Fearless Conversations School Leaders Have to Have
Publication Year: 2018
This book is anchored in established research focusing primarily on the factors and skills that are required for strong and powerful leadership (Marzano); Tomlinson’s research on Differentiation; McTighe and Wiggins’ work on goal setting and feedback; and Ferguson’s research on building strong learning cultures. One of the unique features of this book is how the authors applied lessons from the findings about improving students’ achievement, to improving the work and job satisfaction of the adults who are responsible for student learning. The chapter titles are frequently inspired and adapted from student achievement research and the authors’ experiences and their continuing insights and growth as school leaders. This book will provide doable, practical ideas and strategies that can be put to use right away in a ...
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
- Chapter 1: Creating and Sustaining a Viable Work Environment
- Chapter 2: Crafting and Supporting Strong Missions and Visions
- Chapter 3: Improving Through Effective Feedback
- Chapter 4: Increasing Parent and Community Stakeholder Partnerships
- Chapter 5: Managing and Sustaining an Organized, Productive, Ever-Changing School Culture
- Chapter 6: Boosting Collegial Climates by Providing Embedded Professional Development
- Chapter 7: Planning for Success
Copyright © 2018 by Corwin
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[Page viii] This book is dedicated to Benson D. Blake and Jeannette G. Jones for their unwavering support, love, and encouragement from the beginning of this project to its conclusion. Their advice, suggestions, and insights were valued and appreciated as we collaborated on this endeavor.
Leadership in education, as in every other sector of society, has always been important. However, today that leadership is both more important and more difficult than ever before. That is why Fearless Conversations About Leadership: How to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone and Really Help Kids is a must read for all existing and aspiring administrators and teacher leaders.
To make this point, let me pose just one of many fearless conversations school leaders today need to lead. Today’s schools were designed to prepare students for success in the 20th century—a time when students needed to have a series of skills and knowledge that schools were well organized and focused on to teach. The technology/information-based society our students will now work and live in has changed many of the skills and knowledge they will need and, most important, how they will need to be used. Much of what we have traditionally taught and tested in our schools can now be Googled. Therefore, by way of example, we won’t let students use their technology when they take a test because they might Google the answer or share information with others via a text or e-mail. In other words, they might use resources or work with others—the two most basic skills needed for success in the world beyond school.
This raises one of many questions school leaders need to confront. Are we trying to make technology conform to our 20th-century schools, or are we trying to transform our 20th-century schools to better prepare our students for success in the 21st century’s technology/information-based society in which they will live and work?
[Page xvi]The authors have a rich history in helping their colleagues address difficult issues such as these. Therefore, their suggestions in this book are not theoretical; they are proven strategies. From creating an environment that will have such thoughtful and soul-searching conversations to developing a vision-driven culture to frame the discussion, the authors provide great insights and also very practical strategies.
As the authors so nicely lay out, fearless conversations can only be productive when they are thoughtfully planned and executed.
Having personally watched the authors successfully lead their schools, it is a pleasure to now see them helping existing and aspiring school leaders to also benefit from their experiences and insights.Founder and Chairman of the International Center for Leadership in Education
Corwin gratefully acknowledges the contributions of the following reviewers:
Mary K. Culver, Clinical Professor, K–12 Educational Leadership
Bill Daggett, Founder and Chairman
International Center for Leadership in Education
Rexford, New York
Dr. Rich Hall, Director of Elementary Education
Henrico County Public Schools
Kathryn Jones, Clinical Instructor in Educational Leadership
Scott A. Miller, Middle School Educator
The American School of Kinshasa
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
Melinda Whittle, High School Vice Principal
Arizona Preparatory Academy
Phoenix, Arizona[Page xviii]
About the Authors
[Page 169]Appendix ADaggett System for Effective Instruction Questionnaire
- : Daggett System for Effective Instruction Questionnaire
- : An Invitation to Our Readers[Page 168]
Please complete the following readiness rubric as a team to effectively understand where your school or district is in terms of readiness to effectively act as a system to improve instruction.
It is important to first complete this rubric as a team and then move to creating action plans based on the three segments of the Daggett System of Effective Instruction (DSEI). The action plans are provided and should be completed collaboratively based on the highest-need practice areas for each of the segments.
If you need to refer to the DSEI white paper or element descriptors, you may access them at DSEI white paper (www.leadered.com/our-philosophy/dsei/questionnaire).KEY: Best Practices Descriptors
Organizational Leadership Questionnaire
- Firmly Established: The practice is long-standing, is deeply embedded in the district or school culture, and is embraced as a priority by all stakeholders.
- [Page 170]Partially Established: The practice is in the beginning stages of implementation, and there is significant support for the practice among many stakeholders. However, the practice is not equally understood or valued among all groups. The practice is not implemented with fidelity across the system.
- In Planning Stages: There is significant support for the practice across the system. It is seen as a high priority by many, and planning is underway to implement and/or pilot it.
- Not Evident: The practice is not viewed as a high priority by many stakeholders, and there is no evidence of planning or implementation.
[Page 171] [Page 172]Reflect on the following questions, and identify the level of readiness for each item.Instructional Leadership Questionnaire
Reflect on the following questions, and identify the level of readiness for each item.Teaching Questionnaire
[Page 173] [Page 174] [Page 175]Reflect on the following questions and identify the level of readiness for each item.Reference[Page 176] [Page 177] [Page 178] ( 2017 ). Daggett System for Effective Instruction (DSEI) Questionnaire. New York, NY: International Center for Leadership in Education. Retrieved from www.leadered.com/our-philosophy/dsei/questionnaire[Page 179]Appendix BAn Invitation to Our Readers
[Page 180]One of the challenges of improving as leaders is to disrupt our isolation from major sources of power—each other. We invite you to share your experiences, thoughts, stories, ideas, and problems to help us create a powerful volume of resourceful tools that can benefit others. Our follow-up plan includes sharing information from our readers in a manner that may provide support to them and others. Please use the following guidelines:
- Please limit your submission to two (2) pages or less.
- Please describe the pertinent demographics of your school or school district.
- Describe how sharing this information, problem, situation, and so on may benefit others.
- Submit your information electronically to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Submitting your ideas, stories, and so on constitute your giving permission for them to be used in future volumes. If your information is selected for inclusion in future sharing, names, school districts, and other identifiable information will be deleted and/or changed to preserve anonymity. Contributors will be acknowledged in the resource section of the book.
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