I don’t know about where you are in your planning, but I have to believe you are in a place where you’re starting to plan out next year. It is admissions season for us, and that means handbooks, tuition, dress codes, etc. must all be completed asap. As I look at our school handbook, I see a lot of outdated processes and requirements. There is 1 that I keep hearing about that I’m not sure what to do with and I don’t believe it is something that can be decided in a short amount of time or without quite a bit of debate.
Homework or no homework?
CNN.com posted an article in September 2015 regarding whether or not we should ban homework in schools. Mark Barnes has a book in the first wave of his Hack Learning Series titled Hacking Homework. You can find conversations all over Facebook and Twitter regarding the subject. I won’t share my opinion just yet, but I want to hear from you. Read some articles and chat with your mentors/mentees about your philosophy on homework on your campuses. Of course, much depends on grade level and subject area – or does it? It is an interesting conversation no matter which side you sit on. I can’t wait to read your thoughts.
Be sure to share on Twitter using the #SAVMP hashtag and in the title of your blog. I’m sure these will get some conversation happening! Add the hashtag #HomeworkOrNo to your tweets to keep it going!
A few resources:
TED Community Discussion
Charted by Statista – original article on Forbes.com
A couple of reminders for this initial month…
- Make regular contact with your mentor/mentee’s…vox, tweet, email…whatever you’d like! Develop relationships that will allow for transparency of strengths and weaknesses.
- Write & reflect towards the monthly prompt. Prompts will be posted the first week of the month. You have the entire month to respond.
- Connect on twitter, sharing the posts, using the #SAVMP hashtag.
Not an “official” member? Write & connect anyway! We welcome as many voices in the conversation as we can get!
In this hangout instructional leaders Jason Markey, Melissa Emler, Tony Sinanis, & Zach Snow discuss the importance of student voice and how to harness the power that passionate students are willing to share…if we listen.
“We succeed or fail one conversation at a time.”
Hard conversations are never easy. Regardless of how “right” they may be, it doesn’t make it any easier on the person giving it, or the person receiving it. It can be one of the most difficult parts of an administrators job, and can easily turn into a disaster. When problems arise, in the worst companies people will withdraw into silence. In the best companies, people will hold a crucial confrontation, face to face and in the moment. And they’ll hold it well.
Dialogue example – Steps to Mastering a Crucial Conversation
Before embarking on a critical, or crucial, conversation…ask yourself these three questions:
- How important is it for the students or staff that I bring this up? Is it a “me” thing or is it an”impacting student success” thing?
- Is what is going on in the classroom unsafe or damaging to students or staff?
- What would happen if I didn’t have the conversation?
Other tips to keep in mind:
- Have a plan. Who will be involved in the conversation? Where will it take place? When will it happen? Will it be documented?
- What should your role be? Remember to listen to all parties involved. Be genuine in your efforts to resolve the issue at hand. Find a solution that fits. Beware of hidden agendas.
- You are the LEADER. It all begins and ends with you. The tone, intent, and follow through are all going to depend on how you handle the situation.
There will be a google hangout this week on “Critical Conversations”, stay tuned! (I will update this post when time and guests are decided!)
For your prompt for this week, blog about how you handle crucial conversations and at what point you step in to have them. What advice would you give to a new administrator in having to have a crucial, or fierce, conversation?
Have a great week, and where ever you are, stay warm!
Resources used and for more information:
Crucial Conversations: Tools for talking when stakes are high Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler
Crucial Accountability: Tools for Resolving Violated Expectations, Broken Commitments, and Bad Behavior
Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler
Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life, One Conversation at a Time
Critical Conversations for Dummies
Dr. Christina Schlachter
In the conversation below, Daisy Dyer Duerr, Justin Tarte, Tom Whitford & Sam LeDeaux discuss what it means to balance being an effective administrator as well as staying connected.
“Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.” — Tom Peters
One of the best things that I had as a teacher was a principal that believed in me. I remember having a conversation with her about technology in school, and she asked me what I thought the budget should be for the year and what we should look at purchasing. I was perplexed by the question as this was traditionally the principal’s call and she looked at me and said, “I hired you for your knowledge in this area. Why would I make decisions for something that I do not know much about? I trust you.”
After that, I would have done anything for that principal (and still do as she is still my boss as the division level). When you give over power and responsibility it says one thing, but when you say where people excel and build upon it, that is also an important trait.
For this week’s topic, I want you to think about how you develop leadership in your buildings/work. How do you promote others to lead? This is important to focus on whether we try to “control” our people, or “unleash” their talents. What are some of the things that you do that make this happen?
Have a great week!!!
Here is an interesting article on “Leadership Development” that may spark some ideas. – The #1 Reason Leadership Development Fails
David Culberhouse shared this video in the Twitter stream, and there are several elements in the short video that are part of what I have envisioned for this program. Hopefully this two minute clip will help give some ideas for how to learn from one another.
I want to thank everyone for signing up and participating in the #SAVMP program and I am looking forward to seeing how this program unfolds. There are definitely going to be some bumps during the year but the most important part of this is the connection that you make with one another over the upcoming year. To anyone that is reading this post that signed up and has not been contacted, you probably missed out on the deadline (July 22) and unfortunately will not be paired up with a mentor at this stage due to the high number of people that have already signed up.
Just to clarify, this is NOT about leaders using social media. It is however the vehicle that we will use to connect and share our learning which will hopefully influence some of the things that are happening in schools that are connected during this process.
As the year progresses, we are going to have some Google Hangouts with people on various topics to spark conversation. I will also be sending out emails to participants to hopefully help out with some ideas as the year goes. The focus is on your conversations and connections that you create in your pairings. The other element is openly sharing what we learn with others so that many people can benefit from this program.
As we go into the first week, here are some things that are suggested you do (#3 is a MUST)
Make sure you have a Twitter account with an updated profile.
Start a blog if you haven’t. (To make it a “blog/portfolio”, watch this video). I suggest reading this article from Dean Shareski on blogging and the impact it has on teaching.
Mentors…please send an introductory email to your “mentees”. Share a little bit about yourself and connect with them.
Mentors and mentees please share your blogs with one another.
I encourage you in the next two weeks to write a blog post on the topic of, “Why do I lead?”, or “Why I am an educator?”. The focus here is that you look at yourself as a leader before you look at who you are leading. In the title of your blog post, I encourage you to throw the hashtag #SAVMP at the end of your title so that when others share it on Twitter they will see the hashtag.
Mentors…I encourage you to comment on your “mentee” blogs.
Obviously none of this is mandatory, but the more you put into the process, the more you will get out of it.
I hope that you all enjoy connecting with one another and that you learn a great deal for this process. I will not be sending emails out once a week but will share from time to time. This is meant to be an informal process and the real work will be done between the mentors and mentees.
Thanks again for taking part in this program 🙂