Saturday, September 8, 2012

Chat from September 19th: "Strategies for leadership teams in the changing field of education"

This is a summary from the September 19th #NCADMIN chat:
(Note: Not every tweet from the chat is included) 

Welcome everyone to tonight's topic - Strategies for Leadership Teams in the changing field of Education! 
Q1: Some leadership teams are made up of 2 & some are up to 5+ members-how do you define the role of your leadership team members? 
 A1 We define our roles in early strategy meetings. We outline goals and begin talking assignments
A1: We discuss our roles as a group, factored by principal assignment, specialized area, and experience. 
Is it important for all members on your leadership team to have an Instructional Role? 

i hv 22 ppl on our leadership team. 1 dept. chair & 1 rep from each dept. we complete Team Norms @ the 1st mtg. 
 Absolutely. This should be the primary focus of the leadership team, and all areas directly impact instruction. 
  I think its critical that ALL members of the team understand the importance of instr/curr and plan contributions
  NORMS are critical to the process!! Bravo
What are some ways that teams share/discuss instructional focus?
  If u are trying 2 develop ur school leadership 4 the next level than yes it important. 
 i want teachers 2 truly lead the sch. lots of teacher input & direction on our team 
 Some leadership teams use web tools (like wikis) to determine and prioritize areas of focus.
Does your leadership team have clearly defined roles? Are certain ppl on your team over a grade level/content area/etc.? 
  I think 2.0 tools are a great way to ensure we are all on the same page, helps with the vision/direction clarity
My team consists of one rep from each grade level, one for classified personnel, and 1-2 parent reps norms and roles at 1st mtg
I believe it's important for all to have instructional role as they need to keep the priorities sound when admin changes. 
 we have our staff of 6 over depts, and specialty areas. We use google docs to keep us on task and prioritize.
Our team is organized by Academies, and each is specified also in contents of tested areas (BIO, ALG I, ENG I). 
  we use Google also to share/archive/collaborate 
If Inst. Focus is impt- how do you create/maintain the Instructional focus/support for your building? 
I think clearly defined roles is important but often missing. 
Using google docs is also a great way to share all info w/ staff...not just the minutes of the meeting. 
RT   we use Google also to share/archive/collaborate Google to share is great resource
  It is a great tool for defining who is doing what and monitoring our efforts in different areas. 
Use GoogleDocs to create a "what I want to see" & "what I want to share" grid to organize peer observations in school  and....
 Being visible in the classroom provides the instructional leadership. 
 Focused communication and empowerment are essential to strong leadership teams
District leadership in  uses a wiki to identify short- and long-term items and share resources.  
Wlakthroughs, collaborative planning, individual conversations keep focus on instruction throughout the building 
 Love ur Google Docs Idea - would b great to have with u when your in building completing walk-through& capture ideas
..... Promote PD and learning from within. Research indicates teachers want to collab,share.Don't rely solely on "outside experts"
RT  Focused communication and empowerment are essential to strong leadership teams 
 I agree Craig! We get into at least 5 classrooms a day, but we shoot for 10. 
Great idea  Use GoogleDocs to create "what I want to see" & "what I want to share" grid to organize peer observations
 Tricia Cotham, NC House Member representing Meck and licensed Principal joining in a bit late!
I think it's essential for leadership teams to schedule regular f2f discussions as well 
Agree with Bill. Focused, differentiated PD provided by in-house " experts" can be powerful and promotes buy-in from teachers
 Weekly, designated, protected time is important for the communication of the team 
 agreed. we meet at least once a month for 2.5hrs. each month. 
  We have a commonly developd Google Form Walk Thru tool we use. 5 visits per 5 visitors is a lot of data at week's end
Q2 Does your school have an Instructional Coach, and if so, who determines the focus of their work? 
  Our admin teams meets 3 times per week for 1 hour before school. 
We are entering our third year of existence as an elementary school, so our team meets twice a month. Still much work to do. 
 We use Classroom Walkthrough Document by Teachscape that has been tailored to meet our district expectations on ipads 
A2: The Grant providing our IC expired last year; we were able to keep her on as part-time teacher. She primarily serves as Mentor.
 This year, I've changed the roles of Facilitators to Coaches, its about moving teachers 
Our district uses a locally developed Google Walkthrough form, each adm required to do 10 per week 
 We do have instructional coaches. Before we rolled them out, we created specific job descriptions, making clear they r not admins.
 good stuff! my admin. team meets weekly...i reorganized that mtg. 2 parallel a 'cabinet' type mtg. lots of input 
 Are those in the district available to help you in your school if needed? 
  We also use a google doc to record walk throughs. Great tool to have when meeting with teachers.
  Its important that EVERYONE know Inst Coaches are NOT admin! We are having to have a lot of reassuring talks abt that
 yes! In fact I have one coming next week to help me with a new teacher who is struggling in HS. 
RT  I see our APs sharing the roles as Instructional Coaches for our teachers now. good use of resources 
  good idea. wking w/ my Eng dept. 2 coach my SS dept. w/ using explicit literacy strategies n instruction
 Here is our instructional coach job description
   I think it important for AP's to play the role of instructional coaches. 
When I was an inst coach my focus was set mostly by district priorities w/ flexibility to meet needs of school & teachers. 
   also a great tool for trend data n instruction. this can fuel good discussion n a sch 
 True. If not, the danger becomes that the IC is a "gopher" and a defacto administrator
Early on, we spent as much time talking about what the coach job WASN'T as we did about what the job was. 
 The principal must set the vision and still maintain the instructional leadership. The IC is a resource, not the only curric expert
RT   I think it important for AP's to play the role of instructional coaches 
 it is important for the Inst. Coach to be able to meet the needs of the school - SIP, data, new teacher needs, etc. 
RT    I tell my APs they are more Instr Coach than anything else
As school leaders, it's an expectation for us to move good teachers to great, average to good, and strengthen our weaker teachers
 When I first started we even had a "CAN" and "CAN NOT" form - maybe a little too strigent, but helped get a start
RT : I see myself as an instrl coach until May, when summatives r completed & then I'm an evaluator  | Multiple hats
 Yes, and using all the people on your leadership team as an instructional resource can help do that!! 
  Did this "Can" "Cannot" form help differentiate admin roles and IC roles?
 the key is 2 help my staff see that i'm coaching all yr...then i'm evaluating @ the end. must build trust 2 do this
 Admins are IC but it is good to have a resource that I can turn to when I need focused attention in a classroom. 
 This is what has been stressed with the Educator Evaluation System. Only "evaluation" is at the Summary. 
RT  the key is 2 help my staff see im coaching all yr then im evaluating@ end must build trust 2 do
 I missed question 1 about communication. Here is an example of how one of our schools' leadership teams combat
 true, however, it can b hard 2 help teachers see admins as coaches vs. evaluators 
RT  This is a fantastic tool!
Q3 As leadership teams you are expected to have all the answers. How do you continue to learn/grow as a team? 
 Do any of your leadership teams do book studies together?
A3: Having a leadership team function as a PLC provides shared feedback and collaboration. We must rely on each other to grow.
 A3: We have to continue to collaborate and share experiences. 
Yes book studies are done in our leadership team... and all admin in our district do them each summer with super. Love it! 
Great point : leadership team functioning as PLC provides shared feedback/collaboration. > Leadership must model PLC! 
 We are using "Getting Started: Recruiting Schools to Become Professional Learning Communities" by Eaker and DuFours
My Superintendent told us in June we would all be participating in a book study as Principals/AP's. 
recently I started using evernote to collect key points from various training-then email that note to leadership team 4 discussion
 I've bought two books for my leadership team - Leaders of Learning and Learning by Doing. All team is relatively new to admin
 yes, i had my middle sch SLT read '5 Dysfunctions of a Team'. really good feedback & discussion. highly recommend it.
 These books will help with a pointing them in direction we need to go
  Wonderful! I did a year long bookstudy of that book by Lencioni. Have tons of resources if anyone ever needs.
  another great book for new administrators What Great Principals Do Differently by  
all principals, APs, & district admins r reading 'The Energy Bus' this yr in Rockingham County 
 reading it w/ a leadership team was extremely powerful 4 my teacher leaders.  
 I'm a fan of Dealing with Difficult Teachers - also by 
 We were able to hear  speak as a team; many of our staff were there, too. 
  I have the training guide for 5 D of a Team if you ever decide to implement at your school. 
Q4 Other than the obvious (common core), what other topics are a current focus for your leadership teams? 
Completely agree on Whitaker's What Great Principals Do Differently!
 I like  books because they give you practical common sense advice. 
 Q4 Differentiation is a huge topic! Rigor as well
 Our team is all new working together, so we are focusing on collaboration and consistency in what we do! 
  It's one of the best books I've read.

