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  • Why are we going to let other people tell our story?

  • What they believe in.

  • Every choice they make is thoughtful.

  • How Tony shares his story daily.

  • Storify - An example of how Tony uses Storify.

  • Cantiague Hashtag

  • Video updates

  • Touchcast app

  • How he shifted brand management from him to the staff and the kids

  • How to make sure the brand experience matches the brand promise. For example, here is an exchange between Tony and someone who knows what his school’s brand promise is:

  • Transparency has changed the relationship between the school and community.

  • PTA meetings have taken a new direction since they are so open.

  • Build it from the inside.

  • Faculty Enhancement opportunities instead of faculty meetings

  • How to be a transformative principal like Tony.
    1. It’s not about you!
    2. Stay current on research.
    3. Don’t take yourself too seriously, but take the work you do seriously.
  • What he has in his office to keep him focused on how to be the best principal he can be.

  • Jericho Schools

You have to make sure the brand experience matches brand promise As the principal, you need to be learning the most.


New Episode of @TrnFrmPrincipal


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A few weeks ago I had the great pleasure of interviewing Tony Sinanis. Little did I know, that he would be named the New York Elementary Principal of the Year! So, I interviewed him before he was famous. Tony Twitter is a great principal and one who is eager to share what he is doing well. He is also incredibly humble and self-aware. I hope you enjoy his interview. I sure learned a lot from him. Here is his BrandED podcast

  • Tony discusses his background and how he is a first-generation college graduate, and not only that, he is working on his PhD and already has two Masters!
  • Tony still keeps in contact with his first year’s class. Wow!
  • Moving into his first school. Tony’s humility recognizing that he wasn’t the right fit for the school.
  • Separating Tony the principal from Tony the Person.
  • Recognizing that his cultural perspectives that were wrong for his school.
  • The difference between white guilt and recognizing differences.
  • Education is more than just the Common Core and High-Stakes Testing. We are disconnected from what the real world is.
  • We try to make kids fit into this little box, totally discongruent to how the world works.
  • He calls himself the Lead Learner, not the principal, because there is a real difference between the two.
  • How Cantiague gives voice to the students.
  • He demonstrates his learning whenever he can. He pushes himself out of his comfort zone as often as he can.
  • The post about the term Lead Learner by Pernille Ripp

New Episode of @TrnFrmPrincipal

6 Strategies for Building Trust

In the most recent episode of the Entreleadership Podcast, Christy Wright interviews Steven M.R. Covey about trust. Trust is an unseen force that is contagious. It can spread like wildfire. So can it's foil, distrust. Everything that you do as a leader builds trust or builds distrust. I've learned some important things about trust that were reinforced by listening to that podcast episode. Here are my seven tips for building trust.
  1. Positive Intentions. As we learned in TP11 with Melinda Miller, it is very powerful to assume positive intentions. I've written about story lines before. We all have them, and when we assume the best in people we are able to have less stress, more productivity, and more happiness.
  2. Start with Trust, Restrict as Trust is Lost. It is better to start with trust with people. When it comes to educators, we entrust them to be with students alone, all day long. If we just start there, that is a huge amount of trust. Some other forms of "accountability" that are popular right now are really demeaning when you compare how much trust we give them on a day-to-day basis. If you start to realize that you can't trust someone, then you can start reigning them in.
  3. Release as Trust is Gained. If you do have a reason to distrust an employee, and they start to prove that you can trust them, celebrate that with them and give them a little autonomy back. That will help them understand that there is salvation, and they don't have to live fearing that they will never be successful.
  4. Tell People where They Stand. One thing that is super scary is not knowing what your boss thinks of you. You shouldn't find opportunities to tear people down, but if you are concerned about people not having your trust, tell them. Tell them how they can earn it back, then let them earn it back. But don't distrust them and never tell them. This is a hard conversation, but every single time I have given negative feedback people with the intent to help, people have responded positively. When it is clear from how I communicate to them that they are never going to gain my trust again, they respond poorly. Pretty simple, yet very hard to do well. If you hold a grudge after someone has done what you required to have them earn back your trust, it is going to be so hard to overcome that so that they trust you again!
  5. Be Willing to Let Go of What Doesn't Matter, for the sake of trust. When you delegate something, be sure to set clear expectations, but trust that the person is going to do their best and allow them some creativity to do what they want. You'll have much more success and they'll buy into it a lot more. For example, I asked a teacher to create a Teacher of the Year PowerPoint background for a movie I was going to create, and told her my idea, but let her do her thing. It came out way better than I thought it would, she got some great recognition, and I was able to let her shine. I didn't want a black background, but the color of the background didn't matter at all. What mattered was that she was able to create something amazing, and I was able to let her. There is no place for ego in leadership. 
  6. Start with Why. Just because this is the last tip doesn't mean it is the least important. In fact, according to Simon Sinek, it is the single most important thing you can do. You inspire trust when you tell people why we are doing things. When the why is lost, people have no vision. To bring this full circle, Dave Ramsey (Entreleadership) often quotes Proverbs 29:18:
"Where there is no vision the people perish."
I hope these tips help you become a better leader and build trust with your faculty.

