How do we communicate something so abstract? After all, the American public can’t stand to debate about healthcare for 9 months and will switch political parties every 2 years if necessary to make a buck. Howard Gardner in Leading Minds speaks about leading the general public masses – he says one must be able to communicate with and persuade an audience with the education level of 5 year olds… Abstract to 5 year olds… Oh my. That’s a tough calling - but reality is the public bites on simple messages as demonstrated by so many of our politicians. We can’t balance the national budget because the public can’t swallow the complexity of truth and the sacrifices necessary to do it. So… 21 st century leadership requires real leaders able to sell truth through simple communications about complicated issues. We must continuously put the current realities and changes into the biggest picture possible. 21 st century leaders must be able to explain solid, research based, sound rationale for every single decision made. The gut isn’t good enough anymore. Experience doesn’t matters little today – except when trying to sell votes. Sound judgment based upon real information and absolute integrity, honesty, and transparency are key – along with selling the message. The 21 st century will tear apart leaders that can’t walk their talk as accountability is much more ruthless in this environment. So… how have I been exercising 21 st century leadership skills and how has it worked? Let’s get practical. First – I am no expert. I’m in year 10 in admin and year 4 as principal. I’ve been lucky to be in the right place at the right time and have had some successes that I feel good about. Of course, setbacks come with the deal – and I’ve had those. This next part is not an attempt to put jewels in my crown. My goal here is to get practical about 21 st century leadership and to share pieces of my story that might help you in your own schools.
Toffler writes in The Third Wave: - Covert curriculum or Hidden Code of industrialization – or wave II = Standardization – think tests, pay scales, grading, benefits, IQ tests born, mass media Specialization – think Henry Ford creating 7,882 different jobs for the assembly line Synchronization – think move to beat of machine, punctuality, clocks, time = $ Concentration – think cities are formed, nursing homes, schools, prisons, asylums, birth of corporations Maximization – think infatuation with size & growth at the cost of ecological, environmental, and social disaster Centralization – think chain of command, law and order, Art. Of Confederation replaced by Constitution, centralized planning for corporations We are now possibly past wave III… Open source programming – think i-phone apps Level playing field to whole world – anyone with a connection can earn an audience Niche and persuasion is power – think moving the masses Transparency – think Iran protests on Twitter Building an alliance – or an audience – as the key 21 st century skill… How do we teach students to do that? Communication skills is absolutely fundamental.
Speak to importance of having a common language through which to talk about adult behaviors that do or don’t demonstrate good discipline: Disciplined People – Disciplined Thought – Disciplined Action If you don’t have a framework, then it’s just your opinion or your ego. By building this common understanding of what greatness is, then I, the leader, become the mirror instead of the king barking orders. I become the teacher. Plant seeds, distribute to leadership team and department chairs, teach PGOs, leadership team work sessions focused on leadership development… Can’t expect staff to be leaders if haven’t developed a framework and common language for talking about leadership (just like can’t expect kids to work in groups unless there are protocols and structure in place first). Year 1 – transition, Year 2 & 3 – build leadership capacity, Year 4 – launch PLCs, online blog and Ning site,
BLT work sessions Coffee chats All meetings now PD Buying books, subscriptions, and distributing articles Requiring article reads for meeting discussions Publicly calling for rigorous debate Huge focus on leadership training
This is more than student perception surveys. This is teachers lounge talk. Do teachers pick up the trash in the hallway or walk past it? Do staff pitch in and do things that are not their job – because it is right? You will never get students to do what is right if the staff isn’t modeling this first.
Real debate about grading, what special education services are supposed to be, why we have some rules and procedures, and answers determined by what is right rather than who is the squeaky wheel. Online Social Network My blog Dashboard tool Coming soon – podcasted student interviews posted on social network to capture the narrative – and to instigate rigorous dialogue.
