Season 5, Episode 5 of the FocusED School Leadership Podcast with Guest Don Parker

Season 5, Episode 5 of the FocusED School Leadership Podcast with Guest Don Parker

Be The Driving Force in Your School with Don Parker

This is Season 5, Episode 5 of FocusED, and it features our guest, Don Parker. It was originally recorded in front of a live audience in Delaware and provided as a professional development experience in collaboration with the Delaware Department of Education, Wilmington University, and The School House 302. Don’t miss what Don Parker says about being the driving force in your school, and so much more.

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Don Parker Brings a Tons of Experience to FocusED Listeners

 

Dr. Don Parker is a transformational keynote speaker and professional development provider. He specializes in SEL, supporting teachers to build trusting relationships with students, restorative practices, trauma-informed practices, and improving the culture and climate of schools to enhance students’ and teachers’ feelings of belonging.

Dr. Parker is a former principal and served at Posen School in Posen, IL, where he improved the school climate, staff collaboration, parent engagement, and student achievement. 

Before that, he was the principal of Lincoln Avenue School, a K-8 school in Dolton, IL, where he improved the culture, implemented a resilience program, managed the implementation of restorative justice, and increased attendance and student achievement. 

Dr. Parker has a strong belief in creating a school climate in which the entire staff strives for excellence to meet the academic and social emotional needs of each student. He has presented throughout the United States at distinguished educational conferences, including ASCD, the Every Student Succeeds Act Conference, the National Principals Conference, the Illinois Principals Conference, the Oklahoma Secondary and Elementary Conference, the Raising Student Achievement Conference, the Transforming School Culture Conference, the Innovative Schools Summit, just to name a few.

Dr. Parker is the author of the book Building Bridges: Engaging Students At-Risk Through the Power of Relationships and Be the Driving Force: Leading Your School on the Road to Equity. Follow Dr. Don Parker on Twitter: @DrDonParker1.

FocusED Show Notes with Don Parker

Don starts with the fact that equity issues aren’t new. The achievement gap has been static for too long. Don says that leaders are driving this work or pumping the brakes. 

Don says that equity work starts at the top. 

Don talks about the fact that people will follow a person before they follow a cause.  

Don’t miss what he says about sharing data to create a sense of urgency. We need to take an honest look at our practices and start the conversation with empathy. 

Don talked about the fact that 72% of students feel that they need social and emotional support but don’t get it. 

We need to take an inventory of our academic support to ensure that we’re reaching all students. 

Don says that we often make assumptions about the community and what they need, but the better strategy is to ask them. Are our family engagement and education strategies targeting what the community needs? 

Dr. Parker says that we need to use surveys more often to gather information about what our families want from the school, maybe there’s something they think we should be providing that we’re (even though we can). 

His story about a family who had a food deficit is inspirational. 

If Don could improve every school, he would make sure every student felt valued in the school environment. His water bottle analogy is incredible. 

Don talks about strategies to create belonging and says that it’s not rocket science. 

“99% of education is encouragement.” ~ Don Parker

Don tells our audience to listen to podcasts, go to conferences, and read books. He names Anthony Muhammad’s book, Transforming School Culture.  

Joe asked if anyone outside of education inspired Don, and he pointed to a touching story about his uncle. 

Don mentions the leadership of Barack Obama and overcoming seemingly impossible challenges. Find out what Don believes are the skills that Obama used to be successful. 

He wants to see more on the topic of educator empathy…how to be more empathetic for the sake of our students. We came up with this title for a future book, The Empathetic Educator

As final words, Don talked about the professional development that he’s doing around the country and how he helps educators to work better with students who have trauma in their lives.

Related School Leadership Content Based on This Show

Two books that we recommend on the topic of social and emotional learning.

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Thanks for listening to FocusED, an educational leadership podcast brought to you by TheSchoolHouse302 @ dereka206.sg-host.com, where we publish free leadership content. Go to the site, subscribe, and you’ll get all of our content sent directly to your email. 

