For the past 20 years, Mr. Pat Padgett has been the principal of Batesburg-Leesville High School, which is part of Lexington County School District 3 in Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina. Mr. Padgett has been working with education researchers from Clemson University as part of their leadership development initiative. As part of this initiative, Mr. Padgett implemented the Comprehensive Assessment of Leadership for Learning (CALL) system to measure key instructional leadership practices throughout his school. As you will read below, having action-based data has been a significant part of Mr. Padgett’s work in developing teacher leadership.
One of the primary purposes for utilizing CALL in Batesburg-Leesville High School was to identify teacher leaders. CALL does not solely focus on the principal in measuring school leadership; rather, it assesses the various practices, activities, and tasks carried out by various school leaders. By focusing on the work, Mr. Padgett used CALL to support teacher leadership development. Mr. Padgett and his team used the CALL Data Feedback System to identify their focus areas which would then inform their process to identify teacher leaders. By first focusing on the “what” and then the “who,” Mr. Padgett was able to engage in teacher leadership development based on the needs of the school. After going through the CALL process, Mr. Padgett felt the resulting data supported their work of identifying and developing teacher leaders.
Certainly, school leaders such as Mr. Padgett are working on a number of initiatives simultaneously on a consistent basis. Mr. Padgett explained that working with CALL has supported other related initiatives in his district. In addition, Mr. Padgett said, “CALL has helped us to identify and develop teacher leaders within our school. It focuses on areas of instruction that coincides with our district priorities and measures effective instructional strategies.” Moving forward, Mr. Padgett believes that CALL “…can continue to validate teacher perception, and help guide professional development and effective instructional strategies.” As a veteran principal from whom many leaders can learn, Mr. Padgett admits that there is always room to learn more in his profession: “I have learned a great deal from my work with CALL and the Leadership Learning Community. It's just a reminder that we're never through with learning and growing as professionals.”