Monday, June 23, 2014 by Jethro Jones
This week’s interview is with Tom Whitford, an amazing principal of 3(!) schools in Wisconsin.
- His mentor that taught him a lot about how to be a leader and how to push yourself and others to be better, book reads, and more.
- Professional Learning Communities in Tom’s ideal world.
- PLCs require a whole philosophy change to be effective.
- How to set the stage to be successful in having discussions with teachers. Power of change comes from stories.
- Create opportunities for conversation.
- How can administrators tell stories? Start with true stories. (Don’t make things up.) Provide opportunities for real conversation.
- What can we do to make this work, and what will prevent us from being successful?
- It is too easy for things to get said behind closed doors, and we need to address challenges early on, and then address issues as they arise.
- Focus the conversations on continuous improvement on faculty meeting time.
- “Jumpstart Fridays” - aides and others work with kids so they can do collaboration times.
- How Tom gets teachers to feel comfortable sharing their stories with Tom and the other teachers.
- “Speed of Trust” By Stephen M.R. Covey
- We don’t get better, unless we can talk about the mistakes that we made.
- How Tom figured out that his faculty did not like his strategy for getting them to have fun with his emails. (Background blog post - “Learning with your mistakes”)