FocusED is your educational leadership podcast where our mission is to dissect a particular focus for teachers and school leaders so that you can learn to lead better and grow faster in your school or district. Let us know who you would like to hear from next. 

Season 5, Episode 4 of the FocusED School Leadership Podcast with Guest Sam Crome

Season 5, Episode 4 of the FocusED School Leadership Podcast with Guest Sam Crome

The Power of Teams with Sam Crome

This is Season 5, Episode 4 of FocusED, and it features our guest, Sam Crome. It was originally recorded in front of a live audience in Delaware and provided as a professional development experience in collaboration with the Delaware Department of Education, Wilmington University, and The School House 302. Don’t miss what Sam Crome says about the power of teams, creating and leading thriving school cultures, and so much more.

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Sam Crome Brings a Tons of Experience to FocusED Listeners

 

Sam Crome is a school leader, currently a Deputy Headteacher and Director of Education for a Multi Academy Trust in Surrey. 

He has been a Head of Year, Head of Department, Head of Sixth Form, Lead of Teaching and Learning, and most recently, he led pastoral teams across a secondary school. 

For the last few years, Sam has studied high-performing teams, trying to better understand how teams can become more than the sum of their parts. He regularly blogs, speaks and works with schools regarding their teams, helping educators maximize their effectiveness. 

He remains convinced that this is an area that needs more attention and exploration. Sam is an accredited coach and loves working with coaches to help them realize their potential and make strides toward their career goals.

He’s the author of The Power of Teams: How to create and lead thriving school teams.

FocusED Show Notes with Sam Crome

Sam saw a lot of competition in the world of education, not necessarily using teamwork, which is why he wrote the book.

Here’s what Sam wants to know: how do a group of people come together to seamlessly strive toward a common goal? 

Sam talks about learning to coach and the impact that the process had on his work with leaders. The form of coaching that he mentions is “non-directive.”

Don’t miss what he says about his former self in terms of his past perspective on teams and what he believes now. 

We ask Sam about what makes for a great team and how to lead a team. You’ll want to hear this. 

He describes a “team debrief” as a critical aspect of teamwork. We discussed the need for Before Action Reviews and After Action Reviews. 

Sam talked about the reasons why teams aren’t effective. 

He mentions a simple remedy to team meetings: planning. We talked about this with Dr. Liz City

Don’t miss him describe his BIG secret–start every meeting with a short burst of learning. Plus, this should be enjoyable and not too sensitive. 

Teams have to believe that what they say they’re going to do at the meeting is what they actually do after the meetings. This means that the leader has to start meetings with an update about what has happened since the last meeting. 

Sam talks about accountability from the leader for the people who attend meetings. 

The survey data that he talks about is incredible.

Sam talks about the ResearchED Network and getting so much value from that group. 

We asked Sam about what he would do to support the student experience, and he talked about a disruptive-free learning zone. Students need safety and belonging for learning to take place.

Related School Leadership Content Based on This Show

We wrote about teams in an early blog. Check it out and comment on the site

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Thanks for listening to FocusED, an educational leadership podcast brought to you by TheSchoolHouse302 @ dereka206.sg-host.com, where we publish free leadership content. Go to the site, subscribe, and you’ll get all of our content sent directly to your email. 

FocusED is your educational leadership podcast where our mission is to dissect a particular focus for teachers and school leaders so that you can learn to lead better and grow faster in your school or district. Let us know who you would like to hear from next. 

Season 5, Episode 3 of the FocusED School Leadership Podcast with Guest William Parker

Season 5, Episode 3 of the FocusED School Leadership Podcast with Guest William Parker

Motivation, Action, Courage, and Teamwork for School Leaders with William Parker

This is Season 5, Episode 3 of FocusED, and it features our guest, William Parker. It was originally recorded in front of a live audience in Delaware and provided as a professional development experience in collaboration with the Delaware Department of Education, Wilmington University, and The School House 302. Don’t miss what Will Parker says about effective school leadership, motivation in schools, taking action as a school leader, and so much more.

