Exploring the Work of John Dewey and How He Impacted the World in the Wake of Covid19

Exploring the Work of John Dewey and How He Impacted the World in the Wake of Covid19

The Information Age and Principal Leadership 

We live in a time that has been deemed the “information age.” Some argue that in the 21st Century we can be exposed to more information in one week than those who lived in the 17th Century would be exposed to in their entire lives. In many ways that makes our mere existence more challenging as we look to lead our schools effectively. We need discrete skills that enable us to process and filter an abundance of information. Knowing how to discern and weed through all of the channels in order to make sound decisions is a marquee skill of any effective principal. That skill needs to be coupled with another critical and complementary skill, which is knowing how to apply that knowledge in actionable and strategic ways. 

Who is John Dewey and How Did He Impact the World?

Effective principal leaders know how to synthesize information and apply it to the unique needs of their schools. 

This is what brought us back to the work of John Dewey this month. We wanted to study the claims that Dewey might have made about teaching and learning during COVID19. And, we explore this in our 302 Thoughts this month.

Taking what we’ve learned and experienced from the pandemic, we sought to embark on a tried and true classroom practice: problem based learning. We focus on the good that can come from such a tumultuous time in education. We wanted to add an abstract element to spark creativity, so we did our best to filter our ideas through the powerful lens of the great educational reformer, John Dewey.

Critical Ideas from our 302 Thoughts: Student-Centered Learning  

  1. Students and teachers need support in multiple ways and beyond just learning in the classroom. As humans we are confronted with challenges that stifle and limit teaching and learning. Great principals need to understand, recognize, and build support for students and teachers.
    1. A Creative Way to Support Students
      1. Affinity Groups
    2. A Creative Way to Support Teachers
      1. Faculty-led before or after school wellness classes (such as yoga).  
  2. Engagement is everything. Students need to be engaged in the classroom and teachers need to be engaged in their departments and the school as a whole.
    1. A Creative Way to Engage Students
      1. Require students to create questions, not answers, on what is being learned. Stoke their creativity.
    2. A Creative Way to Engage Teachers
      1. Ask them to specifically identify the professional learning experiences that they want.
  3. Opportunities are found in the right mindset. Going through the last year and not learning from all of our trials would be an injustice to our school system.
    1. A Creative Way to Provide Opportunities for Students
      1. Continue to employ the various instructional tools and supports that helped students learn (stay tuned for our ESSER focused blog next month). 
    2. A Creative Way to Provide Opportunities for Teachers
      1. Create ad hoc groups to determine the aspects of hybrid and remote learning that should not be discontinued.

Ultimately, it is up to us to decide if we will learn from the great thinkers and reformers of the past and capitalize on the opportunities of today, no matter what form they take. COVID19 was completely unexpected, and it certainly upended our educational system. Let’s take advantage of what we accomplished and the lessons we learned thus far.

We hope you like this month’s 302 Thoughts as we continue to discuss leadership and the impact that you can have on your community. Next month, we go live with our first ever open audience 302 Thoughts; we hope to see you there.  

Stay tuned for more nuggets of wisdom, podcasts, books to read, reflection sessions, and the best resources for leading better and growing faster in schools. Follow us at theschoolhouse302.com to join thousands of leaders who get our content each month. Send this to a friend. 

As always, let us know what you think of this with a like, a follow, or a comment. Find us on Twitter, YouTube, iTunes, Facebook, & SoundCloud. And, again, if you want one simple model for leading better and growing faster per month, follow this blog by entering your email at the top right of the screen.

TheSchoolHouse302 is about getting to simple by maximizing effective research-based strategies that empower individuals to lead better and grow faster.

Joe & T.J. 

This episode was brought to you by GhostBed, a family-owned business of sleep experts with 20+ years of experience. With 30K+ 5-star reviews, you can’t go wrong with GhostBed. Their mattresses are handcrafted, and they come with a 101-night-at-home-sleep trial. For a limited time, you can get 30% by using our code — SH302 — at checkout. And, even if you tell someone about GhostBed, you can earn a $100 referral reward. Go to Ghostbed.com today and use SH302 at checkout. 

