Dear Courageous Leader,
Today’s teachers are required to juggle many responsibilities. From content expert to strategy guru teachers need to be at their best. The constantly changing demands of the classroom also require teachers to be expert collaborators. Schools undergoing continuous improvement must pay attention to the culture they are creating. This is one of the reasons why you will find words like Professional Learning Communities and Common Assessments rolling off educator’s tongues. These are the structures educators have built to help foster the development of collaborative environments. Yet, we have seen schools with common planning time, and regular PLC meetings fail.
To effectively manage change and build a truly collaborative culture schools need to move beyond the structures and truly build behaviors and trust if they want to create an environment of continuous improvement. The Adaptive School by Robert Garmston and Bruce Wellman is a book that clearly articulates not only the behaviors which need to be built but also provides detailed examples of how you build them. Through the book and the Adaptive School training, educator consciousness is raised. Participants learn about the four hats of leadership and more importantly how each person on the team “lives into” those hats a various times. Readers learn about norms and building a safe environment to discuss difficult topics like personal practice in the classroom. It teaches educational leaders so many skills it truly changes the way educators think about school.
I’d like to invite you to check out our summer Adaptive School seminar being held in August. One of the benefits will be working with Carolyn McKanders, but far more reaching will be the impact this experience has on your perceptions about managing change and striving for continuous improvement. Consider coaxing your colleagues into a summer training session with you. We find that schools which have a number of people embracing and using the skills learned in adaptive schools are much more successful at implementing any changes that come their way.
Enjoy this month’s newsletter about collaboration!
Sherry and The IEE Team