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William Parker Brings a Tons of Experience to FocusED Listeners

 

William D. Parker is the Founder of Principal Matters. He’s an educator, author, speaker, and executive coach who uses his expertise in school culture, leadership, and communication to equip educators with solutions and strategies for motivating students, inspiring teachers, and reaching communities. 

An Oklahoma educator since 1993, he was named Broken Arrow Public School’s South Intermediate High School Teacher of the Year in 1998. He became an assistant principal in 2004 and was named the Oklahoma Assistant Principal of the Year by the National Association of Secondary Principals in 2012. 

As principal of a Title I school, his school’s innovative approaches to collaboration, remediation, and mentoring resulted in marked improvements in student performance. 

For six years, he served as the executive director of Oklahoma’s Association of Secondary Principals and the Oklahoma Middle-Level Education Association. As founder of Principal Matters, he provides virtual leadership academies, masterminds, executive coaching, and keynote presentations to equip and inspire educators. 

His podcast, Principal Matters: The School Leader’s Podcast, has more than 1 million downloads with more than 360 episodes available. He’s the author of Principal Matters, Messaging Matters, and Pause. Breathe. Flourish.  

 

FocusED Show Notes with William Parker

Will starts with a vulnerable story about his second year as a school leader and almost not making it because of the practically impossible nature of it. Don’t miss the part about the letter that he wrote to himself. 

Will dives into the importance of self-care. If the leader runs out of energy, there’s no capacity to continue. 

We talk about habits and lowering the bars of resistance. TJ asks about decision-making fatigue. 

Don’t miss what Will says about asking for help and networking (borrowing ideas). 

You’ll love the story about the composer and his response to preparing for a season of hard work. 

His insight about “the capacity to sustain” is important for new leaders. 

Joe asks about mindset and perspective, and Will responds with the dynamics of overcoming skill and will problems. 

“Who else can I reach out to for help in this area.” This is a prompt that Will uses when he’s reaching his limit. 

“One rake at a time.” This is a saying that Will uses to ensure that he’s taking small steps forward. 

Will brings up Harry Wongs’ First Days of School as a go-to for every teacher every year. 

Will tells us that he takes a ton of leadership lessons from The Lord of the Rings

Joe digs deeper into instructional leadership books, and Will calls to attention Transforming School Culture by Anthony Muhammad. He also talks about Jimmy Casas’ book Culturize

Will mentions Hidden Brain and Guy Kawasaki’s podcasts as important to him for learning. 

Don’t miss Will’s reflection questions for when he reads and learns. 

Will ends with two contradictory statements that are both true. You are less important than you think you are. You matter more than you think. You want to hear what he means by this.

Books that William Parker Mentions on FocusED

Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg 

Atomic Habits by James Clear 

Think Again by Adam Grant 

You’re the Principal Now What by Jen Schwanke 

Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt

Related School Leadership Content Based on This Show

Our interview with Jimmy Casas, an author Will mentions on the show.

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Thanks for listening to FocusED, an educational leadership podcast brought to you by TheSchoolHouse302 @ dereka206.sg-host.com, where we publish free leadership content. Go to the site, subscribe, and you’ll get all of our content sent directly to your email. 

FocusED is your educational leadership podcast where our mission is to dissect a particular focus for teachers and school leaders so that you can learn to lead better and grow faster in your school or district. Let us know who you would like to hear from next. 

Season 5, Episode 2 of the FocusED School Leadership Podcast with Guest Todd Kashdan

Season 5, Episode 2 of the FocusED School Leadership Podcast with Guest Todd Kashdan

Using the Art of Insubordination as a School Leader with Guest Todd Kashdan 

This is Season 5, Episode 2 of FocusED, and it features our guest, Dr. Todd Kashdan. It was originally recorded in front of a live audience in Delaware and provided as a professional development experience in collaboration with the Delaware Department of Education, Wilmington University, and The School House 302. Don’t miss what Dr. Kashdan has to say about The Art of Insubordination, how to be more accepting of divergent ideas, and so much more.

