7 Questions with Andrew Broere
Name: Andrew Broere
Current title: Assistant School Administrator
Current organisation: Fourth Baptist Christian School in Minnesota
Andrew has been a teacher for 16 years and has now spent the last four years in administration, from Dean of Students to Elementary Principal to Assistant School Administrator. His passion is to live a life that matters, to make a lasting difference!
1. What have you found most challenging as a Christian school leader?
I struggle with the Christian school whose mindset is to run like it's a ministry, even though it's a business! The ministry mindset doesn't always look ahead at threats on the horizon or have a critical conversation with a difficult staff member.
2. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I wake up at 5 AM and am usually jogging by 5:15 AM. Coffee and quiet time at 6 AM. At school by 7:15 AM. From there, it's hallways, classrooms, lunch, recess, teaching, parking lot duty, and paperwork afterward! I'm home by 5:45 PM to have dinner with the family (on non-game nights!), then hang out with my children until bedtime. Homework and reading till 10 PM, and then I'm out!
3. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Who you are as a leader is who you will attract.
Mark C. Crowley in Lead from the Heart
4. What one book has had the most profound impact on your Christian school leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
Servant-Leadership in Action by Kenneth Blanchard.
I've always heard that there is ONE book for each person; this was mine. This collection of essays ranged from spiritual to secular, from non-profit to for-profit. Each essay expands upon Robert Greenleaf's original treaty on servant leadership.
I think the one topic that impacted me most was Stephen M. R. Covey's connection of leadership and trust. Trust is the outcome of servant leadership, and leading as a servant will create a high-trust team and organization!
5. How do you find and keep great Christian teachers?
Our base pay is low and we offer a stipend instead of health insurance. I can't do much to change that right now, so I work to make sure each staff member feels appreciated and valued for who they are and the work they accomplish. Small things, like covering a duty or walking their class to the library are always helpful as well.
I would like to believe we are creating an environment where their work is supported, they are given permission to do the right thing at all times, and they enjoy working with one another.
6. What's most important as a Christian school leader for developing a culture of wellbeing in your staff and students?
Mission, Vision, and Values.
I believe others want to live lives of importance, of meaning, of mattering. Connecting their desire to the mission and vision of the work is so important every day. The values we hold dear allow us to work together toward a common goal!
I also believe in continually putting this in front of your staff. To paraphrase Andy Stanley, when you're sick and tired of talking about mission, vision, and values, you're halfway there.
7. If you had to pick just one story, what would be the most meaningful story from your time as a Christian school leader so far?
So hard - one story!
This may sound morbid, but being asked to eulogize a former student who is now in Heaven was incredibly difficult. But it has shaped my interactions with students now for these last 10 years. No one is guaranteed tomorrow, so live life today! Don't wait to have that conversation, offer an encouraging word, or support a student. Do it today.