Day 27 (of 184) walking the talk
Educational leadership is tough. It’s no enough to talk the talk. A school can’t be led by an approach of ‘do as I say’. Yet discussion has to occur – walking the walk without talking about it may be interesting…but will it encourage others to make changes if they can’t talk about ‘why’…..
Modelling descriptive feedback. I am a firm believer of this – both through the work of Ken O’Connor and Assessment FOR Learning advocates. I haven’t made a checkmark or put a score on paper for years. And I brag about it (and why) with everyone who asks how/why.
Modelling risk taking – though SOLE & genius hour. I want my learning community to try new things. Last year I introduced ‘genius 3/4 of an hour’ for students to explore topics they are passionate about. This year I started SOLE (self organized learning environments) to help tackle science and socials topics in non-traditional ways. I can’t tell others to think differently if I’m not doing the same!
Modelling our school goals every day – tech and anxiety. Specifically adding technology to our learning environment which has been part of ‘the family business’ for three decades. What my father did with bringing microwaves and desktops, I am trying to do with voice amplification systems and tablets (and definitely see the iPad mini as the paradigm shifter in education).
And specifically removing anxiety from the learning community by working on strategies an using tools for our children and adults do a better job with self regulation.
Modelling classroom practice. I encouraged a primary teacher to schedule unstructured play time. We agreed it could be tough and to provide moral support, I built some unstructured play time into my class routine. Tough to ‘let go’ but worth if.
Modelling ‘not being happy with the status quo’. I hate that kids hate math. I also hate the lip service educators pay math – go example saying that it is as important as language arts, but while we report out on reading writing and oral language separately, we report out on numeracy. A 3:1 report card ratio…
Since introducing Recreational Math, I have seen reluctant mathers add (pun intended) two math activities to their eportfolio that they enjoyed learning about – even though they still justified having ‘math’ on their ‘things I don’t like page’.
I’m constantly trying to show that I’m okay with other educators playing with the curriculum to engage and motivate their learning community. It’s what I talk, walk and am as an educational leader. Giddy up!