 I agree,  books are worth reading, because you can apply to your work so quickly. 
 Q4 We also focus on Data Determining Differentation
A4: Rare opportunity, we have same admin together as last year; we've been splitting up students to ensure on-track 2 graduate.
 I have had the opportunity to hear speak several times. It is always an enjoyable presentation.
A4: our team is focusing on collaboration and developing a mission and vision for our school 
Q4: we are very focused on data and closing our achievement gaps.
We each have an EOC to support, coach, and provide data analysis.
A 4: we r wking 2 figure out what data is important 2 us & how 2 use it 2 improve ach, change instruction, & close ach gaps 
Personally focusing on "shifting some monkeys" so I can focus on instruction and supporting students, staff, and families 
 absolutely! reading w/ teacher leaders was the best way 2 help them understand themselves & see roles n the sch 
 I also want to help our teachers with best practice visits in other schools
RT : Another Awesome read 4 Ed Leadrs! s book  incredibly relevant & timely 
Principals, empower your teachers by encouraging several exit slips per week & remove another assessment (like bubble tests)
My personal goal is to provide forum for teachers for online collaboration and sharing of Best Practices from informal peer obs.
 my 4th grade daughter actually has 'exit work' as a way to measure learning, and who need additional hw practice 
Agreed RT “: Another Awesome read 4 Ed Ldrs!  's  incredibly relevant & timely 
 YES! sometimes we don't celebrate the greatness within our own building 
  I visited 12 different schools last year and it had a profound affect on how I viewed effective teaching.
 really like your personal goal, what great way to support collaboration 
 if ur interested, here's the link. it was my previous sch, but it really helped share ideas w/in the sch
As we wind down, note Next chat: October 3, "New Teacher Support", guest moderator . Should be another engaging topic!
Great sharing of resources, thanks to each of you for your input! I look forward to us continuing to grow together!! 
 My AP and I are in the process of setting up informal peer observations within the building for some of our teachers
Looking forward to chatting about new teacher support with you all in a couple of weeks! 
  i created a Walk-thru blog 4 my last school. wiking on 1 4 2nd semester @ my current sch. 
Fantastic chat tonight! I've learned so much. Thanks for sharing everybody! 
A HUGE thank you to  for leading tonight's collaboration. 
  A huge thank you to Craig and Derek for setting this up and giving us a chance to collaborate!
Enjoyed my first  chat tonight! Looking forward to continued connections!
Thank you to everyone for promoting the chat/blog. Have a great evening! 
I'm pumped to see so many new folks joining tonight's conversation! &  - Good advertising! 

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