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Dr. Todd Kashdan Brings a Tons of Experience to FocusED Listeners

 

Dr. Todd B. Kashdan, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychology at George Mason University, a leading authority on well-being, psychological flexibility, curiosity, courage, and resilience. 

He has published over 250 peer-reviewed articles, and his work has been cited over 45,000 times. He received the Distinguished Faculty Member of the Year Award from George Mason University and the Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contributions from the American Psychological Association. 

He is the author of Curious? And The Upside of Your Dark Side, and his latest book is The Art of Insubordination: How to Dissent and Defy Effectively. 

His writing has appeared in the Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, National Geographic, and Fast Company, among other publications, and his research is featured regularly in media outlets such as The Atlantic, The New York Times, NPR, and Time Magazine. 

He’s a twin with twin daughters (plus one more) and has plans to rapidly populate the world with great conversationalists.

 

 

FocusED Show Notes with Dr. Todd Kashdan

The reason that Todd wrote the book is because of the negative connotation that comes with speaking up at work. 

The reason that we want dissension is to make superior decisions. It might be slower and more uncomfortable, but it makes for a better outcome. 

As we open up to dissension, we’re asking people to challenge the status quo. 

Don’t miss what Todd says about conformist thinking and what happens when we don’t provide a platform for diverse thinking. 

Todd brings up the mixed research on diversity and the fact that diverse thinking works better for decision-making, but most organizations don’t have a good way to ensure diversity. 

Listen to what he says about creating meetings and classroom norms to encourage independent thinking. “It takes a modification of the group norms.” 

We were reminded of Liz City’s advice when he talked about collecting information before meetings as a new norm. 

You want to hear what he says about how we have to treat “minorities of one” to make sure that they feel comfortable sharing. “I brought you into this organization because of your unique background.” 

Make sure people know that you respect their views even though you might disagree on everything. 

We want disagreement about topics and issues, not relationships. 

Todd talks about learning to be clear with ourselves and transforming our thinking. What he says about “conviction bias” is fascinating. 

Todd opened up about his background and how all of our backgrounds lend to our biases. “To what degree do you represent the subculture in which you live?” 

The more ways that we can view diversity, the more likely we can bring divergent thinking into the decision-making without thinking of people as “representative” of their group. 

Todd reminds us as educators that one of the ways to deal with misconduct from students is to bring them into the forefront as leaders. The same is true for adults and co-facilitations. 

We have to tell people why we’re amplifying ideas that deserve consideration, especially when they’re divergent. 

Todd wants to improve the student experience in schools by improving their sense of belonging. Don’t miss what he says about distinctiveness. 

Subscribe to Todd’s newsletter. At the end of his newsletter, he posts resources, books, people to follow, and more. 

He mentions Daniel Berlyne on curiosity and aesthetic beauty

Related School Leadership Content Based on This Show

Our interview with Francesca Gino, author of Rebel Talent.

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Thanks for listening to FocusED, an educational leadership podcast brought to you by TheSchoolHouse302 @ dereka206.sg-host.com, where we publish free leadership content. Go to the site, subscribe, and you’ll get all of our content sent directly to your email. 

 

FocusED is your educational leadership podcast where our mission is to dissect a particular focus for teachers and school leaders so that you can learn to lead better and grow faster in your school or district. Let us know who you would like to hear from next. 

Season 5, Episode 1 of the FocusED School Leadership Podcast with Guest Liz City

Season 5, Episode 1 of the FocusED School Leadership Podcast with Guest Liz City

Running More Effective & Efficient Meetings in Schools with Guest Elizabeth City

 

This is Season 5, Episode 1 of FocusED, and it features our guest, Dr. Elizabeth City. It was originally recorded live for a live audience in Delaware and provided as a professional development experience in collaboration with the Delaware Department of Education, Wilmington University, and The School House 302. Don’t miss what Dr. City has to say about her book Meeting Wise, how it leads to a stronger culture in schools, and so much more.

