Wednesday, April 20, 2011

3 characteristics of a leader

Following all those conferences from rural northland: google teachers #gta2011 - apple educators #adeanz - #nappgen2011 aspiring principals - #slide2learn australian mobile learning.
It was quite a disruption to the first week of the holidays. Fishing, lawnmowing, watching sport on sky, and these bloody conferences, there I was thinking i'm missing everything, something.

After favouriting tweets I went back and read through the links. I couldn't help but think Derek was onto something.
The quote that bit me on the backside was this “there are three characteristics of a leader, they have vision, they are able to articulate that vision, and they engender the trust of others to pursue that vision.”
This came from Leadership for 21st Century Learning Don Hanna.

I was asked a question in tweet form from Julie.
So why wouldn't I use dereks quote as my answer?

Problem is, what does this vision look like and sound like on a daily basis and how do you get to the stage that its being actioned ?

A leader has to have a vision but it needs to be shared, it needs to be owned by all those on the staff, and it needs to make sense, not some airy fairy crap. The vision cant be just about data driven educational outcomes. It has to include a philosophical synthesis of teachers, expectations around hard work, expectations around empathy, and a whole school approach to not just students but their whole family.
After that paragraph is ticked the action of the vision and the trust of others to deliver on it is paramount. So what should leaders do to help others deliver the vision?
They have to live the vision themselves through action. Taking the time to help teachers and staff deliver to children and families in and beyond the classroom. Backing your staff in your community, supporting them when the gossip is running. Giving staff opportunities to lead, being there to support them after hours and in class. Celebrate the success of teachers and kids. Thanking them publicly in speeches, newsletters etc.
The list could go on, let me know your essentials for engendering the trust of staff to implement the shared vision.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

If you expect pathetic you probably will get it

Recently heaps of fellow principals attended the NZPF conference in Wellington. I got a few tweets coming from there from @carolynstuart . @lenva was also in attendance but she doesn't have the principals funded 3g coverage and there was no wifi available to get her thoughts out there. So I made some sarcastic remark about NZPF being old farts not knowing about twitter and carried on with my day. I suppose that some principals can take the attitude that twitter is for people with too much time on their hands and is a load of crap, fair point. I suggest most however don't even know what it is and how it could be used. Still it shouldnt be a judge of a good conference. I'm just using it as a small measurement tool of digital principals. However it begs the question as to weather Principals are in touch with their digital side when wifi isn't a priority at their conference and no-one cares or comments. Then you also ask if we see it as essential in our own learning.
So I digress. A colleague of mine subscribes to the eAdmin training from the MOE. She sent me through the latest offer of professional development for leadership teams and principals. This is really funny, embarrassing and somewhat insulting. I reckon it could be one of those secret stings, you know those FBI tricks where they send wanted criminals free tickets to NBA basketball games and tickets for their kids, when they turn up they are arrested. Maybe if you go on this course with the eAdmin team you get ERO, National Standards visitors, and letters from people wanting charters and more grief.
So read below and be insulted, but also remember that you can't throw stones if I use the "conference without wifi and no-one cared" as a digital gauge.

I have run workshops with over 50 principals in the last 6 months and all have left setting up and using their own wikis, most have gone away using the cloud as a default. What are the eAdmin Team doing? Give yourself an uppercut guys! File structure OMG.
Sorry eAdmin Team I don't mean to offend but this is not what should be being taught to Principals. (feel free to use my sting theory)
Oh and all NZPF people, you aren't old farts, you are great people doing a brilliant job and I tip my hat to you. BTW no chance of offending anyone enrolled on the course, they probably haven't seen the interweb yet.
Just trying to get a point across thats all. If you expect pathetic you probably will get it.
PS How funny is the Macintosh line at the end - MACINTOSH ha thats so 1997. Wellington now has saturday shopping incase you didnt know.e-Admin  Training Homepage

Kia Ora _______

We would like to invite you to make a booking for the Managing Your Computer Files e-workshop running in term two: 2nd-27th May.

"Do you have problems finding the file you're looking for?"
"Are your folders a mess?"

If you answered yes to either of these questions then this 1 hour online interactive e-workshop is for you. Managing Your Computer

Files e-workshop is designed to teach you the concepts of good file management and give you practical examples and techniques on

how you can achieve this in your school.

In this e-workshop our trainer will show you:

  • How to create folders and subfolders
  • How to move a file/folder to another location on your PC
  • The recommended way to Naming your electronic files - we will share with you some recommended tips!
  • How to use one of windows search features to find your saved files
  • How to create shortcuts to the files that you use regularly
The Managing Your Computer Files e-workshop is designed for:
  • principals
  • deputy principals
  • administration staff
  • Note: This session is not suitable for users of Apple Macintosh computers.