CHANGEd: What if school leaders practiced the change they preach…and developed a people strategy? 60-60-60 #57

howard.com/2012/05/03/changed-60-60-60-people-strategy/” target=”_blank”>CHANGEd 60-60-60: PEOPLE STRATEGY and re/pre-flecting…

In Pat Bassett’s TEDx St. Georges School talk, he reveals seven big shifts in the larger world that are changing the landscape of education and schooling:

  • Knowing…Doing
  • Teacher-centered…Student-centered
  • The Individual…The Team
  • Consumption of Info…Construction of Meaning
  • Schools…Networks
  • Single Sourcing…Crowd Sourcing
  • High Stakes Testing…High Value Demonstations

If we administrators expect teachers to proactively respond to these big shifts for the futures of their students, mustn’t we do so ourselves?

  • Shouldn’t we be transforming faculty meetings (and other “PD”) into faculty doings? Shouldn’t we be experimenting with PBL with adults…and with projects that are relevant and meaningful to teachers? Are we even asking them what they want and need?
  • From the admin view, how can we make school more “teacher-centered” so that teachers can, in turn, make school more student-centered? Shouldn’t we admin be modeling “student voice and choice” by providing such to our faculties?
  • How are we un-silo-ing our schools to facilitate teachers working in teams?
  • How are we facilitating the construction of meaning among our faculties, instead of asking them to consume information? Do decisions feel top-down or bottom-up? Or inside-out? Or outside-in?
  • How are we admin employing and engaging learning networks and advocating for OPEN and SAFE and THOUGHTFUL use of such endless learning resources in the network…outside our school walls?
  • How are we crowd-sourcing our collective wisdom within our faculties and among our faculties from school to school? How are we refusing to re-invent the wheel and instead partnering with the crowds of other doing schools…I mean networks?
  • How are we refusing the high stakes testing of teachers and engaging high value demonstrations of professional practice?

A people strategy begins with EMPATHY. It moves along the stepping stones of the Golden Rule. A people strategy refuses to commit the fundamental attribution error (see the Heath Bros’ Switch).

Be the change you want to see in others! Show the way; don’t just tell the way. Blur the lines among “admin,” “teacher,” “student.” In fact, any of us should be all three. It’s not about the titles. It’s about learning…together.

CHANGEd: What if…60-60-60 Project Explained

[This post was originally published on It’s About Learning on May 4, 2012.]

3 Comments

  1. Glyn Jenkins said:

    It would appear that just the word ‘meeting’ sends a shiver of boredom, resentment, and poor time management, down the spine of the majority of today’s busy teachers. Here is a suggestion of how we may restore some much needed solidity to those rickety vertebrae.

    The Noun:
    If we use the word ‘meeting’ in the form of a noun, which I would guess all schools do, then everyone has to attend. ‘We are going to a meeting!’ It’s a little bit like going to a Rolling Stones concert, or the latest Dark Knight movie, but without the same buzz of excitement, special effects, or satisfaction of getting your money’s worth. We generally spectate; take in some interesting bits, and forget most of it by the time we reach the car. In fact, many spectators at faculty meetings tend to sit with one eye on the clock (as communication is spoon fed to them) whilst their other eye observes the carefully crafted notes they are scrawling, into their notepad full of previous notes from previous meetings.
    Then there’s the classic single grade level tennis match… You know the one, where admin take on two teachers whilst the rest watch for 40 minutes, and just as it gets to match point, the magic words, ‘I think we should discuss this further, in a one on one setting’ ring out to bring the encounter to a close, with no victor or resolution. Surely that’s not the way busy educators want to spend Thursday’s afternoons knowing that the only definitive outcome of the day is that they are all going to hit rush hour traffic.

    The Verb:
    Now let’s use the term ‘meeting’ as a verb: as in, ‘We are going to meet!”: as in a ‘doing’ word; as in a word of ‘ACTION”!
    Do quality teachers have a problem with a meeting, where they are a part of the process. It doesn’t matter what time of day, or how long it goes on, if it is productive and the team are moving somewhere with it, then it is time well invested. It is often rewarding. It utilizes creativity and other problem solving skills. It brings teams together. Also, any meeting of that nature has nearly always required a write up, minutes, notes etc. that have to be e-mailed, or posted, to someone who was not in attendance (a member of admin, colleagues, parents etc.)
    So what is the difference between that process and the ‘audience centered’ meeting where only a handful of people are part of the interactive process? For those who are not involved, can they not be e-mailed the notes and updates at a later time?

    This leads onto the difference between effective meetings and effective communication. If we get both right then staff morale and efficiency should soar.
    Is it effective to have a number of staff watching and listening to the to-ing and fro-ing of ideas, changes of mindset, and revisions of plans, when they could just be served the final decisions and outcomes in an email at a later date? The response to that question may well be, ‘What about the democratic system of decision making?’
    Effective democracy only works with people who are actively engaged, interested, and prepared to act. Therefore, those are the people who should be invited to the meetings. It is an open invitation and everyone is welcome, but those who feel it’s not their thing, not their responsibility, or not their area of expertise, are welcome to leave the building and beat the traffic. This is where the concept of subcommittees seems to be an all round efficient solution; with 6-10 committees within a faculty, there is plenty of opportunity for everyone to act, with passion, in an area they believe they can be most effective.

    The upshot here is that if you are going to ‘meet’ then good on you; meet in style and get something done. If you are going to a meeting then prepare for a hatful of information, plenty of note taking, a serving of frustration, with maybe the added bonus of some end of day snacks, followed by a slow anxious commute home.

    To meet, or not meet…?

    September 16, 2012
  2. It’s a difficult change in schema for those is the routine – but seems very natural and intuitive for productive professional work. I have the following quote posted on my office wall to push all of us in the big SHIFT!

    “I do not go to a committee meeting merely to give my own ideas. If that were all, I might write my fellow members a letter. But neither do I go to learn other people’s ideas. If that were all, I might ask each to write me a letter. I go to a committee meeting in order that all together we may create a group idea, an idea that will be better than any of our ideas alone, moreover, which will be better than all of our ideas added together. For this group idea will not be produced by any process of addition, but by the interpenetration of us all.” –Mary Parker Follett, The New State

    September 17, 2012

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