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An Interview with Dr. Astein Osei – Insights into Educational Leadership

Jul 9, 2024 | blog

In this unique interview, Dr. Astein Osei shares his journey from an aspiring journalist to a distinguished academic chief.

Initially aiming for a profession in tv manufacturing, Dr. Osei’s path took a transformative flip when a mentor invited him to substitute educate. This pivotal expertise ignited a ardour for training, main him to dedicate his profession to fostering fairness, inclusion, and excellence in training.

Over the years, Dr. Astein Osei has held numerous management roles, together with serving because the superintendent of St. Louis Park Public Schools, the place he spearheaded quite a few initiatives to enhance academic outcomes and create inclusive studying environments.

Can you share with us your journey into the sphere of training?

I entered training in a non-traditional manner. My undergraduate research have been in Journalism and Communications, and I interned at Fox Sports, aspiring to enter tv manufacturing. During my senior yr, a mentor requested me to substitute educate at a highschool. From my first day within the classroom, I used to be drawn to the scholars’ power. I continued substitute instructing and training, finally deciding to return to high school for training. Before transferring into administration, I spent 5 years as a well being and bodily training instructor.

What impressed you to pursue a profession in training?

Everything occurs for a purpose, and my path to training was divinely guided. Growing up, I had lecturers and directors of shade who held excessive expectations for me and noticed potential in me that I didn’t see in myself. I wished to create comparable academic environments for all college students, particularly college students of shade, the place they’re cherished and might discover their presents.

How has your personal academic expertise influenced your skilled philosophy?

My constructive academic experiences in numerous colleges formed my perception in excessive expectations and entry to grade-level requirements for all college students. These experiences encourage me to create racial fairness transformation within the colleges I work in. With the correct surroundings, beliefs, and tutorial methods, each pupil can succeed no matter background.

Could you describe a pivotal second in your early profession that formed your path?

Early in my profession, a principal believed in me greater than I believed in myself and inspired me to pursue management roles. This assist led to alternatives that formed my path and taught me the significance of offering mentorship and alternatives to aspiring leaders.

What challenges did you face as you superior in your profession in training?

One problem was sustaining the “common touch” as my obligations grew. I wished to remain linked to my colleagues’ lives and assist them on a private degree. Another problem was addressing racial predictability in pupil achievement. As I moved into increased roles, I had much less direct affect on particular person college students however extra on methods and buildings.

How have your roles earlier than turning into a superintendent ready you for this place?

Each function I held was foundational for turning into a superintendent. Working carefully with superintendents as an assistant superintendent gave me insights into technique, course of, and the significance of the superintendent/college board relationship. Experience taught me beneficial classes, and making errors helped me higher perceive the group’s wants and expectations.

What key classes did you be taught in your early years as an educator?

Relationships are essential on this career. To affect college students, you want sturdy, constructive, trusting relationships. Also, being ready is essential. Whether instructing, main a faculty, or serving as superintendent, preparation permits for creating participating and productive studying environments.

Who have been your mentors or function fashions within the training sector, and the way did they affect you?

Many folks have invested in me and influenced me by means of their management. Their examples taught me the significance of engagement with college students, employees, and the group. Observing and dealing carefully with them helped form the chief I’m at present.

What are your core values as a superintendent?

My core values embrace collective duty, advocacy for fairness, belief, and excessive expectations. I imagine in working collectively to assist pupil growth, create inclusive environments, construct confidence in skilled relationships, and nurture the presents and abilities of all learners.

How do you method decision-making?

I make selections collaboratively, contemplating a number of views and guaranteeing alignment with the group’s strategic course. Understanding the historic context of selections helps me keep away from repeating previous errors. I additionally make selections with accessible enter in pressing conditions, all the time specializing in reaching the specified end result.

Can you describe a current initiative you’ve applied that was successful?

One vital initiative was the 2022 particular election to enhance our bodily services. Despite the political local weather, we secured $136 million for facility enhancements, which can positively influence the district for years.