Have a Good Life.

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I had the great pleasure to attend (and present) the UCET (Utah Coalition for Educational Technology) Conference this last Thursday and Friday. While it was a lot of fun, it was also ver powerful and transformative for me. I solidified some educational philosophies and had some time to actually think about what I am doing every day and how I am inspiring (or not) my teachers. George’s keynote was very inspiring, but it was also practical, and I love practical presentations. I loved meeting George after following him for so long. This was a great interview.

One thing that was really awesome was that he made me wait a few extra minutes to ensure that he had gone through and read every single tweet about his keynote, and replied to those that he felt needed a response. it was amazing to hear him say three or four times, "Just a minute, I need to get through all these tweets. There were a ton of tweets!" 

  • His keynote called “Innovate! Create! Voice!” and what he was trying to communicate with that.
  • The importance of creating and sharing with others.
  • How he encourages teachers and principals to create and share.
  • What the remix culture is about.
  • Why it is important to focus on what is really helping kids.
  • What it means to be a school teacher.
  • If you don’t know what a hashtag and twitter are, you are illiterate. Why does George believe this?
  • How you can leverage your network to make things happen.
  • Why Twitter is about learning and sharing.
  • How do we do things when our leaders aren’t on board, yet?
  • We need people who are willing to push.
  • The one thing you can do to be a transformative principal.
  • Connected Principals ([#cpchat](https://twitter.com/search?q=%23cpchat)) and how to get in touch with him (follow him on Twitter: @gcourous)

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Best Tools for Busy Administrators Survey

I had the great pleasure of speaking with Dr. Fidel Montero, the principal of Alta High School (Twitter) in Sandy, Utah. Fidel is inspiring from the first moment that you speak with him. He is incredibly smart, very caring, and wants students to be the most successful people they can be. Here is his TEDxCSDTeachers talk: Care. This is part two of my interview with him. I hope you enjoy it. We barely scratched the surface of what makes him transformative.

  • How he counsels teachers and puts them in their areas of strength.
  • How he evaluates himself and the initiatives he implements.
  • How he delegates and guides the implementation of his vision.
  • Michael Barber - Deliverology
  • Some missteps the school took as they rolled out some new initiatives.
  • How he responds when people complain about being overworked.
  • How he gets feedback from teachers.
  • What you can do to be a transformative principal. The President’s Club

Check out this episode!


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Transformative Principal on Stitcher

Refer A Principal

Best Tools for Busy Administrators Survey

I had the great pleasure of speaking with Fidel Montero, the principal of Alta High School (Twitter) in Sandy, Utah. Fidel is inspiring from the first moment that you speak with him. He is incredibly smart, very caring, and wants students to be the most successful people they can be. Here is his TEDxCSDTeachers talk: Care

  • The Doctoral research that Fidel conducted for his degree in urban school management.
  • Parents pick up on who is being supportive, regardless of whether or not they spoke the native language of the parents.
  • The demographic shift that Utah is currently experiencing, and why he wanted to conduct his research in Utah.
  • Specific strategies for engaging and supporting Latino families in your school.
  • Microagression
  • The balance of talking about race when your race is either the same as your demographics or different.
  • How including multicultural families in your school and recognizing their heritage and history actually encourages them to feel more pride in your country.
  • His work with Greta Pruitt in Los Angeles Unified School District to teach parents to work together.
  • His thoughts on School Improvement versus CSIP plans.

Thanks for tuning in! Have a Good Life.


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Show Notes

Andy Greene is a transformative principal at Candlewood Middle School. We talk mostly about professional practice and professional development. Andy is a master at these two things. I learned so much from Andy, and I am so thankful he took the time to speak with me.