Teaching & leading adults is really the same as being a good teacher. This isn’t rocket science – KISS Authenticity is key
21 st Century Leadership Chris Lindholm [email_address]
Leaders are Readers
The “Covert Curriculum” or “Hidden Code” <ul><li>21 st Century </li></ul><ul><li>Wave IV? </li></ul>19 th Century Wave II <ul><li>Standardization </li></ul><ul><li>Specialization </li></ul><ul><li>Synchronization </li></ul><ul><li>Concentration </li></ul><ul><li>Maximization </li></ul><ul><li>Centralization </li></ul><ul><li>Design </li></ul><ul><li>Story </li></ul><ul><li>Symphony </li></ul><ul><li>Empathy </li></ul><ul><li>Play </li></ul><ul><li>Meaning </li></ul>
Provide a Framework Beyond Test Scores: <ul><li>Defining Great </li></ul><ul><li>how to measure and calibrate success </li></ul><ul><li>Level 5 Leadership </li></ul><ul><li>getting it done within a “diffuse power structure” </li></ul><ul><li>First Who </li></ul><ul><li>get right people on the bus in a social sector organization </li></ul><ul><li>The Hedgehog Concept </li></ul><ul><li>the economic engine without profit </li></ul><ul><li>Turning the Flywheel </li></ul><ul><li>building momentum and brand </li></ul>
Collins calls for… <ul><li>Disciplined People, Disciplined Thought, and Disciplined Action </li></ul><ul><li>Positive tension between what should never change and what is always changing (innovation, new ideas, etc…) </li></ul><ul><li>Doing what is right – not what is consensus </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation instead of standardization </li></ul><ul><li>Decisions based upon research, rigorous debate, and sound judgment </li></ul><ul><li>Collins video – core values & stimulating change </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.jimcollins.com/media_topics/building-greatness.html#audio =75 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
Constant Attention to the Culture of the Organization <ul><li>How do you measure this? </li></ul><ul><li>How do you empower others to own this? </li></ul><ul><li>How do you create common language for this? </li></ul>
Culture of Rigorous Debate and Defining “Greatness”
<ul><li>How can I build a school culture of </li></ul><ul><li>rigorous debate </li></ul><ul><li>transparency </li></ul><ul><li>disciplined action </li></ul><ul><li>decisions based upon what is right (not past practice) </li></ul><ul><li>??? </li></ul>
How do we create rigorous debate and a culture of innovation??? <ul><li>Create the framework – including leadership training </li></ul><ul><ul><li>PLCs, Departments, Teams, VTs, etc… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Myers-Briggs, Collins, PLC facilitators, Lit circle protocols! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Create Opportunities/Vehicles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Regular Group meetings, faculty meetings, hallway conversations, lunch prompts, classroom walk throughs, etc… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog, Twitter, Google Reader, Ning, podcasting lessons or interviews, and other web 2.0 tools!!! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t forget coffee chats and Friday “curriculum writing” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Make it safe to take risks and encourage, encourage, encourage!!! </li></ul>
Real, Authentic, Scary Questions <ul><li>What is SpEd? </li></ul><ul><li>How can a teacher write one modified test that meets the individual needs of 7 students on IEPs? </li></ul><ul><li>Why does it seem that the students with disabilities that make school more difficult have less homework and work less than those without a disability? </li></ul><ul><li>How can more than 50% of our students receive academic performance awards each year yet our average test scores be below the state average? </li></ul><ul><li>What is a grade? </li></ul><ul><li>If student doesn’t turn in homework but passes assessments, how can s/he be failing? </li></ul><ul><li>Are are we systematically creating a positive relationship with every student? </li></ul><ul><li>If PE is all about participation, why do we call them “teachers?” </li></ul>
And some more… <ul><li>Shouldn’t Honors English class be very difficult for a student who reads at the 40 th percentile? </li></ul><ul><li>If a teacher gives different assignments to students in the same class to differentiate, what do they put in the little box in the grade book? </li></ul><ul><li>Why do we give “extra credit?” Isn’t that more about currency for work than a communication of mastery? </li></ul><ul><li>If we modify the rigor of a course to meet the needs of a student, how can we put the same grade on the transcript as we would for everyone else using different criteria? </li></ul><ul><li>Where did the notion that grades are based upon points for doing stuff come from? </li></ul><ul><li>Is having grades online so we can argue about points instead of learning really better? </li></ul><ul><li>Why is SpEd services so focused on helping kids do their homework? Shouldn’t they be addressing the real issue? </li></ul><ul><li>What does research and expert opinion say about grading, rigor, standards, and SpEd? </li></ul>
To be a good teacher principal <ul><li>Clear objectives referred to throughout the lesson meeting </li></ul><ul><li>Measure/assess every step </li></ul><ul><li>Establish a culture for learning and high expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Student engagement is crucial </li></ul><ul><li>Differentiate </li></ul><ul><li>Empower students </li></ul><ul><li>Use 21 st Century technologies </li></ul>It’s simply walking our talk…
Web 2.0 in a box… Building curiosity by building meaning… LeaderCamp = June 24 th 2010
Real Debates on Tech… Standardization vs. Innovation <ul><li>Training leadership, support staff, teachers, etc… </li></ul><ul><li>Exposure to liability vs. addressing individuals </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting multiple platforms and the constant change of Web 2.0 (vendors and products are out by the time we get them up and running!!) </li></ul><ul><li>Cost, cost, cost </li></ul><ul><li>False assumption that we need to give every child the same education </li></ul><ul><li>Does it really help us teach better and improve student performance? </li></ul>19 th century… 21 st century…
Faculty Social Network on Ning with Podcasts of student interviews on hot topics “ Principal Thoughts” blog targeting teacher development. What “the boss” thinks is right out there for discussion… Transparency!!
Playing the game… <ul><li>Email article links to the old timers </li></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 on a box </li></ul><ul><li>Share success stories </li></ul><ul><li>Ask for forgiveness instead of permission </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure the Tech Director understands Web 2.0 world and is on your side!!! </li></ul><ul><li>Find grant $$ </li></ul><ul><li>Plant seeds and more seeds and more seeds </li></ul><ul><li>Support teachers who want to take risks </li></ul>
http://chrislindholm.typepad.com/principal-thoughts/ The stars are aligning. There couldn’t be a better time to be engaged in education leadership