If you have not gotten a chance to read my blog about my #oneword for 2016, check out Enjoy the Moment.
I was able to spend the day with some of the sharpest leadership minds in my district as a part of the Plano Leadership Visioning Institute. As our time concluded, we were presented with the two questions:
What did you hear, read, think about today that will impact what you do on your campus?
A critical friends group…do you have one? Do you have a small group of friends, whether it be professionally or personally that you can call upon to make you better? This article was shared with me today, “Critical Friends Group: Catalyst for School Change“. If you are an educator, take a moment and read this. I know we have PLCs, Vertical Teams, Focus Groups, Grade Level Teams and a bevy of other teams in schools across the country, but regardless of what you title it, the work done in those groups typically focuses around a larger cause. It focuses on the direction of a campus or a team, supporting a larger mission/vision. What if you could work on a smaller team that just made you better at being you….in this case, making you a better teacher?
As plans for the 16-17 school year take shape, I am interested in finding those “early adopters” who want to improve, who want to be better teachers and who have established a growth mindset. I am interested in finding teachers who are willing to be uncomfortable or work outside the box in order to connect with other teachers either in our building or in other buildings and share their teaching practices, seek feedback, give feedback, receive feedback and take what they are given to improve their practice. In identifying the volunteers, we will have established our first critical friends group, who will be able to help one another grow professionally, improving their practice and positively impacting the students they serve.
What did you hear, read, think about today that will impact how you do things on your campus?
If you know me I am super competitive, so throwing down a challenge is something I rarely pass up. I was able to participate in a Tool Box Leadership activity today by picking a toy from the list below:
Green Army Men
Our group picked the Jenga game and jumped right in. As each of the members of our small group took a turn, it was apparent some of us felt more comfortable than others in removing a piece. Each of us took a different approach as we analyzed our options. As the game progressed the moves became harder to make, needing to spend more time thinking about the moves and the consequences of making each one. Sometimes the piece needed a little nudge, while other times you just moved the piece without hesitation, because you knew it was the right thing to do. Other times you wanted to consult with your peers making sure you were on the right track.
Sounds a lot like leadership, right? How do you approach being a leader? I would imagine many of the approaches we took in trying to conquer our Jenga game are applied by leaders…or they should be.
Great leaders take risks, collaborate with others and understand that some pieces play a larger role than others, but each of the pieces is integral in the overall success of the large whole. One misplaced piece can upset the balance, which can lead to a collapse. While keeping a solid foundation allows you to continue building upon what you started.
The leadership lessons or takeaways from today’s Jenga game will remain our “how” as we continue to transform learning at Sigler Elementary. We must keep in mind that each decision made, impacts the next one and it is OK to take the time we need to think through each of our decisions, aiming for our decisions to lead to further growth, building on the foundation, as opposed to a total collapse.
What was your moment today?