How do you foster a constructive and inclusive tradition in your colleges?

Fostering a constructive and inclusive tradition requires a collective effort. I concentrate on communication that honors everybody’s humanity and restorative practices and consists of stakeholder voices. Creating a stimulating tradition improves morale and expertise within the college group.

What is probably the most essential side of recent training?

The most essential side is creating studying environments the place college students can entry grade-level requirements, study themselves and others, and develop essential pondering abilities. Public training is significant in getting ready college students to contribute to a democratic society.

How do you envision the way forward for training?

I envision a learner-centered future with technology-enriched environments that personalize studying. Traditional education fashions will proceed to shift, with extra flexibility and a concentrate on numerous studying evaluation strategies. Investment in educator skilled growth will likely be essential.

What steps are you taking to arrange college students for the challenges of the twenty first century?

I create academic environments that foster problem-solving and demanding pondering. Preparing college students to be modern, globally minded, and brave is important for addressing future challenges.

How do you propose to deal with fairness and variety in colleges?

I plan to share a framework primarily based on my analysis and expertise, specializing in excessive expectations, collective duty, racial consciousness, and advocacy for fairness. Promoting achievement for college students of shade is a vital aim.

What function do you see for group partnerships in the way forward for training?

Community partnerships are very important for varsity success. They assist workforce pathways and improve academic experiences. Thriving communities will see lively engagement from group companions.

How do you propose to combine environmental sustainability into training?

Creating culturally related studying environments makes sustainability extra applicable for college students. Real-life functions and interdisciplinary classes assist college students perceive and act on environmental points.

What modern academic practices are you enthusiastic about exploring?

I’m enthusiastic about customizing studying for every pupil primarily based on their distinctive abilities and pursuits. Technology affords many alternatives for customized studying.

How do you assist the skilled growth of lecturers and employees?

I imagine in steady skilled growth by means of reflection, sharing, and collaboration. Creating areas for group constructing and new studying helps deepen and maintain student-centered work.

What is your method to sustaining psychological well being and well-being in colleges?

Focusing on gratitude helps stability the stress of the job. Recognizing and celebrating college students and employees, creating empathetic environments, and centering humanity in skilled growth contribute to total well-being.

How do you envision incorporating international views into native training?

Global views may be built-in by means of culturally related studying environments and know-how. Understanding oneself and others racially and culturally gives a window to the world and enhances studying.

What has been probably the most rewarding side of being a superintendent?

The most rewarding side has been constructing and deepening relationships with numerous stakeholders. Engaging in dialogue and collaboration, particularly throughout difficult instances just like the pandemic, has strengthened our group.

How do you stability the calls for of your career with private time?

Balancing work and private life has been difficult. I prioritize my household and find time for self-care to keep away from burnout. Understanding the influence of my work on my private life is essential for sustaining stability.

What recommendation would you give to somebody aspiring to change into a superintendent?

Be clear about your function and care for your psychological well being. Focus on discovering stability, disconnecting when wanted, and inspiring your self. Trust in your management and create alternatives for constructive reflection.

Is there a particular space in training you’re notably keen about?

I’m keen about selling achievement for college students of shade by means of instructor beliefs and tutorial methods. My analysis affirms that these elements considerably influence pupil success.

How do you see your function evolving within the subsequent 5 years?

I plan to begin a enterprise, share my information, and assist academic work in different districts. Writing a guide primarily based on my analysis and balancing my skilled and private life are additionally essential objectives.

Final Thoughts

Dr. Astein Osei

and his insights into academic management spotlight his unwavering dedication to fostering equitable and inclusive studying environments. His successes from journalism to training underscores the significance of mentorship, strategic imaginative and prescient, and dedication to social justice. As Dr. Osei continues to form the way forward for training, his concentrate on fairness, innovation, and group engagement evokes educators and leaders striving to make a constructive influence of their communities.

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