engaging, self-reflective workshop (or keynote address), Principal Kafele will provide school leaders with strategies toward maintaining a focus on the instructional side of their leadership toward increasing the probability that achievement will soar. Topics covered will include the correlation between instructional leadership and student achievement; building collegial relationships with staff; planning, organization and time management; and the principal as professional developer.
It is easy to look at a toxic school climate and culture and attribute this reality to external factors that inevitably impact a school adversely such as home and neighborhood challenges and realities that ever-so-often accompany students into the building. In this highly-engaging, self-reflective workshop (or keynote address), Principal Kafele will make the case that despite home and neighborhood challenges that might accompany students into a school, school leaders can nevertheless command a powerful influence over the climate and culture of their schools. He contends that despite the challenges of the work, the climate and culture of the school are a direct reflection of the school’s leadership. Topics covered will include, the attitude of the leadership, the intentionality of the interactions and relationships in the building, the school’s brand identity, and parental / community engagement.
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