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Dr. Elizabeth City Brings a Tons of Experience to FocusED Listeners

 

Dr. Elizabeth City is a Senior Lecturer on Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), where she is Executive Director of Reach Every Reader and previously served as Director of the Doctor of Education Leadership (Ed.L.D.) Program. 

Liz has served as a teacher, instructional coach, principal, and consultant, in each role focused on helping all children and the educators who work with them realize their full potential. 

She is currently focused on developing successful readers and strategic leaders in equitable, learning-rich environments. She has authored and co-authored several books for educators, including Meeting Wise, Data Wise, Strategy in Action, Instructional Rounds in Education, Resourceful Leadership, and The Teacher’s Guide to Leading Student-Centered Discussions.

 

 

FocusED Show Notes with Dr. Elizabeth City

Dr. City starts her discussion with the challenges of adults collaborating effectively to support kids. 

She talks about the fact that educators are all pressed for time but that we need to maximize the time we do have. 

Joe asks about a practical tip that leaders can do tomorrow. Liz answers that the agenda for the meeting can be used as a place to start. Don’t miss what she says about adult learning. 

Dr. City tells us that we should shift some of the agenda items at our meetings to collaborative problem-solving. What if one person brings a dilemma, and we use a consultancy protocol? 

Ask this about meetings: Why do we need these people to come together? 

The cycle that she explains is critical to what happens before and after meetings to get the work done. 

Joe asks about the consultancy protocols that Liz talked about. The give-and-get structure is important because everyone learns, and everyone contributes. 

Liz calls for an increase in rigor in schools. “We underestimate what kids can do, and that reflects what we ask them to do.” 

We need tasks that engage the hearts and minds of kids. ~ Dr. Liz City 

Don’t miss the questions that she asks when we’re analyzing a task that we ask students to do. 

  • Exactly what are we asking students to do? 
  • Assuming success on this task, what should we expect students to understand and be able to do? 

Her favorite resource is when we can learn from one another. The profession is too isolated. 

Joe ends by asking what Liz wishes would get more attention. She talks about amplifying the voices that don’t always get heard. Powerful way to end.

 

Related School Leadership Content Based on This Show

Our Podcast with Richard Elmore

From Tinkering to Transformation: How School District Central Offices Drive Equitable Teaching and Learning by Meredith I Honig & Lydia R. Rainey

The Great School Rethink by Rick Hess 

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Thanks for listening to FocusED, an educational leadership podcast brought to you by TheSchoolHouse302 @ dereka206.sg-host.com, where we publish free leadership content. Go to the site, subscribe, and you’ll get all of our content sent directly to your email. 

 

FocusED is your educational leadership podcast where our mission is to dissect a particular focus for teachers and school leaders so that you can learn to lead better and grow faster in your school or district. Let us know who you would like to hear from next. 

Season 4, Episode 14 of the FocusED School Leadership Podcast with Guests Nathan Maynard and Luke Roberts

Season 4, Episode 14 of the FocusED School Leadership Podcast with Guests Nathan Maynard and Luke Roberts

Restorative Justice in Schools with Nathan Maynard and Luke Roberts 

This is Season 4, Episode 14 of FocusED, and it features our guests, Nathan Maynard, and Luke Roberts. It was originally recorded live for a live audience in Delaware and provided as a professional development experience in collaboration with the Delaware Department of Education, the Delaware Academy for School Leadership, and The School House 302. Don’t miss what Nathan and Luke say about restorative justice, school discipline practices, social and emotional learning, school leadership…and so much more.

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Nathan Maynard and Luke Roberts Bring Tons of Experience to FocusED Listeners

Nathan Maynard is a renowned global leader in discipline and restorative practices. He has over 15 years of experience as a facilitator of the work throughout juvenile justice and educational settings.

