When noon came on Thursday, it didn’t take long to get over the fact that our Admin Unplugged session was in the immense Grand Ballroom B. Participants trickled in and began to write session topics (or vote for others) on the easels at the entrance.
After about 10 minutes, Liz facilitated an icebreaker so participates could meet and introduce themselves to three different people. While that was happening, Justine and I were tallying the votes and setting up the 5 different discussion tables.
The of topics of Scheduling, Teacher Evaluation, Head of School relationship with Admin Teams, Open Gradebooks, and Leadership Training were announced. We explained that attendees would choose one of the tables and have a 20-minute discussion surrounding that topic. It wasn’t long before everyone was seated and the conversations were off and running. At the end of 20 minutes, participants could choose another table and have a conversation…
Each Thursday night at 9pm EST, a group independent school educators gather “virtually,” using the twitter hashtag #isedchat, to discuss a hot topic determined by a twtpoll or by the guest moderator. Lots of learning, sharing and connections are made, and the hour is guaranteed to fly by.
This week, our #isedchat was in a different form– we were face to face…and it was amazing! We discussed programs at our school, successes, failures, resources, and much more. Putting that face to the twitter handle is a great thing! This was a value added for my conference experience and I thank everyone who made it over to Summer Shack. We had an awesome time!
Tonight ! #isedchat meet up is at Summer Shack across from Sheraton. 9pm EST Thursday! They will reserve us a space!!! Please RT!
I attended a great session today titled: Engendering Leadership: How Independent Schools Support Successful Female Leaders. Thank you to Lindsay Koss, Pearl Kane, Lucy Goldstein, Meera Ratnesar, Frances Fondren, Karen Whitaker and Katie Arjona for all of your sage advice!
Here is what I learned:
Leadership is a behavior 1. Leadership is about doing not about the title
2. If your passions don’t align with your institution you have to listen to that and move to a place that fits.
3. You need to know the stereotypes that are attached to you (whatever they may be) – use them for your benefit or debunk them.
4. Be frank and clear in your communication even at the risk of not being perceived as nice.
5. Develop a capacity for solitude – as you move up you have a smaller peer group, develop your capacity to solve things alone or with a smaller group of people.
6. Retain your spirit of joy – It can be a joyful position. Need resiliency. Important you know how to bounce back and find the place of joy again.
Developing yourself 7. Presenting at a conference as a way to develop yourself
8. Rent feedback before you own it – look at the reason for the feedback and who is giving it – before you own it.
9. Be aware of your weaknesses – find people who can help you in those areas
Developing others 10. Modeling the way – you are modeling how to be a leader
11. Encourage leadership in each other and in your students
12. Classroom teaching is great training for leadership
13. Cultivate other people in your school
14. New teacher mentoring is an opportunity to build leaders
15. Listen and allow people to tell you their stories
16. Open yourself up to the people around you
17. Develop a protocol for everyone to have a way to think about their career arc – where would you like to be in 5 years – express aspirations and opportunities for the school to help along the way
Blending work and life 18. Work brings joy – don’t apologize or be a martyr
19. Can’t build walls up between work and life
20. Spend less time worrying about the overlap
21Spend more time making sure both are bringing you joy
22. Model as a leader what it looks like to be off line –
23. Eat a piece of chocolate and go for a run – what are your ways to indulge yourself
24. Embrace the glamour of being in a leadership position
25. Cultivate your mentors and your village
26. Times that are really hard can give you a lot to laugh about
Taking initiative 27. You don’t have to know everything in advance
28. Finance knowledge is attainable –
29. Guidestar – Find out what salaries are and ask for money.
30. Don’t be afraid to talk about your value to the institution
31. Look in the mirror and say no to yourself 10 times – the mirror doesn’t break. Don’t back down.
32. If you don’t get the raise ask for feedback as to why
33. Negotiate for PD funds, for comp time not only for money
My first session at NAIS 2015 was a 3-hour workshop entitled: “Playgrounds, Parents and Programs- Oh My! The Work of the Division Head.” It was engaging, relevant, and very informative.
Following an amazing presentation from three division heads at three different schools, the session included a “critical friends group” exercise used to unpack a challenging dilemma at our school. We were paired up and went through the process of pre-reflection, framing the dilemma, clarifying the dilemma, probing and discussing, making recommendations, and then reflecting on it. It was useful to have a peer listen, process, and then give feedback on something that was challenging for me. It was a great start to the conference!
Here are my public notes (tweets) and reflections on the session:
Post was submitted by Jason Yaffe
The title of this blog entry stems from a powerful comment made by a participant at a NAIS Annual Conference workshop. I am so grateful for her reminder and I have been reflecting on it ever since. It unfolded at a workshop entitled, “Strategy, Faculty Voice, and the Hard Work of Implementation: A Discussion for School Leaders.” And with her words, so many forces in schools seemed to coalesce for me. For the sake of time, brevity, and simplicity, let me capture it with a couple observations.
When schools truly value the wisdom from every corner of the room, they then…
Empower all (students, teachers, staff, administration, parents, and alumni) to identify and speak to school components that should stop, continue, and start (a process that the folks at Williston Northampton School recently undertook).
Redefine learning as best when it’s not top down. Administrators don’t have all of the answers, as my tablemates concluded during the Faculty Voice workshop and…Can schools improve from within and engage in in-house PD? (Credit to Roland Barth for pushing this in his pivotal Improving Schools From Within.)
Relentlessly pursue opportunities for inclusivity (Greenhill School (TX) is all about building cultural competency among all community members where voices are heard, understood, and appreciated). I’ve believed for a long time, and I am not the first, that schools that thrive are places where all feel known.
See all as teacher-leaders. If given the time, space, and place to thrive, teachers can lead. And when they lead as “farmers” (thanks to Grant Lichtman and his blog posting about that concept), cultivating the “soil,” giving “seeds” time to sprout, our “gardens” can be robust.
The fact that I am learning as much from workshop participants as I am from workshop presenters speaks to the endless possibilities that unfold when all voices are heard. Here’s to more connections at NAISAC.
When you pass by registration, take a moment to consider responses to these three burning questions. Then pick up a pencil and leave a response on the interactive wall. In addition, feel free to tweet your answers out using the tags associated with each image/question below.
When you walk up to registration, make sure you take a moment to see how you can get connected. Then make sure you get your photo taken and post it on Twitter. Here is a preview to get you started.
You were not able to stop along the way, Look through the pictures below to get the information to get you started. Get on Twitter, Subscribe to Online Community Site (This site), Like on Facebook, Follow on G+ and play with some fun online tools. The hashtag for this years conference is #NAISAC. Please note this change.