Week 10: Explain and give examples to argue why the following statement is true or false: “Get the right people on your team, and get the wrong ones off.”

“A positive school culture starts at the top — with the principal. But even the most upbeat principal knows that pockets of negativity can surface and spread, sometimes slowly and quietly and other times like wildfire” (2015, Education).  This negativity seeps into the classroom and creates a disruptive atmosphere for our students.  “Careful teacher selection ensures that the school is populated by gifted educators who balance their deep caring for students and respect for families with a demand for excellence and autonomy” (2010, Doll).  By creating an environment that facilitates a positive view, we create a learning environment that students and adults want to be a part of.

Fullan described how at a single school there were extremely happy people in one area of the building and extremely unhappy people in another part of the building.  It was all dependent upon the teachers, who they worked with, and how they worked or didn’t work well together.  Those who were happy couldn’t stop commenting on how great it was to work in that environment, while others were so unhappy that they were on the verge of transferring out of the building or even leaving the teaching profession. (2014)  When the place you work at is no longer a positive environment it lowers moral and creates discourse among the workers.  Communication starts to fall apart, bickering and back stabbing start to creep into conversations, and then it starts to effect the teacher’s ability to teach as well.  In the end our students are affected.

Zakrzewski goes over the three steps to create a positive climate in schools.  First, you need to build trust after assessing the school environment.  Creating a safe, supportive school brings everyone together for a common purpose.  Second, you create a vision that is shared among staff members.  This allows for input from all, creating a positive interaction where members feel appreciated and heard.  Lastly, you work as a community to accomplish the shared vision.  When the members have created the vision there is a shared pride in achieving the school-wide goal.  If we get the “right” people on our team, great things can happen.  With the “wrong” people not only do our staff suffer, but our students suffer as well.

Works Cited

Doll, B. (2010, December). Positive School Climate. National Association of Secondary School Principals. Retrieved from http://www.nassp.org/Content.aspx?topic=Positive_School_Climate

Education World. (2015). Every School Has One: Principals Share Tips For Working With Negative People. Retrieved from http://www.educationworld.com/a_admin/admin/admin560.shtml

Fullan, M. (2014, February). Leading in a Culture of Change. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass (pp. 51-77).

Zakrzewski, V. (2013, August 21). How to Create a Positive School Climate. Retrieved from http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_to_create_a_positive_school_climate

Week 9 Reflection

This week we looked at the different leadership styles and how it is important for us to know them all well enough to be able to use them according to whatever situation arises.  Sometimes we need more of one style than another, sometimes we need to focus on just one or two.  We use these styles to help differentiate while managing change.  Change is constant and will continue to guide our learning in the future.  Most blogs were very similar.  We all expressed how Fullan believes that we need to know these six leadership styles from Goleman.  Many went through the change process and what they were.  Everyone seems to agree that we need to know the styles well enough to be able to implement them according to the differing situations that arise.  Being able to adjust to change and manage it is vital to keeping up with our times.

Project update:

I met with my mentee twice last week, since she was not at school the week before.  We were able to go through two apps; Geoboards and Tellagami.  Then I discovered that she still hasn’t had the time to explore Storybird so I decided to help her out.  I asked her to get me a class list of the students and an id and password that she would like to use.  I will be setting up her classroom in Storybird so that she can use it with ipads.

Week 9: Why are elements of all leadership styles important to manage change?

The following are the six leadership styles Goleman identified (2000, pp. 82– 83):

  1. Coercive— the leader demands compliance. (“Do what I tell you.”)
  2. Authoritative— the leader mobilizes people toward a vision. (“Come with me.”)
  3. Affiliative— the leader creates harmony and builds emotional bonds. (“People come first.”)
  4. Democratic— the leader forges consensus through participation. (“What do you think?”)
  5. Pacesetting— the leader sets high standards for performance. (“Do as I do, now.”)
  6. Coaching— the leader develops people for the future. (“Try this.”) (Fullen, 2014, p 35)

You need to understand each style in order to use them as they are needed.  Sometimes you need to use a coaching style, while other times you may need to use authoritative.  But being able to use a little of each at times is also important.  I did find a list out there that was a tiny bit different.  Murray has all of the above except Coercive, instead he has Visionary as a leadership style.  The visionary leader is the one who allows everyone to innovate and start heading in a new direction. (2015)  But then I noticed that her authoritative was defined like Coercive, while visionary is like Goleman’s authoritative.

