- PD (Mostly) Sucks. Is EdCamp The Solution? (ed421.com)
|Conversation (Photo credit: Search Engine People Blog)|
How do you create a culture where “pushback” is encouraged?
How do you create a team that will give you honest feedback?
Decision making styles from the chart are as follows:
Type 1: Leader announces decision to the team and seeks support but does not ask for any input.
Type 2: Leader has formulated an opinion about the best alternative for the decision s/he is making, but is testing it with the team to see if s/he is persuaded to rethink it before implementation.
Type 3: Leader has a decision to make, but does not have an opinion about the best alternative. S/he is asking the team to provide input and directions to guide decision-making.
Type 4: This will be the team’s decision. Leader’s participation and input will be considered along with others, but will not override others’ input.
Type 5: Leader believes that others are better able to make this decision. Leader will be a resource and will guide the process, but let the team make the decision without his/her involvement (unless asked) and support their decision. Leader will ensure that decisions are aligned with policies, strategic direction, legal issues, etc.
Type 6: Leader acts as if s/he is an outside facilitator. The decision is the team’s. Leader believes others are better suited to make the decision, but will lead and structure the team’s decision-making process. Leader will defer to the team’s decision.
One morning Toad sat in bed."I have many things to do," he said.
"I will write them all down on a list so that I can remember them."
Lesson 1: Write it down or forget it. There are many systems and styles for keeping track of todo lists. I prefer a web service/app called Toodledo. This powerful todo list has a couple of killer features. First, I can use it on the web and on iPad and on iPhone (I think that other devices are supported, too). Second, after learning about Start Dates from Justin Baeder, I love that with Toodledo, I can set it and forget it (I ought to give George Foreman credit here, yes?). In other words, if tonight, I remember that I must schedule end of year conferences with teachers starting on May 15, I can add a task, give it a May 15 start date, and then forget about it until May 15. As long as I've told ToodleDo to hide future tasks, I am set.Toad wrote on a piece of paper: A list of things to do today
Lesson 2: You must take the first step. Coming up with a great idea to be organized is useless if you don't actually start.Then Toad wrote other things on the paper."There," said Toad. "Now my day is all written down."
Then he wrote: Wake up"I have done that," said Toad, and he crossed out:
Lesson 2a: No lesson here other than remembering that it is the small things in life that can sometimes make us happy.
Lesson 3: Toad actually uses his todo list! How many times has the principal wondered what to work next. Just look at the list. It is that simple (except, of course, when it is incredibly complicated). There may be a corollary here: others may follow if you ask them to do something that is actually written on your list. Maybe if we show them that it is on a list, they will follow. Maybe."Hello," said Frog."Look at my list of things to do," said Toad."Oh," said Frog, "that is very nice."Toad said, "My list tells me that we will go for a walk.""All right," said Frog. "I am ready."
Lesson 4: Uh-oh! This is not good. Principals need to be flexible and responsive. Our todo lists are useful tools, but really - I can just imagine it: Oh, Principal Fliegelman, please deal with these two fighting students. Sorry, not on my todo list today; I will add them in tomorrow. Of course, a principal can't do that. Just recently, Justin Baeder wrote about this in a blog post: the nature of the principalship and the way we have to handle tasks is different from they way most todo systems and apps are designed. Again, we have to be ready to change course any minute - just part of the job."Help!" cried Toad."My list is blowing away. What will I do without my list?""Hurry!" said Frog. "We will run and catch it.""No!" shouted Toad. "I cannot do that.""Why not?" asked Frog."Because," wailed Toad, "running after my list is not one of the things that I wrote on my list of things to do!"
"I cannot remember any of the things that were on my list of things to do. I will just have to sit here and do nothing," said Toad. Toad sat and did nothing. Frog sat with him.Lessons 5: The list does not make the principal. In fact, this would be a good place to insert ideas about creating systems to help get through a day or working with a wonderful admin assistant who has the principal well trained. Instead, I will share one last lesson.
"For this week’s topic, I want you to think about how you develop leadership in your buildings/work. How do you promote others to lead? This is important to focus on whether we try to “control” our people, or “unleash” their talents. What are some of the things that you do that make this happen?"This year, as I have been focusing a bit on growing teacher leadership, I have (re-)learned two lessons about developing leadership.