How do we create real, meaningful dialogue about issues instead of screaming sound bites at each other and making each other out to be people who somehow don’t care? We all are people who care about people. Why can’t we assume positive intent?
Educators go to work everyday to help kids. Can we be part of a real dialogue about how to align economic decisions to the core values of our country — instead of beating each other up publicly?
As planning for 2011-12 progresses, I am more and more fired up about what’s ahead as we unleash the talent in BES schools on real collaboration and a tight focus on improving student achievement. Routine classroom walkthroughs have revealed pockets of excellent teaching and innovation all across the district yet we currently lack a system or structure to push effective practices into other areas of teaching and learning. Plans call for routine meetings focused on the 4 PLC questions in purposeful teams aligned both vertically and horizontally. Those two pieces are the key… purposeful teams that focus on the right work. Read more
Principal meetings this week will be focused on chapters 7 and 8 in Learning By Doing pushing forward our conversation about implementing the PLC process across the district. Chapter 7, titled “Using Relevant Information to Improve Results,” challenges leaders to create a results oriented culture that facilitates real dialogue about student achievement. Chapter 8, called “Implementing the PLC Process Districtwide,” calls for strong leadership in the central office, a challenge to increase the leadership capacity of principals, and a clear call for district leaders to be both tight and loose in the expectations for schools. We will discuss both chapters during our meeting and work to develop common understandings of DuFour’s work and how to implement it successfully BES schools. Sincere thoughts that will add to our conversation are welcomed here!! Read more
I’ve been reading Dietrich Bonhoeffer; A Spoke in the Wheel by Renate Wind for a few weeks now, and I find myself absorbed by the struggles he faced and how they might apply to my own journey. The writing allows us to sense we’re hearing directly from Bonhoeffer as he processes his internal toil trying to reconcile an upper-middle class upbringing while seeing suffering all around him, the tension between grace and doing the real work we’re called to do, and how the church he served was aligning itself with Hitler and the nationalist movement sweeping Germany in the 1930s. The martyr and author of Cost of Discipleship, Bonhoeffer seemed to be constantly haunted by the realization that others in his church didn’t see – or act upon – the happenings around them. His desire was to help the church change course, but losing ground, he was eventually driven to conceed and part ways with his beloved institution. Bonhoeffer not only decided to part ways, the master theologian helped to facilitate a plot on Hitler’s life – a decision that seems impossible for a christian preacher – and one that cost him his life. Read more