Celebrate professional transitions and successes to drive and sustain implementation

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Celebrations are an important component for high-quality learning communities and are critical to effective change. See how a middle school principal makes celebrations a norm in her school’s learning community and brings people together during change efforts to celebrate each other’s professional learning.

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Celebrate professional transitions and successes to drive and sustain implementation

  1. 1. Source: Armstrong, A. (2013, Fall). Celebrate professional transitions and successes to drive and sustain implementation. Tools for Learning Schools. 17(1). (p.1, 4-5). Available at www.learningforward.org/publications/tools-for-learning-schools. Title Body Celebrate professional transitions and successes to drive and sustain implementation
  2. 2. This presentation is a supplement to the full article. Download more information, resources, and tools to help you implement these ideas in Tools for Learning Schools (2013, Fall). Available at www.learningforward. org/publications/tools-for-learning- schools. Download the article and accompanying tools Inside • Tool: A dozen reasons to celebrate, pp. 4-5 • Tool: Celebration brainstorming, p. 6 • Tool: Planning celebrations, p. 7 Fall 2013 Vol. 17, No. 1 Your membership in Learning Forward gives you access to a wide range of publications, tools, and opportunities to advance professional learning for student success. Visit www.learningforward.org to explore more of your membership benefits. leArNiNg sChools Toolsfor eVery eduCATor eNgAges iN effeCTiVe ProfessioNAl leArNiNg eVery dAy so eVery sTudeNT AChieVes By Anthony Armstrong T he teachers at Hogg Middle School (Hous- ton, Texas) are accustomed to celebrating each other’s professional learning. “Cel- ebrations are a non-negotiable collabora- tive compact, or norm, for us,” said Mina Schnitta, the school’s principal. “Adults need to support each other in their learning. We need to focus on each other’s strengths and celebrate them.” A large bulletin board, their “Honk Board,” sits prominently in their staff lounge. The board provides a place for teachers and staff to post compliments about each other. “The compliments are on things we see in improving instruction,” explained Schnitta. “They are not the usual ‘I saw someone doing something nice’ type of compliments. Instead, they have a more instructional focus.” Schnitta’s teachers can also earn PRIDE tickets. “The instructional leadership team passes these out to teachers who are exhibiting politeness, intelligence, discipline, and engaged behaviors,” said Schnitta. “The teachers can accrue these and trade them in for things like new supplies or 30 minutes where I teach their class.” According to Kent Peterson, celebrations are an im- portant component for high-quality learning communities. “Celebrations are critical to effective change. Celebrations bring people together at important times during the life of a Continued on p. 2 CeLeBrATe professional transitions and successes to drive and sustain implementation
  3. 3. “Celebrations are critical to effective change. Celebrations bring people together at important times during the life of a school and reinforce the social fabric.” -Kent Peterson Co-author of Shaping School Culture (2009)
  4. 4. Source: Armstrong, A. (2013, Fall). Celebrate professional transitions and successes to drive and sustain implementation. Tools for Learning Schools. 17(1). (p.1, 4-5). Available at www.learningforward.org/publications/tools-for-learning-schools. Too much of a focus on following procedures turns change efforts into mechanical procedures and often misses opportunities to connect the change to core values. Use ceremonies, informal or formal, to sustain staff commitment and motivation during change efforts and connect school improvement to core values. Build a sense of purpose
  5. 5. Source: Armstrong, A. (2013, Fall). Celebrate professional transitions and successes to drive and sustain implementation. Tools for Learning Schools. 17(1). (p.1, 4-5). Available at www.learningforward.org/publications/tools-for-learning-schools. Educators are so overwhelmed with things to do, slowing down and making time to acknowledge small successes can be a significant challenge. The first step to planning celebrations is to look for natural transitions within the change efforts. Plan ahead
  6. 6. Source: Armstrong, A. (2013, Fall). Celebrate professional transitions and successes to drive and sustain implementation. Tools for Learning Schools. 17(1). (p.1, 4-5). Available at www.learningforward.org/publications/tools-for-learning-schools. “We set aside time at each meeting to invite celebrations large and small, and we build in structures to acknowledge great work. When the rituals of an organization emphasize its values, the culture shifts in ways that support both gratitude and collaboration.” -Stephanie Hirsh Executive Director, Learning Forward Plan ahead
  7. 7. Source: Armstrong, A. (2013, Fall). Celebrate professional transitions and successes to drive and sustain implementation. Tools for Learning Schools. 17(1). (p.1, 4-5). Available at www.learningforward.org/publications/tools-for-learning-schools. Any effort to bring in new skills or techniques inherently has critical transition points that should be recognized and celebrated. “If you don’t mark the beginning of a major change effort, such as using data for decision making, people won’t see it as important.” -Kent Peterson Mark transitions
  8. 8. Source: Armstrong, A. (2013, Fall). Celebrate professional transitions and successes to drive and sustain implementation. Tools for Learning Schools. 17(1). (p.1, 4-5). Available at www.learningforward.org/publications/tools-for-learning-schools. Bring everyone on board Making teams comfortable with celebrations starts with consciously planning time during daily activities to take a moment and focus on their strengths. When it is important to recognize the individuals, show how those contributions couldn’t have been accomplished without the support of the team.
  9. 9. Learn more with Learn more about professional learning at all levels of education with Learning Forward, an international nonprofit association of learning educators: www.learningforward.org Membership in Learning Forward gives you access to a wide range of publications, tools, and opportunities to advance professional learning for student success.

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