Session 1: Get your Leadership Freak On
The session started out with a conversation that I have been a part of many times... Educators (teachers, admin, etc) want to make change, but they don't feel they have the freedom to do so! Many suggestions were offered, but here are a few key take-aways from this conversation:
- Never throw your direct supervisor under any sort of bus when trying to express interest in change. We discussed that putting blame on principals or district admin for not making change is not a way to have a positive conversation. Instead, try discussion some ideas that you're interested in.
- Start small, not everyone has to jump on board at once. As practices are proven to be successful, others will jump on board.
- Have a serious conversation about WHY people are in education. What type of environment should students experience? What do experiences should students walk away from? What is BEST for students? This type of conversation will probably take place over a matter of months, but if a team establishes a set of beliefs - they will always be able to come back and explain why they choose certain practices. If some practices can't be explained...it is probably time to move on to something new!
We also discussed different team building ideas. Here are a couple of my favorite ideas that were thrown out:
- Pumpkin Bowling! Pumpkin bowling is EXACTLY what it sounds like! This school actually bowled in their halls with pumpkins. Evidently at least one pumpkin exploded and made a mess...but mission accomplished - the staff bonded!
- Marshmallow Challenge. Here is the website that explains the marshmallow challenge. It is easy to set up and lots of fun! You can also check out a TED talk about the challenge here.