With the upcoming #npc17 upon us, I’ve done some reflecting from this past year and what I would like to learn more about going forward. Here are my 5 + 2: Five leadership affirmations and two rethinks.
A1- Leadership relationships, like emotions, are not static. There will be times that you will need to tell people what they do not want to hear, press a cause they do not want to accept, and point them in a direction they would not prefer to go. Preserve your human capital for the right time. Make every deposit you can, because the role of leadership guarantees you are going to make withdrawals. Too many withdrawals and not enough deposits will leave the relationship bankrupt.
A2- Express your ideas and vision clearly enough for those whom you serve, who are consumed with tasks and challenges of their own, will respond. Persuasion through trust of your character will carry a greater impact than your position’s fiat. Work to define your role, but do not be defined by your role.
A3- Realize the majority of the masses act in schools pretty much the way they might with religion. Every doctrine is more or less a matter of faith, received on account of the people’s trust they put in their apostle. The challenge with this is twofold: if they don’t believe in the messenger, they won’t believe the message. The leader needs to beware that going apostate begins when they believe more in themselves rather than in those they serve.
A4- Believe in people, and support them through connecting them to their purpose. Believe especially in teachers and educators that are closest to the students. Assume their best intentions - that they wake up each day to change the lives of students. Educators have been charged with doing the nearly impossible, and they do it every single day. Support them, create the conditions needed for success, and celebrate the learning and growth.
A5- Your example is your best leadership tool. Period.
My two questions I’m specifically working to retool around:
R1- How do I create and support a culture where students take greater ownership for their own learning, and telling the story of their learning? Related: How can schools tell their story? Looking forward to connecting with educators such as @ajsanfelippo5, @ , and @ to learn from their experiences.
R2- How might our district blend students’ performing successfully on student achievement tests as defined by state assessments (the accountability system of education; what gets put in the state comparison listings) while ensuring schools are relevant for students and their learning (being accountable to students about what really matters most to them)? I’ve been a learner in Change.School with @ , and am looking to connect with others who are looking to truly challenge and change our schools.
I'm looking forward to learning your thoughts - affirmations and questions. What's your 5 + 2?