- Slides: 42
Elementary Principals Statewide Mentoring Meeting Thursday, September 12, 2013
Outcomes: Grow your professional network; Process start of the year; Explore goal-setting strategies and tools; Consider strategies for dealing with difficult staff; Increase awareness regarding legal issues; Reflect on how to engage staff in effective professional learning; and Identify strategies for improving individual leadership-life fit.
Grounding our work today… What items on your entry plan (or beginning of the year plan) have you successfully completed and where is your next area for focus? What barriers have you encountered? How might your colleagues at the table support you?
Developing our Learning Community Setting Goals and Supporting Professional Learning
Success Analysis Protocol 1. 2. 3. 4. Groups of 6. First person shares his/her goal-setting tool/strategy/article/etc. , how it is used, why it’s successful, and/or what might need tweaked (4 minutes) Group processes by asking questions and offering insights (4 minutes). Repeat steps two and three until all six colleagues have shared.
Group Processing After everyone has shared, discuss what was learned by the analysis and the implications for your work as leaders. (5 minutes) Debrief the protocol How did the process work for your group? How could it be improved? How might you use this with your teachers and or other groups?
Break! Grow your professional network—choose a new table !
Working Productively with Difficult Staff Laura Medberry, College Community
Working Productively with Difficult Staff SAI Elementary Statewide Mentoring Meeting September 12, 2013
First things first. . .
Learning Outcomes for this session: ● Distinguish between two categories of improvement conversations ● Generate one situation in your school to use a “observation-fix-rationale” conversation ● Identify three techniques for effective conversations about instructional improvements ● Generate one situation in your school to use a “Six Thinking Hats” protocol ● Reflect upon your disposition toward improvement conversations with staff
Two Categories of Improvement Conversations Short Term Managerial and professional conduct Related to Iowa Teaching Standard 8 and various criteria from 1 -7. Long Term Instructional practices including classroom management, lesson planning, assessment, and collaborative practices. Related to Iowa Teaching Standards 1 - 7.
Scenario 1 A parent has a difficult time arriving on time for school. She has one child with severe anxiety who, when tardy, has a meltdown. When this happens, the child displays significant aggression toward adults and property destruction when anxious. requires several adults and about 30 - 45 minutes to calm him. When entering the office a little later you hear the tail end of a secretary’s comment to another employee which was “if she would just get here on time, then this wouldn’t happen! Poor kid!” What did you observe? What is the remedy? What is the rationale?
Scenario 2 The building principal has made a point of reiterating the importance of “working the crowd” when at recess and in the lunchroom. When observing one day, she notices that one lunchroom supervisor is standing in one location and directing students to their seats. What did you observe? What is the remedy? What is the rationale?
Scenario 3 A paraprofessional is having difficulty arriving on time to work. When reviewing the time reports, the building principal notes that the para arrived late two times in the last two weeks. It is only 2 or 3 minutes, but she is tardy nonetheless. The principal has spoken with the para on two other occasions last year about timeliness. What did you observe? What is the remedy? What is the rationale?
Avoidable Stress The feeling you feel when you see something and don’t respond is a sign of a disconnect between your values and your actions. If they pile up, you will feel stress that could have been avoided. Avoidable stress is worse than regular stress.
Reflection Action Is there a situation in your school in which you could address a managerial issue through a quick, observation -remedy-rationale conversation? What are you observing? What is the remedy? What is the rationale?
It’s a tough job • • Tier III plans that involve a high level of communication and documentation. . . getting deep into the Intensive Assistance Cycle. Tough conversations with teachers that led to resignations, two of which were mid-year. Discrimination case brought against me (personal and professional liability) via the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. Several conversations with ISEA directors from associated districts. Local union president and vice-president meetings Extensive contact with district attorneys Threats from family members of marginal teachers in the Tier III process Countless improvement conversations around instructional strategies, classroom management, and professional conduct such as verbal abuse of students, falsifying absence reports, etc. . but we have to do it.
Disciplined Practice 1. Prepare an agenda and plan language to refocus the conversation. Play defense, but don’t get defensive. 2. Frame arguments as inquiry and conflict as healthy, using internal and external expertise wisely. 3. Build relationships through expressions of gratitude, acknowledgement of growth and of excellence, and genuine care for all staff members.
Prepare an agenda and plan language to refocus the conversation. Play defense, but don’t get defensive.
Frame arguments as inquiry and conflict as healthy, using internal and external expertise wisely.
Protocols Use protocols and structured conversations to frame argument as inquiry and model healthy conflict. Observers: During the Six Thinking Hats conversation, do you see opportunities for us to use internal and external expertise? A group of teachers recently attended a training where the presenter advocated for a small group literacy structure where the goals are exclusively related to phonics and fluency. One teacher is convinced that this is the right approach and shared her strong opinions during a recent team meeting. Two others quickly chimed in in support of the phonics-based instruction.
Reflection Action Is there a situation in your school in which a “Six Thinking Hats” process may help to frame argument as inquiry and model healthy conflict?
Build relationships through expressions of gratitude, acknowledgement of growth and of excellence, and genuine care for all staff members.
Reflection I am developing “thick skin” so having conversations with difficult staff members doesn’t bother me. I am developing objectivity toward the change process and having conversations with difficult staff members isn’t about me.
LUNCH & Relocate !
Reminders from the Legal Vortex Matt Carver, SAI
Discussion Panel: Engaging Staff in Professional Learning Amy May, Aplington-Parkersburg Al Neppl, Ankeny
Discussion Panel How do you determine a focus for professional learning? How do you organize your staff to engage in professional learning? What does your schedule to support professional learning look like?
Discussion Panel What role do you play in planning for and/or providing/facilitating professional learning in your building? How do your district and building professional learning plans complement each other? How do you monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of your professional learning?
Break! Grow your professional network--choose a new table !
Leadership-life Fit Dana Schon, SAI
By the end of this segment, participants will have… Revisited the concept of balance as compared to fit Identified strategies for reducing stress and creating an ebb and flow that works for you
Challenging the Notion of Worklife Balance http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=f 3 moh. M 05 yxs
The Notion of Balance… Is discussed most frequently discussed in the negative Keeps us focused on the problem rather than the solution Assumes we are all the same Infers there is a “right” answer Leads us to judge Results in unproductive guilt Suggests the goal is a 50 -50 split between work and life Leaves no room for periods where there is more work and less life and vice versa; and Ignores the constantly changing reality of work and life
You are one person, so there is no need to try to separate your personal life from your work life.
Why a work-life fit? Honors our unique situations throughout various points in our lives Leads us to inspire Recognizes multiple options based upon each person’s current circumstance Acknowledges the ebb and flow of life’s events Values flexibility
Reframe Your Thinking and Change the Script Negative/Powerless Thinking I don’t have enough time… I have to… I need to… I should… Positive/Empowered Thinking I didn’t take time to… I choose/want to… I could…
Strategies for a Better Fit Schedule Your Life – both work and free time Create Lists – Know what needs to be done and put it on your schedule Set priorities – Complete the most important things first Create Systems for anything you do more than twice Know when to say No – Delegate and stop trying to do it all.
Keep working to find your leadership-life fit!!
Final Thoughts & Evaluation http: //bit. ly/Statewide. Elem Next Meeting: January 28, 2014