June 29, 2008

This was a very interesting afternoon.  The topic for the first session was “If Leadership doesn’t get it it’s not going to happen”.  There was a great discussion about this, facilitated by several of the group.  It began quite essentially as a “facilitated discussion” where a question is posed and then talked about by a few.  This went on for a while, until many more people came on board.  There were many view points.  And at first it felt like an “administrator” bashing session for some, as some comments led to the point that administrators don’t have time nor should they to get into the nitty gritty of the classroom technical integration efforts of teachers.  They are too wrapped up in the mundane rituals of “adminsitratorship” to be bothered.  This sentiment seemed to bother several people, as well as myself.  

The “back Channel” or one of them for this session was twitter, and as I was watching twitter and listening, even though I had not the courage to speak out publicly (maybe next time) I felt confidet to tweet a comment to several of the leaders regarding comments being made.  Basically, I feel like it is about time we STOP the madness of the we/they. To be honest, I’m sick of it.  Administrators, of course, want to get involved in the classroom with the students–they are the LEADERS, the INSTRUCTIONAL LEADERS of their buildings.  David Jakes stood up about this time and stated his opinion about the fact that the administrators do need to learn the technology and pedagogy of this century. (This was in response to a line of discussion that was saying that the principals do not need to nor do they have the time to learn.)  As the instructional leaders of their buildings, they need that first hand knowledge.  I totally agree.  They want what’s best for their students and teachers.  And I submit, given all of the resources in the world, they would support all of the best practices in the world.  

Those who do not embrace technology as a viable, necessary and integral part of the teaching 21st century best practice tool box, need to be led and shown the reasons why.  So I believe that if we are talking about leadership, we are also talking about the higher administration, superintendents, associate superintendents, directors, curriculum specialists, etc.  These folks ALL need to “get it” if we are going to have a pedagogical shift.  Some do.  Others don’t.  But it is up to the folks in the room, us, the “choir” to preach this to anybody who will listen.  I believe if we show the data, if we reveal the motivation, the engagement, the excitement about studying spelling words in a new way, and project-based learning, and global flat classroom projects, etc., to the folks who need to see it, then we will move in the right direction.  

Now, I have been called “Pollyanna” before.  I do believe in things working out better than expected.  ( Julia) But I really believe if we are who we say we are, 21st century minded educators, then we can deliver the proper message.  Chris Lehmann stopped by and chatted for a minute, and we agreed that the administrators, and teachers ALL want their students to succeed.  People in this business are good, solid hardworking people.  If we come to the table knowing that we all want the best for the students, I submit that we will get just that.  But the leadership has to be there–and that leadership is US.  You. Me.  The Principals.  The administrators. The directors.  The teachers.  The students.  All of us who have the common focus of increased student achievement and student engagement.  Who WOULDN’T use the best tools out there at their fingertips to achieve success with their students?   

Let’s get out there and spread the word.  The title of this session was “If Leadership Doesn’t Get It, Nothing Will Get Done”.  Well, leaders, we get it! Let’s get it done!!


One comment

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