  • If you take two cups of authoritative leadership, one cup of democratic, coaching, and affiliative leadership, and a dash of pacesetting and coercive leadership “to taste,” and you lead based on need in a way that elevates and inspires your team, you’ve got an excellent recipe for long-term leadership success with every team in your life. (Benincasa, 2015)

I loved this quote.  It is such a good example of how we need to use all of the different learning styles in managing change.  Then there is the process of change.

Understanding the Change Process

  • The goal is not to innovate the most.
  • It is not enough to have the best ideas.
  • Appreciate the implementation dip.
  • Redefine resistance.
  • Reculturing is the name of the game.
  • Never a checklist, always complexity. (Fullen, 2014, p 34)

In this chapter Fullen went through the above list in depth.  I have summarized it below.

  • Don’t be a pacesetter with competition in mind.
  • You need good leadership to be able to use those ideas well
  • Change is a process that takes a while to implement.
  • Keep an open mind, listen to conflicting opinions; they have other insight and it builds trust.
  • Being able to look for, evaluate, and selectively implement new ideas.
  • There’s no list, just good leadership who make the right choices according to their environment. (Fullen, 2014)

He believes that you need to be able to understand the change process and incorporate all of the leadership styles in order to manage change.  I agree that we need to be able to incorporate all of the styles, and I liked how he went through this list of understanding the change.  “The best managers consistently allow different leaders to emerge and inspire their teammates (and themselves!) to the next level” (Benincasa, 2015).  When we inspire others to lead we build upon our existing team.  This allows us to expand and grow, learn from others, and gain new insights.

I also included a short clip from the movie Lean On Me.  It’s a great example of authoritative leadership.

Benincasa, R. (2015). 6 Leadership Styles, and When You Should Use Them. Retrieved from  http://www.fastcompany.com/1838481/6-leadership-styles-and-when-you-should-use-them#1

Fullan, M. (2014, February). Leading in a Culture of Change. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass (pp. 31-50).

Murray, A. (2015). Leadership Styles. Retrieved from http://guides.wsj.com/management/developing-a-leadership-style/how-to-develop-a-leadership-style/

Riley, J. (2011, September). Leadership Styles for Effective Change Management – Morgan Freeman Style.
Retrieved from
http://beta.tutor2u.net/business/blog/leadership-styles-for-effective-change-management-morgan-freeman-style

Week 8: Reflection

This week was a great reminder of why I am an educator.  It is not about the pay or the gratitude, it is about the kids.  I heard from several people this week who basically said the same thing.  Our moral purpose is to serve our kids.  Whether it is teaching them to use their resources, educating all diligently, respecting them and providing a safe place for them to learn, or just creating that environment that gets them excited about their own learning.  We are there for our students.  It was so amazing to meet Lee and so many of our classmates this weekend (Cindy, Mia, Chris, and others).  We have been able to talk about our classrooms and get better acquainted.  I invite you all to feel free to get in contact with me any time you come into Juneau.  It is so rich to hear your stories and relate to what you are doing in your schools.  We learn so much from each other.  I had recommended a discrepant event gem called, Brain-Powered Science Teaching and Learning With Discrepant Events (retrieved from http://static.nsta.org/files/PB271Xweb.pdf).  It goes through several discrepant events to get your kids excited about science.  They are wonderful “hooks” for science lessons.