Here are some bullet points from our discussion:

  • How he ensures that teachers are continuous learners

  • How he ensures that faculty meetings are like miniature college courses.

  • How he uses backwards design for his faculty meetings.

  • How he ensures that teachers come to faculty meeting and make sure that they all get something out of it.

  • Mission and Vision Document

  • Professional Expectations Document

  • How he helps everyone see they are a member of a team.

  • What it means to bow low.

  • This:

  • How he has hard conversations with teachers and balances that with positive feedback.

  • When he decides to divulge information to teachers about how they are perceived.

  • The importance of having staff that can tell you how things are really playing out among the staff.

  • The intentional things Andy does to make sure his staff feels that they are in a comfortable learning atmosphere.

  • Seek first to understand before being understood.

  • How Andy would approach a staff that he needs to “clean up.”

He sent a bunch of stuff over to me, and sharing is caring, so here it is for you. First, he sent two files that I read from in the interview:

Expectations 2014 (Word Doc) - This document goes over the expectations he has for the staff at his school. Updated as often as needed, and discussed just as often. There are some great gems in this document.

Mission and Values (Word Doc) - This document discusses what the mission and values of Candlewood Middle School are. Again, there is some great information here.

PLCs (Word Doc) - We didn’t get a chance to discuss this document, but it includes a lot of great information about PLCs and some great quotes to get people thinking about them.

The following are emails that Andy sends out to his staff after each mini-university-course faculty meeting. You can tell that he spends time thinking about what to say to his staff, how to motivate them, and encourage a culture of learning. He pretty much never lets up.

An example of a “post-discussion” faculty meeting conversation

    Good discussion on objectives yesterday…[refer to the packet from yesterday for other examples]

A personal example to help clarify!

Faculty Meeting

Big Idea For the Year-Staff will understand that standards are not curriculum: curriculum needs to reflect best practice and user needs while also honoring standards. Essential Question-What is understanding? What follows for curriculum and unit writing? Faculty Meeting Instructional Objective-At the end of the meeting, staff will be able to identify the three types of “learning” for their upcoming unit: acquisition, meaning-making, and transfer.  

Other example

Big Idea: Student should understand that good readers employ specific techniques to help them make meaning of what the text says.

Essential Question-What do good readers do, especially when they don’t comprehend a text?

Lesson Instructional Objective-Student will be able to use identify the two persuasive techniques the author employs in  _____.

Let’s continue the discussion! A reminder…please have a manila folder for each faculty meeting so you can keep the handouts that are given out… Yesterday, there was a packet that we did not have a chance to get to but we will use it in October. To save paper, I do not want to make other copies!

Thanks

Andy

Another example of CC vocabulary for all classes…

Good Morning,

As I start to look at some of the assessments that faculty members are sending in, I want to encourage everyone to use the verbs we have discussed not only as you ask student questions in class, but how you frame your questions on assessments.   Here are some suggestions:

  • Instead of saying “Which inequality is represented in the graph below,” add the word “Evaluate” at the start of the sentence [e.g., “Evaluate which inequality is represented in the graph below, and pick the best response from the choices listed.”

  • Instead of saying “Which is the best title for the series of maps at right,” add the word “Suggest” [e.g.,  “As you look at the graph to the right, what would you suggest would be the best title from the choices below.”

  • In music, tech, art, LOTE, etc, use sentences such as “What conclusion can you draw from the information presented?” “In measures 15–20, cite the key signature and dynamic levels.” “Summarize the information regarding the best tool for this particular job and explain why it is the one you would recommend.” “Distinguish between the choices below; which country is considered to be the birthplace of the Spanish language.”    I encourage everyone to plan your lessons keeping the vocabulary words “upfront and center.”

(:

Andy

Cognitive/Conative

Per our discussion at the faculty meeting…

Whenever you can integrate the cognitive and the conative skills identified below into your unit plans, please do so. In addition to the vocabulary terms we have discussed, these are skills that every teacher can incorporate [where applicable]. Use your creative juices to determine where-in your content area-these would work best.

Cognitive skills are traditionally defined as those needed to effectively process information and complete tasks.  Cognitive skills are required for tasks involving retrieval, comprehension, analysis, and utilization of knowledge.  The majority of the practice standard skills from the CCSS are best classified as primarily cognitive in nature.