He co-authored the Washington Post bestseller Hacking School Discipline, which is now an international bestseller in 21 countries. He was awarded as “Youth Worker of the Year” in Indiana. Nathan also is the Co-Founder of Highfive–international restorative practices training group and the first restorative behavior support software for schools. 

Nathan studied Behavioral Neuroscience at Purdue University. He is passionate about ending the school-to-prison pipeline crisis and closing the opportunity gap through implementing cutting-edge trauma-informed and belonging-focused discipline practices.

Dr. Luke first started as an Assistant Researcher in the early 2000s, interviewing over 200 children and young people on their experience of restorative practice; he then went on to become a restorative practitioner working with children at risk of suspension, including those involved in gang violence, and weapon carrying in London. 

This work included multi-agency partnerships with Youth Workers, Police, and Social Services as well as parents. 

His passion for restorative practices has helped in addressing issues of bullying, cyberbullying, and older peer coercion. His work was noticed by the Metropolitan Police, and he was asked to help Police Officers become more empathetic to young people. 

In the 2010s, he then went on to chair the first Young People conference in City Hall, exploring the risks of cyberbullying and online harm, which was led by young people. This work became an All-Party Parliamentary Group, with young people’s voices at the center, to influence politicians. 

He was asked to address youth violence in the prison service and work with the top four prisons of concern in 2015 by using restorative practices. This work left a lasting impression on him, and he developed a range of innovative models to support young people in custody and on release. 

Dr. Luke joined High Five (with Nathan) in 2022, where he brings his passion for championing young people’s voices and experiences with the power to change the system. As Chief Innovation Officer, he finds engaging and exciting ways to equip children with conflict resolution skills as well as future developments for High Five.

 

FocusED Show Notes with Nathan Maynard and Luke Roberts

Nathan started with his definition of restorative practices. Joe underscored the relational aspect of the definition. 

Luke emphasized the process. “If everything is restorative, nothing is restorative.” His question: are we repairing a relationship or building one from scratch? 

Nathan talked about how kids these days don’t respond to fear because they’re just not scared of adults like they used to be. 

Luke brings up a great point: we start with students as “the offender” when we talk about behavior. They’re still students. 

TJ asked a hard question about students and guns in schools. Nathan passes it to Luke lovingly, of course. Luke shifted the conversation from “fear” to “embarrassment.” Students need to claim power by coping with embarrassment…something to help them feel confident. 

Nathan pushed us to reflect on whether or not students are feeling ostracized and whether or not the school and the adults in it are compounding the problem. 

Don’t miss what Nathan says about our role in not glamorizing behaviors. 

One question that comes from the conversation is about the quality of our relationships in schools. What’s the quality of my relationship with [insert a misbehaving student’s name]? 

Luke talked about confirmation bias. Sometimes we look for the things we’ve heard about kids. Story matter. 

We asked Luke about his interviews with students. Here’s what they say: 

  • Am I being treated fairly?
  • Are the adults genuinely caring? Do they care about me? Did they give me time? 

Nathan talks about students needing to be involved for them to feel empowered. Let’s all commit to getting every student involved. This was a critical call to action from the podcast. 

Luke talked about the difference between the content of an experience and the quality of it. 

We asked about resources, books, and people to follow. Luke mentioned that one of the best resources is the internal resources, like adults who work in a school and might be having a conversation for the first time. 

Nathan ended with a question: what does peace look like at our school? 

 

Related School Leadership Content from TheSchoolHouse302

Nathan Maynard on Leading Better & Growing Faster w/ Joe and T.J.

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Thanks for listening to FocusED, an educational leadership podcast brought to you by TheSchoolHouse302 @ dereka206.sg-host.com where we publish free leadership content. Go to the site, subscribe, and you’ll get all of our content sent directly to your email. 

 FocusED is your educational leadership podcast where our mission is to dissect a particular focus for teachers and school leaders so that you can learn to lead better and grow faster in your school or district. Let us know who you would like to hear from next.