As for my mentor project.  I was unable to meet with my mentee this week.  She was out-of-town all week, then I left town on Thursday.  So, we were in passing.  We met the week before, our first initial meeting.  I showed her Storybird and demonstrated how to create books using this app.  I showed her several books and poems I had created.  I mentioned that she could also have them published for a small amount of money.  She was very excited about this app.  Another 1st grade teacher had come into the room while we were talking and she became interested as well.  My mentee invited her to join us when we met again.  I plan to meet with her twice next week to make up for the lost day this last week.  I will also be checking in with her to see if she has used Storybird on her own yet.  I have also decided to add an extra app or two to my Geoboard demonstration since I have gained so many these past two days at the Math and Science Conference in Sitka.  Also, Geoboards doesn’t take a lot of time to demonstrate and play with.  I am energized by this conference and am so excited to share what I have learned with others in my building.

Week 8: What strategies do you use that are related to your “moral purpose”? How do these contribute to your overall leadership?

“…Moral purpose cannot just be stated, it must be accompanied by strategies for realizing it, and those strategies are the leadership actions that energize people to pursue a desired goal.” (Fullan, 2002, pg. 19)

Before I can answer this question I need to explain my moral purpose.  My “moral purpose” it to teach students how to use the resources around them to become productive members in society.  Ever since I have become a teacher I have always strived for this.  I have always felt that if we could supply students with the knowledge to use the resources around them, trained them how to best utilize their surroundings, they would be successful in life.  You want them to become productive model citizens who vote, make good choices and lead happy, healthy lives.  By teaching them to look around and see what it is that will help them along the path towards their goals we are giving them an edge.  So many people say that someone is cheating or that they are taking a short cut, I disagree.  As adults we find any way to help our current situation continue or get better.  We use our resources to acheive this.  If a student doesn’t have the exposure or means to figure out how to do that they may feel that the people around them are being given their accomplishments.  That is why I feel that this purpose is so important, for students to be constantly reminded to use their resources and attempt to solve the problem.

“Digital native” is a term we hear a lot today.  “They are characterized as preferring teamwork, experiential activities, and the use of technology.” (Kvavik, 2015)  So many kids are fully submerged into technology it would be a disservice to not expose them all to it.  As teachers we may struggle to keep up, but it is great to see that there are so many who are trying.  In the classroom, that is one way that I strive to support my moral purpose by exposing my students to technology.  This mentoring project is a great example.  I am sharing my knowledge with a couple of other teachers in the building and they are really getting excited about it.  I find myself wanting to do more research and find more apps that will help them out in the future.  I want to continue this venture throughout the rest of the school year.  Maybe even share some of it with the other teachers in the building at a staff meeting.  It has empowered me as an educator but not just with my students, with my coworkers as well.

There are so many sources out there that share my moral purpose.  College Parent Central is one of those sites.  It gives information on ways to help your new college student by giving them resources they should have when attending a college or university. (2015)  There are even online videos that will help teach students proper “netiquette,” which is online etiquette that all students should know so they keep themselves safe when online. (MSMC Online Learning, 2013)  There is an unlimited amount of resources out there as long as you know how to begin to look.

College Parent Central. (2015). Eight Campus Resources Your College Student Should Know About. Retrieved from http://www.collegeparentcentral.com/2012/05/eight-campus-resources-your-college-student-should-know/

Fullan, M. (2002, September). The Pressing Goal is to Infuse Spiritual Force Into All Educators. The School Administrator Web Edition. Retrieved fromhttp://www.unrwa.org/userfiles/file/leading_4_the_future/module1/Moral%20purpose%20writ%20large%20Fullan.pdf

Fullan, M. (2014, February). Leading in a Culture of Change. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass.

Kvavik, R., B. (2015). Convenience, Communications, and Control: How Students Use Technology. Retrieved from http://www.educause.edu/research-and-publications/books/educating-net-generation/convenience-communications-and-control-how-students-use-technology

MSMC Online Learning. (2013, June 3). Student Resources: A Guide to Netiquette in Online Learning. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSnH5nQNAeY

Week 7: Reflection

This week I read a lot of the same types of thinking.  Here is a summary of what I did read.  It seems like we all believe that relationship building is key to leading through change.  There is also that balance of being positive in the workplace, always remembering to keep from taking sides.  We need to create an environment that is supportive and productive for all.  Having our school “business” run as such, we are able to work on remembering to address all 5 components of Fullan’s.  There is also that fine line between management and leadership, we need to be able to designate the appropriate people for the right tasks so that they have the proper skills for that job.  Without being able to separate these tasks we will have a difficult time organizing.  To organize and be able to have strong leaders and management we can create a safe, comforting environment to work in which will make everyone want to continue what they need to do and open their eyes to change.

