How great groups make great schools
Training leaders how to conduct effective meetings is important, but it's not enough to ensure that the professional development process is valuable. This field book shows educators how to develop group culture, enhance facilitators' skills, and optimize the group's most precious resource—its members. The authors describe how to form working committees, task forces, grade-level, and department teams, and faculties that are more effective and better equipped to resolve complex issues around student learning. Specific topics include
Understanding eight principles that underlie effective groups; Learning the five standards for effective meetings; Setting clear goals and roles; Practicing new ways of talking for improved collaboration; Examining perceptions and mental models; Enhancing energy sources; Working with conflict; Developing basic facilitation skills
This practical guide's special features include the newly updated seven norms of collaboration, a sample team assessment survey, instruments for assessing meeting effectiveness, an extensive bibliography, and practical examples embedded throughout the text. Practitioners will find a valuable road map for leading effective, student-focused school improvement efforts.
Chapter 7: Challenging Mental Models
Challenging Mental Models
A group of seventh-grade teachers had been meeting regularly since the beginning of the academic year, spending an hour and a half every other week during team time to talk about their students. The principal of this high-poverty school had staked her credibility with her superiors on the idea that the additional professional learning time would help turn the building's low achievement around. I spent our initial session listening in on this group's work.
“Miriam is such a problem,” a teacher said about a student. “She just never stops talking. And Akin—he can't sit still. Even when I can get him to sit at his desk for 10 minutes, I walk over there and he's not paying attention at all; he's ...