Sunday, October 13, 2013

Learning & Leading

Week #9 of SAVMP challenged me to reflect on the Learning part of Leading. 
This past week I took a day for personal business and then had the opportunity to attend a PD session with Richard Allington. This is Canadian Thanksgiving weekend and I am thankful for three things I learned while I was away for two days:  Connect & Refresh, Grow, and Be Humbled

1. Connect & Refresh:  The session was sponsored by @mbascd and I was able to connect with a number of my colleagues that I rarely see.  I was able to have conversations with other administrators; a commodity is short supply for many stand-alone school admin.  Professional conversation with people who deal with the same issues and concerns provides opportunity to gain fresh perspectives, learn new things, and sometimes just plain vent.  I met up with one friend I hadn’t seen in twenty years and had an opportunity to meet @chrisjstahl “ilr” in real life.

2.  Grow:  I was more than ‘nudged’ by Dick Allington and his deep well of data; his acerbic style was inflammatory for many, but I relished the bluntness!  Teaching is hard work and we need our best and brightest teachers with our most at risk students.  I was reminded of my friend @kimcjr who always told me we need to be teaching with a sense of urgency…when reviewing the studies that Allington spoke of I can see why!  As an educational leader I need to reset my own focus sometimes.  Taking a day of PD is a great way to enable this.

3. Be Humbled: Upon my return to school, I found that the world ran on with out me.  I was actually away for two and a half days due to the alignment of meetings, personal time and PD.  @mlhrom is a super designate who steps into the role easily and is supported by the entire team. During my absence we had a few new students register, construction begin on a grooming room, a new classroom teepee erected, and a major community event organized.  I am very blessed to work with an amazing team – they remind me that everyone is replaceable, including me. 

I send my thoughts to my PLN friends on this Thanksgiving weekend.  You have given me an audience for my thoughts and an opportunity to express them.  I often refer to Twitter and the #SAVMP (School Adminstrator Virtual Mentorship Program) as a forge that pushes me to clarify my educational philosophy.  Expressing beliefs in 140 character tweets or fewer than 1000 word blog posts is like swaging and edging…responses, comments and conversations are the hammering and shaping.   

Enjoy the weekend!


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