Week 7: Why are all five components of leadership necessary for success in leading through change?

According to Fullan, enthusiasm, hope and energy are characteristics of a good leader. They need to have five qualities:

  • Moral purpose
  • Understanding change
  • Relationship building
  • Coherence making
  • Knowledge creation and sharing

With both external and internal commitment, this type of leadership will result in more good things happening and fewer bad things happening. (2014, p. 4) That was a quick summary of Fullan’s Framework for Leadership diagram.  As a teacher I have a hard time seeing myself as an “expert” at anything. I feel I may be pretty good at relationship building, coherence making, and knowledge creation and sharing since I have a lot of experience in these areas. To actually fully understand change, and moral purpose is something I feel I need to work on.

When looking up Fullan’s definition of moral purpose he expressed,“…we are talking about principled behavior connected to something greater than ourselves that relates to human and social development” (2002, p. 1).  I find that I too strive to give my students the best that I have to better prepare them for what is out there.  In this ever changing world we need to be a guiding hand for them, as leaders.  “Leadership, then, is not mobilizing others to solve problems we already know how to solve, but to help them confront problems that have never yet been successfully addressed” (Fullan, 2014, p. 3)  By striving to be a leader I have committed myself to all five components.  My moral purpose to try my best to present my students with all of the tools they need to make sense (coherence making) of the world around them so that they can grow to be productive citizens in a technological world.

Out of all five components I do feel that building relationships is the most important. When students first walk into the classroom on day 1 that is all we are trying to do. We push to get to know the students and share our own personal backgrounds to build a stronger relationship with them. Once they see we are regular people like them they begin to open up and share as well. It doesn’t stop there. We build relationships with their parents and our co-workers to create a community culture that is supportive to the safety and comfort of all students. With this type of climate at school and close communications with home we surround the students with an atmosphere that is ideal for growth and learning. This makes any sort of change so much easier. With those close ties to home and within the learning community we are able to introduce new ideas and approaches.

Looking at understanding change London compares it to a river and how we can’t ever step into the exact same river twice. (1996) Our world is constantly changing like a river is always changing. London further talks about strategies you need for change:

  • Building new relationships
  • Discussing and deliberating
  • Developing shared visions and goals
  • Fostering social capital
  • Ensuring broad participation and diversity
  • Determine leadership roles
  • Identify outside resources
  • Setting clear boundaries
  • Drawing on examples of others
  • Adopting a change mindset

These strategies can be used to help facilitate change within a building or district.  We need to work together to demonstrate the benefits of change within our ever changing world.  “The world, and the mass of information at our disposal, are being transformed rapidly, and schools must create processes to keep abreast of and implement new approaches to education, teaching, technology and human development” (Campbell, 2012).  If we are unable to keep up with the world around us our students will fall short of the knowledge they need and we will have been a disservice to them.

Works Cited

Campbell, L, M. (2012). Creating the Future: Facilitating Change in Our Schools. Retrieved from http://education.jhu.edu/PD/newhorizons/future/creating_the_future/crfut_campbelll.cfm

Fullan, M. (2002, September). The Pressing Goal is to Infuse Spiritual Force Into All Educators. The School Administrator Web Edition. Retrieved from http://www.unrwa.org/userfiles/file/leading_4_the_future/module1/Moral%20purpose%20writ%20large%20Fullan.pdf

Fullan, M. (2014, February). Leading in a Culture of Change. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass.

London, S. (1996). Understanding Change: How it Happens and How to Make it Happen. Retrieved from http://www.scottlondon.com/reports/change.html