I recently had the opportunity to hear Andy Greene, Middle School Principal from New York, speak to us about collaboration and the PLC process. From as soon as I walked in the room, I knew Andy’s session was going to be good. Here are some of the highlights that really had an impact on me:1) – Building principals can’t invite ‘collaboration’ to happen; they must require collaboration to happen. Andy make it quite clear that to have an effective PLC school, there couldn’t be any independent contractors who were working in isolation doing their own thing. There is no such thing as the rogue educator in Andy Greene’s school!
2) – If you want to establish and sustain a collaborative culture in your building, you have to confront behaviors that aren’t collaborative. Parking lot chatter and not holding each other accountable aren’t allowed. When a topic is being discussed, there is a consensus before the discussion is over.
3) – Everyone from the cooks to the students know who works in the building and who doesn’t; the question is, what are you as the building leader going to do about it?
4) – If you don’t get to the root of someone’s belief system & make it personal, you will never get someone to make sustainable change.
5) – Administrators shouldn’t make it a secret and a mystery when it comes to their beliefs and thoughts on education. Andy was very adamant about this point. Why is it that administrators are afraid to say what they really believe? More importantly, why don’t administrators share what they believe and then follow it up with why they believe it? No more secrets and no more mystery!
6) – Don’t try and change someone’s attitude; focus on changing their behavior through expectations.
7) – Relationships trump everything because when you have to confront someone, you are going to have to make a withdrawal from the social/emotional bank account.
8) – The culture in your building needs to shift from these are ‘your’ kids to ‘my kids’ to ‘our kids.’
I’d like to thank Andy for a great session and for giving me lots to think about. Thank you Sir!