Conative skills are traditionally defined as the skills that allow a person to examine his or her knowledge and emotions in order to choose an appropriate future course of actions.  A useful way to think about conative skills is in terms of interacting with others and controlling oneself.

Within the framework, Marzano and Heflebower (2012) identified specific classroom strategies that teachers can employ to teach cognitive and conative skills in their classrooms.  This category included key words and phrases such as:

  • Construct arguments
  • Develop ideas
  • Build on others’ ideas
  • Integrate information
  • Respond to others’ arguments
  • Compare arguments
  • Explain flaws in arguments
  • Decide if arguments make sense
  • Decide if arguments are correct
  • Determine domains to which an argument applies
  • Clarify arguments
  • Improve arguments
  • Draw conclusions
  • Justify conclusions

To help teachers address this category of skills, we identified three specific cognitive strategies from the Marzano and Heflebower (2012) framework:

  1. Generating conclusions
  2. Identifying common logical errors
  3. Presenting and supporting claims

Another category of practice skills that we identified was perspectives.  This category included key words and phrases such as:

  • Points of view
  • Open-minded
  • Divergent cultures, experiences, and perspectives
  • Varied Backgrounds
  • Collaborate
  • Interact with others
  • Reflect
  • Step back
  • Shift perspective
  • Different approaches

To help teachers address these skills, we identified four specific conative strategies from the Marzano and Heflebower (2012) framework:

1. Becoming aware of the power of interpretations 1. Taking various perspectives 1. Interacting responsibly 1. Handling controversy and conflict resolution

In effect, we selected specific classroom strategies for each of the categories of practice standard skills that we identified in the CCSS.

Cognitive Strategies

Teachers can use the following ten strategies in the classroom to embed the cognitive strategies found in the ELA and mathematics practice standards into instruction:

1. General conclusions 2. Identifying common logical errors 3. Presenting and supporting claims 4. Navigating digital sources 5. Problem solving 6. Decision making 7. Experimenting 8. Investigating 9. Identifying basic relationship between ideas 10. Generating and manipulating mental images

Andy

Visible Learning…

Expert teachers can identify the most important ways in which to represent the subject that they teach.

In Visible Learning, it was shown that teachers’ subject-matter knowledge had little effect on the quality of student outcomes!  The distinction, however, is less the ‘amount’ of knowledge and less the ‘pedagogical content knowledge’, but more about how teachers see the surface and the deeper understandings of the subjects that they teach, as well as their beliefs about how to teach and understand when students are learning and have learned the subject.  Expert teachers and experienced teachers do not differ in the amount of knowledge that they have about curriculum matters or knowledge about teaching strategies but expert teachers do differ in how they organize and use this content knowledge.  Experts possess knowledge that is more integrated, in that they combine the introduction of new subject knowledge with students’ prior knowledge; they can relate current lesson content to other subjects in the curriculum; and they make lessons uniquely their own by changing, combining, and adding to the lessons according to their student’s needs and their own teaching goals.

As a consequence of the way in which they view and organize their approach, expert teachers can quickly recognize sequences of events occurring in the classroom that in some way affect the learning and teaching of a topic.  They can detect and concentrate more on information that has most relevance, they can make better predictions based on their representations about the classroom, and they can identify a greater store of strategies that students might use when solving a particular problem.  They are therefore able to predict and determine the types of error that students might make, and thus they can be much more responsive to students.  This allows expert teachers to build understandings as to the how and why of student success. They are more able to reorganize their problem-solving in light of ongoing classroom activities, they can readily formulate a more extensive range of likely solutions, and they are more able to check and test out their hypotheses or strategies.  They seek negative evidence about their impact (who has not learnt, who is not making progress) in the hurly-burly of the classroom, and use it to make adaptations and to problem-solve.

These teachers maintain a passionate belief that students can learn the content and understandings included in the learning intentions of the lesson(s).  This claim about the ability to have a deep understanding of the various relationships also helps to explain why some teachers are often anchored in the details of the classroom, and find it hard to think outside the specifics of their classrooms and students.  Generalization is not always their strength.

The results are clear:  expert teachers do differ from experienced teachers – particularly in the degree of challenge that they present to students, and, most critically, in the depth to which students learn to process information.  Students who are taught by expert teachers exhibit an understanding of the concepts targeted in the instruction that is more integrated, more coherent, and at a higher level of abstraction than the understanding achieved by students in classes taught by experienced but not expert, teachers.

Andy


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