Sunday, March 5, 2017

Leading Together


I had the pleasure of leading #SatchatWC (the west coast version of #Satchat) this past week. The topic was transforming the traditional interview and induction practices in our schools. So many innovative ideas were shared by the close to 150 participants that joined. One big take away for me was that I want to figure out how I can involve students in the interview process. I loved reading how other schools were making this happen. (You can check out the transcript here: https://www.participate.com/transcripts/satchatwc/cac280b5-02d9-47f1-ac15-404582251065)

When we do interviews in our school, we work as a team. Our leadership team is always invited, as they represent the greater staff body. We also invite specific content area staff or others that may work closely with the candidate. These include veteran staff and new staff members. As I wrote the questions for the chat, my intended audience was truly anyone...teachers, support staff, admin, etc. Once the chat started, I quickly realized that we had a problem. Several participants in the chat immediately thought that if they did not carry the title of admin in some capacity, that they couldn’t have an answer or opinion. This was a little bit of a gut punch to me.  As building leaders, we must ensure that the voices of our staff are heard. When it comes to attracting and retaining the best educators, who better to glean ideas from than our current staff? On the flip side, we must also not assume that it takes a leadership title to lead.  It takes you, it takes me, it takes we! Don’t ever forget your influence on building the positive culture in your school. It takes us all to make school amazing!

Last week, we found out our assistant principal will be moving into a building principal role in another district next year. I am so proud of his accomplishments and know that he will do such an amazing job in his new role, but I will miss my co-captain tremendously. We have been through so much together and at first, I was overwhelmed by the idea of his absence. This was another reminder that, more than ever, it is the time for our staff to realize it’s about WE. The rest of us that will continue our journey at FMS must guarantee that we will drive positive school culture. At times, I feel as though people look to a single person to drive culture. While the building leader can never underestimate his/her influence on culture, it's so much more than a person. If you are not helping to build a positive school culture, you are hurting it. You can't wait until culture is negative to improve. Again...it takes us all to make school amazing!

#LeadLAP Challenge:
Join me in the challenges below. Tweet out your ideas to the #LeadLAP (Lead Like a PIRATE) hashtag so that we grow together as a PLN. Thank you in advance for your ideas!

Part 1:
Teachers and Staff: How are you making sure that your ideas are heard? How do you lead from your positions? How do you do your part to add to the positive culture of your school? What holds you back from leading?

Administrators: How are you ensuring that your staff feels as though they are leaders? What specific ways are you getting feedback and involving all stakeholders to empower everyone? How could this be more effective? How are you making sure that everyone in the building (admin, staff & students) are a part of building positive school culture?

Part 2:
Transforming the Interview and Induction Process

Think about your current practices for interviewing new editions to your team and the induction program after staff is hired? What is effective in your current practice? Why? What isn’t effective? What might you do instead? Take a moment to check out the chat transcripts and try something new.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

My Leadership Shelf UPDATED





I realized that it was time to update my leadership shelf from last winter. So many amazing books out there I've had the chance to read since then! Can't wait to keep finding more book treasures.

Happy Reading,
Beth

I recently saw a request on Twitter for a list of Leadership Must Reads. I am literally addicted to reading, so I knew my list wouldn't fit on a tweet. Here are a few of the books that have shaped me as a leader.

What I'm Reading Now
  • Whiplash by Joi Ito and Jeff Howe
  • The Principal as Assessment Leader edited by Thomas Guskey (compilation of authors by Solution Tree)
  • The Surprising Truth About How We Learn by Benedict Carey
The Book That I Can't Stop Thinking and Talking About
  • Launch by AJ Juliani and John Spencer
  • Escaping the School Leader's Dunktank by Rebecca Coda and Rick Jetter
  • Instant Relevance by Denis Sheren
The Books That I Carry in my Bag Always
  • Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess 
  • The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon
  • What Great Teachers Do Differently by Todd Whitaker
  • The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
General Leadership 
  • The Innovator's Mindset by George Couros 
  • You Win in the Locker Room First by Jon Gordon and Mike Smith
  • Anything at all by Patrick Lencioni 
  • Drive by Daniel Pink
  • Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (well and anything Malcolm Gladwell)
  • What to Do When It's Your Turn (and it's always your turn) by Seth Godin
  • Purple Cow by Seth Godin
  • Mastering the Media by Julie Smith
  • Creating Magic by Lee Cockerell
  • The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader by John C. Maxwell
  • FISH: A Remarkable way to Boost Morale and Improve Results by Stephen C. Lundin, Harry Paul and John Christensen
  • Positive Words, Powerful Results by Hal Urban
  • Start with the Why by Simon Sinek
  • Mindset by Carol Dweck
  • Strengths Based Leadership by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie
  • Switch by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
  • A Sense of Urgency by John P. Kotter
  • Renegade Leadership by Brad Gustafson
The Craft of the Principalship
  • Transforming School Culture by Anthony Muhammad
  • Leading Change in Your School by Doug Reeves
  • The Ten-Minute Inservice by Todd Whitaker and Annette Breaux
  • Shifting the Monkey by Todd Whitaker
  • Choice Words by Peter H. Johnston
  • Results Now by Mike Schmoker
  • The Principal by Michael Fullan
  • Leaders of Learning by Richard DuFour and Robert J. Marzano
  • School Culture Rewired by Steve Gruenert and Todd Whitaker
  • The Collaborative Administrator by Solution Tree (compilation of authors)
  • Digital Leadership & Uncommon Learning by Eric Sheninger
Pure Inspiration
  • Kids Deserve It! by Adam Welcome & Todd Nesloney
  • The Promise of a Pencil by Adam Braun
  • Night by Elie Wiesel
  • Wonder by RJ Palacio
  • The Man Who Loved Clowns by June Rae Wood
  • The Zen Teacher by Dan Tricarico 
Thinking Outside of the Box
  • Pure Genius by Don Wettrick
  • Ditch That Textbook by Matt Miller
  • Learn Like a PIRATE by Paul Solarz
  • Play Like a PIRATE by Quinn Rollins
Building a Better School
  • Building School 2.0 by Chris Lehmann & Zac Chase
  • What's Under Your Cape by Barbara Gruener
  • The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller
  • Teacher Teams that Get Results by Gayle Gregory and Lin Kuzmich
  • Visible Learning by John Hattie
  • Improving Student Achievement by Terri Martin and Tim Brown
  • Whatever it Takes Richard DuFour, Rebecca DuFour, Robert Eaker and Gayle Karhanek
  • ANYTHING by Doug Fischer and Nancy Frey but especially love Checking for Understanding and Rigorous Reading
  • Simplifying RTI by Austin Buffum, Mike Mattos and Chris Weber
  • The Reading Strategies Book by Jennifer Serravallo
  • Reading in the Wild by Donalyn Miller

I'm sure that I will have more to add soon! Happy Reading!