Educational Leadership: Creating the Conditions for Passion and Innovation


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Presentation for the 2013 Reform Symposium #RSCON4. Focusing on discussions about creating the time and conditions within the school day to help teachers/staff to learn and explore hunches, curiosities. Session info

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  • Thank you to the organizers. Honoured to be here.Explore ideas and practical ways that we can create more opportunities within school for staff to share their passions, explore hunches, and use and share innovative ideas. (without an added cost)
  • Teacher, father, Canadian sports nutKent Elementary (K-6) school in Agassiz, BC, Canada. 260 students.
  • Researchers at the Uni of Rochester.This is the statement that drives the majority of the decisions at our school – for kids and adultsAutonomy-Mastery-Purpose  Autonomy to take risks, explore hunches, fuel passions.And be driven Purpose – THE WHY
  • Bruce Beairsto – management has been given a bad wrapLeadership and management are the yin and yang of administration… Management andleadership are equally noble, complex and necessary – BeairstoComplex relationship – often a tension from a dilemma b/w things like current structures and resources. policies, and important relationships (technical to artistic)George Couros – leadership should drive management. I would add that we need to ensure we focus on both and not one over the other.There must be a fusion of these two elements in all actions, a healthy combination of direction, discussion and dialogue in each conversation - BeairstoLeadership is open to allInstructional Leadership relies on both - management and leadership not polar opposites – yin and yangfocus for today will be on creating the conditions for people to excelGive people the tools and resources (incl time) they need to be successful and innovative
  • What is innovation? Doing something in a completely new way? Also taking an idea and doing it in a DIFFERENT way. Building upon ideas. (power of social media)Why is it hard to be innovative in education?
  • Staff meetings, Pro-DShifting priorities in our current day
  • Part of our collective agreementBlasé – autonomy TO not autonomy FROMRelevant learning – differentiated learning – collegial learningLove of BooksAs bottom up as possible – and as top down as necessary – Tom Schimmer
  • Everyone can and should lead – principals can create the conditions for this to occurthe vast majority of our schools are still squandering the experience, ideas and capacity of our nation’s schoolteachers. - Bill FerriterInformal Areasof strength/interest/passionOffer time, resources, connections – end up building capacity of the people within the school
  • I understand the role of bringing an expert in and/or going to conferences… but too often that is the focus
  • Model and create an environment that is safe to let go, take risks and try new things.Growth mindset and learning.
  • Google 20% Time, FedEx Days – Dan Pink’s DriveFedEx PrepInnovation Day/Week – Josh Stumpenhorst (Illinois), Jesse McLean (Alberta/BC)  Teacher Innovation DayStaff unconference (edcamp style) – strength from within
  • What are we curious about?“seed time”Inquiry - driven
  • Need a balance:Wise – honour effective traditions and practicesStrong – use strong ideas based on researchNew – encourage innovation and take risks
  • Model sharing of ideas. Create intellectual collisions.Be the messenger of what is happening in one class to the other – and to families (verbally, social media) WINDOWSOffer time to observeOne of the best things that I have done is spent time in classrooms learning from great teachers and trying to share those stories to other classrooms.Blogging the stories
  • Just because I am encouraging teachers to do their thing... Does not mean I get to just sit back Balance effective leadership and managementLeadership from within – tap into the strengths of staffRelationships – build trust, listenProvide Resources Model – teach, take risks, supportLearn – stay current, challenge status quoConnect – be the connector in/out the building - shareProvide Feedback – challenge and supportChallenge and SupportStay currentShared Vision
  • Creating time?Risk TakingQ and A
  • Educational Leadership: Creating the Conditions for Passion and Innovation

    1. 1. Educational Leadership: Creating the Conditions for Passion and Innovation cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo by D. Sharon Pruitt: Chris Wejr @chriswejr
    2. 2. About Me
    3. 3. “We cannot motivate others… we can only work to create the conditions for people to motivate themselves.” -Image:
    4. 4. “You need management to build a house but only leadership can make it into a home.” Bruce Beairsto CC Image:
    5. 5. Do we lack innovation in education? cc licensed ( BY NC ) flickr photo by Parée:
    6. 6. Make time for what matters cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo by Xava du:
    7. 7. Professional Autonomy Image:
    8. 8. Teacher Leadership The old model of formal, one-person leadership leaves the substantial talents of teachers largely untapped... Leadership is the professional work of everyone in the school. Image: - Linda Lambert
    9. 9. Focusing on the Strengths Within
    10. 10. Let go. Take risks. cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo by Jen R:
    11. 11. CHOICES a chance for teachers & students to explore strengths, interests, & passions
    12. 12. Identity Day: Sharing Our Passions
    13. 13. Time for Innovation cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo by Toni Verdú Carbó:
    14. 14. Creating Time for Teachers to Meet and Tinker With Ideas
    15. 15. Wise Strong New Linda Kaser and Judy Halbert cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo by Davide Restivo:
    16. 16. Image: Share. Be a Connector.
    17. 17. Educational Leadership Creating the Conditions for Passion & Innovation • • • • • • Balance effective leadership and management Make innovation a priority – provide the TIME Encourage leadership from within Focus on Strengths Balance effective traditions, research, innovation Be the connector – SHARE
    18. 18. What are other ways to create the conditions for passion and innovation in schools? cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo by paul bica:
    19. 19. Connect With Me @chriswejr Today’s slides: