Building Capacity Through Leadership

Leadership - Summary

Effective leadership acknowledges the agency of all members of the learning community to take on formal and informal leadership roles to advance the school mission.

To create the culture and conditions necessary for all to take on leadership roles, leaders lead by establishing a shared purpose, encouraging shared responsibilities and building leadership capacity in the learning community.

Effective leaders:

Source: ibo.org | Career Management

​The Future of Educational Leadership

Click/Tap image to view/download 28-page document (Direct Download)Source: Association of Independent Schools of South AustraliaThe intention of this paper is to reflect on the nature of the leadership required at a most pivotal time in human history: an era of existential threat through climate crisis; the perils of pandemics; violent conflict; declining democracy; and widening divides – set against the immense possibilities becoming available. The purpose in this paper is to indicate the direction such leadership should take. The paper offers five ‘signposts’ to that direction.

An Insightful Booklist For PYP Leaders 

Click/Tap image to view/download 6-page documentSource: ToddleA booklist curated from speakers at the PYP Leaders Boot Camp, 2020.  Concept-Based Curriculum Design and Developing Transformational Leadership, these books are sure to refresh your learning and bring new perspectives to your leadership journeys. 

Trust & Inspire

Source: Toddle - School Leaders Bootcamp 2023 (Here you can view all 31 presentations)
This wonderful keynote presentation by Stephen MR Covey focuses on what he believes is the leadership crisis today, where even though our world has changed drastically, our leadership style has not. Most organizations, teams, schools, and families today, he states still operate from a model of “command and control,” focusing on hierarchies and compliance from people. In his speech, he offers a simple yet bold solution: to shift from this “command and control” model to a leadership style of “trust and inspire.”
Stephen RH Covey's book: Trust & Inspire: How Truly Great Leaders Unleash Greatness in Others

PYP Coordinator 101

Click/Tap image to view articleSource: Toddle WebsiteIt’s possible you have been teaching the IB PYP for years now or only a few. Maybe the whole PYP thing is completely new to you. 
But walking in on the first day, planning and organizing for the year ahead can seem like an insurmountable mountain. 
Here is a friendly and heartfelt look at how to survive the first month.

Sustainable Leadership Criteria

Especially at the middle leader level, colleagues can work collaboratively to create success criteria that can positively impact student learning by developing knowledge, effectiveness, impact, and contributions toward professional culture. Developing criteria and reflection routines for leadership success that can be sustained over time, adapted, and used at your school will help measure leadership growth and its impact on student learning. This process allows the consideration of individual leadership, team, and overall school growth so that appropriate support can be offered where needed. It allows schools and leaders to know how they are doing and where they might need to make adjustments and/or decisions to continue on the same path.

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Click/Tap image to view/download document (Direct Download)Source: Core & More Education

Book: What Makes a Great Principal: The Five Pillars of Effective School Leadership

By: George Couros & Allyson Apsey 

"What Makes a Great Principal" provides an insightful look at the key qualities and practices that define truly effective school leaders. Authors George Couros and Allyson Apsey, both experienced educators themselves, outline five core "pillars" that they believe are essential for principals to embody:

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Amazon.com: ISBN13 -978-1948334730 / Impress (April 17, 2024)/ 212 pages

Through a mix of research, relatable examples and practical advice, the authors make a compelling case that integrating these five pillars is crucial for creating positive school cultures and driving student success. While targeted primarily at principals, the book offers valuable insights for any current or aspiring educational leader.

Overall, "What Makes a Great Principal" is an insightful and actionable guide for cultivating the mindsets and practices needed to lead an effective 21st century school. The authors' passion for great leadership shines through.

Spaces Leaders Need to Create

Click/Tap image to view/download document (Direct Download)Source: Dr Hayley Lewis - Twitter

Theory of Thriving at Work

Click/Tap image to view/download documentSource: Dr Hayley Lewis - Twitter (Direct Download)

Observe Me - Teachers Observing Teachers

Click/Tap Image to read blog - Source: Robert Kaplinski Blog

"A teacher who doesn’t collaborate works on an isolated island.  When this lack of collaboration permeates an entire school, teachers more closely resemble independent contractors than colleagues." In this podcast, Rober Kaplinski advocates for teachers to observe colleagues by posting a sign to let people know they are welcome in their classroom. Here’s a template you can use and below is what it looks like.

For this to work there needs to be an element of trust and risk-taking preferably school-wide, but at minimum between two teachers.  I would start small - with my grade-level colleagues. During a planning session, you could set out the protocols for observation and feedback. No time to observe, you say. With a grade-level colleague decide to plan and co-teach a lesson. Decide on who will teach what and come up with a few observation goals (look fors). Combine classes - teach and observe each other - reflect.

** If you've had your sign up but aren't getting the results you hoped for, then here's a blog post that should really help you.

Workshop Protocol to Solve Any Problem

Source: UX Planet Website | Runtime - 21:44 - Oct 26, 2018

Looking for a workshop/PD protocol that you can use for ALMOST ANYTHING involving getting a people in a room to define and solve challenges. Look no farther than Lightning Decision Jam: A Workshop to Solve Any Problem

This website blog provides step-by-step instructions on how to run a LDJ workshop (see video - right). There is even a video that explains the process. The LDJ workshop is perfect for learning coordinators, grade level/division leaders and administrators wishing to define and solve challenges.

Also, check out A. Juliani's video where he walks you through the steps of a "Lightning Decision Jam" which he believes is one of the fastest ways to take our problems and reframe them into "how might we..." statements and ultimately a plan that multiple stakeholders have developed together.

Giving Constructive Feedback

Click/Tap the image to read this blogSource: TCEA
Feedback is essential for improvement, regardless of age, profession, or skill level. But many in leadership avoid giving constructive feedback or simply focus on the positive. Why is that?

Things to Discuss At Appraisal

Click/Tap image to view/download document (Direct Download)  Source: Dr Hayley Lewis - Twitter

Articles: Educational Leadership

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Effective Teacher Professional Development

In 2017 the Learning Policy Institute put out a comprehensive report on Effective Teacher Professional Development, written by Linda Darling-Hammond, Maria E. Hyler, and Madelyn Gardner, with assistance from Danny Espinoza.

After reading the report it comes down to two things that hold back most professional learning experiences:

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Reason #1: A lot of professional learning is "sit and get".

The report is clear. This does not usually work, unless it is to kick off follow-up active PD sessions.

In the report they identify seven factors of effective PD. Five out of the first six are specifically about active and hands on learning.

Using the methodology detailed in Appendix A, we identify seven characteristics of effective PD. Specifically, we find that it:

1. Is content focused

2. Incorporates active learning utilizing adult learning theory (can't do this in sit and get)

3. Supports collaboration, typically in job-embedded contexts (can't do this in sit and get)

4. Uses models and modeling of effective practice (can't do this in sit and get)

5. Provides coaching and expert support (can't do this in sit and get)

6. Offers opportunities for feedback and reflection (can't do this in sit and get)

We see that each characteristic is slightly different, but almost all of them cannot be successful in a "sit and get" type of learning environment. This is why the most effective PD is often an "Earn to Learn" session where both the facilitator and the learner are working to create authentic meaning out of the experience.

Reason #2: A lot of professional learning is "one and done"

The seventh characteristic of effective PD is "sustained duration". This means it cannot be a single session on a single topic. When we do this there is no research to support it being effective in any way, and is often a waste of time.

If you are leading professional learning, try to filter the experiences and sessions between these two reasons and see how it stacks up.

If you have to do a sit and get session, follow it up with a hands on experience like a design sprint, rapid prototyping session, or empathy mapping experience.

Then follow up and continue the focus of your professional learning for a sustained duration to make it effective.

Source: Learning Policy Institute & A.J. Juliani Blog

Leading a 'Thinking School' Podcast

This Rethinking Education podcast is a fascinating conversation about why we need to rethink how we capture and evaluate and celebrate the achievements of young people; and how to transform a school by focusing on the professional learning and development of teachers. It would be inspiring to share this podcast with teachers/admin and discuss the implications for their school…and then create a road map on how to implement some of the ideas. 

3 Ways Administrators Can Show They Care About Teachers as People

Click/Tap image to view blog - Source: Edutopia
It’s easy for school leaders to get caught up in roles and responsibilities—but it’s important to remember that teachers are more than their job titles.

How To Lead With Empathy

Click/Tap on image to view article - Source: Edutopia
Six ways to build a school culture that prioritizes understanding the experiences and perspectives of others.

Guide to Collaborative Leadership

Sept 2019 - Run Time 14:05
What's the difference between heroes and leaders? In this insightful talk, Lorna Davis explains how our idolization of heroes is holding us back from solving big problems -- and shows why we need "radical interdependence" to make real change happen. Happy  viewing.

Cognitive Biases to become a Decisive Leader

Click/Tap on image to view article  Source: EHL Insights
Learn about 12 cognitive biases to become a decisive leader. Humans like to twist the reality in a way that goes along with their own beliefs. Consequently, we often tend to speak with confidence about things we don’t fully understand. As much as we want to be right, rational and logical, we are constantly under the influence of cognitive biases.Almost everything in our lives is a bias. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s important to be aware of these biases and try to mitigate them as much as possible to be in the known. 
**You may also wish to explore: What is Bias

Strategies for Leaders to Improve School Culture

Click/Tap on image to view article  (Direct Download Above Image) Source: Tech Notes website
School leaders play a critical role in shaping school culture. They should empower and support teachers by providing necessary resources and professional development opportunities. Involving staff in developing the school's mission and vision creates a collaborative culture. Recognizing achievements and celebrating successes of students, teachers, and staff is important. Building partnerships with parents and the community enhances learning experiences. Lastly, leaders should lead by example, demonstrating desired behaviors and values. Implementing these strategies improves school culture and creates a positive environment for all.

Guided Reflection and Review

Click/Tap on image to view/download documentSource: Toddle
For a successful beginning to the school year, Toddle provides you a straightforward three-step blueprint designed to assist you in reflecting and resetting with purpose. Developed by Mike Matthews, a seasoned curriculum leader and coach, this one-hour guided reflection session will enable you to ponder on the previous year, delve into your key takeaways, and establish actionable goals for the new school year. 

What to Look for in Today's Classroom

Click/Tap on image to view/download document (Direct Download) Source: Sylivia Duckworth

What Every Child Needs to Hear

Click/Tap on image to view/download document (Direct Download)  Source: Sylivia Duckwort

Things Students Want Educators to Know

Click/Tap on image to view/download document (Direct Download)  Source: Sylivia Duckworth

PYP Approaches to Teaching Poster 

Click/Tap image to view/download poster (Direct Download)  Source: Managebac

Principled Negotiation: Getting to Yes

Click/Tap image to view/download document (Direct Download)  Source: Dr Hayley Lewis - TwitterBook Source: Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In

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