Rules Not To Follow To End The School Year On A High Note: What Every Principal Needs to Know

Rules Not To Follow To End The School Year On A High Note: What Every Principal Needs to Know

The school year, especially May, is a busy time of year for everyone. Add on to this reality the Covid19 pandemic and we are faced with a recipe of fatigue, frustration, and possibly a dollop of uncertainty. We want to acknowledge these feelings and actually put them on the table to be known. By acknowledging how we feel and what we are experiencing, we begin to exercise a level of control.

As Echart Tolle reminds us, “Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.” It is ok to be tired, to desire normalcy and desire a routine. Great principals understand this reality and use this energy to positively end the school year on a high note. 

We know from Dan Kahnemann’s work that finishing the school year strong and successfully is paramount. No matter how challenging this year was, educational leaders have the ability to leave a favorable and lasting positive impression on all of their teachers. What is terrific is that regardless of how challenging the year was, these final moments  are what will be remembered throughout the summer. Yes, this year has been tough but there is no doubt that this was a year of triumph, so celebrate.

Take note as we close out the school year to recognize the great things that have happened. Actually, take some risks and pull a page out of the book of Krasinki and feature Some Good News. Why not start a daily YouTube video featuring the terrific work that’s been accomplished. 

In education, we live by a few unwritten and untold rules that bind us to a world of caution. We are not suggesting being reckless but rather demonstrating unbridled and unique appreciation and gratitude. We hold back because we worry about precedence and opinion, but now is not the time to sit back, but to step forward and truly appreciate others. 

We are not in any way suggesting that this year wasn’t tough and that the road ahead won’t be filled with challenges. What we are saying is that at the end of the year we need to connect with everyone on the staff, continue to be consistent and present, communicate often, and celebrate!

We hope you like this month’s 302 Thoughts as we continue to discuss leadership and the impact that you can have on your community. 

Stay tuned for more nuggets of wisdom, podcasts, books to read, reflection sessions, and the best resources for leading better and growing faster in schools. Follow us at theschoolhouse302.com to join thousands of leaders who get our content each month. Send this to a friend. 

As always, let us know what you think of this with a like, a follow, or a comment. Find us on Twitter, YouTube, iTunes, Facebook, & SoundCould. And, again, if you want one simple model for leading better and growing faster per month, follow this blog by entering your email at the top right of the screen.

TheSchoolHouse302 is about getting to simple by maximizing effective research-based strategies that empower individuals to lead better and grow faster.

Joe & T.J. 

This episode was brought to you by GhostBed, a family-owned business of sleep experts with 20+ years of experience. With 30K+ 5-star reviews, you can’t go wrong with GhostBed. Their mattresses are handcrafted, and they come with a 101-night-at-home-sleep trial. For a limited time, you can get 30% by using our code — SH302 — at checkout. And, even if you tell someone about GhostBed, you can earn a $100 referral reward. Go to Ghostbed.com today and use SH302 at checkout. 

How Principal Leaders Can Think Like an Innovator to Ignite and Sustain Great Ideas in Schools

How Principal Leaders Can Think Like an Innovator to Ignite and Sustain Great Ideas in Schools

Learn from Women Leaders: A Look Into Top Female Innovators 

There is no substitute for effective leadership and taking the time to read and learn from diverse people from all industries only helps to expand a school principals’ ability to view complex issues through a broad yet critical lens.

We’ve discovered that innovation in schools can be limited by the culture of the organization. Fortunately, it is well within the scope of any leader’s reach to become more innovative by implementing a few key practices. Below is our School Innovation Leadership Model.

innova3.png

302 Thoughts on SoundCloud: 

302 Thoughts on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Z2yKkrWbWZE

Topics We Cover Regarding Innovative Educator Leadership:

  • We discuss how to be innovative even during times of uncertainty and mass change. The Dual Pandemics of Covid19 and Racism have created opportunities to seize change and to be innovative in schools and the classroom. 
  • We highlight that innovation can be incremental and that small adjustments can eventually make for major changes. We pointed back to Society Nine from our blog this month.
  • We talk about how values can create an environment that welcomes and embraces new ideas.

We hope you like this month’s 302 Thoughts as we continue to discuss leadership and the impact that you can have on your community. 

Stay tuned for more nuggets of wisdom, podcasts, books to read, reflection sessions, and the best resources for leading better and growing faster in schools. Follow us at theschoolhouse302.com to join thousands of leaders who get our content each month. Send this to a friend. 

As always, let us know what you think of this with a like, a follow, or a comment. Find us on Twitter, YouTube, iTunes, Facebook, & SoundCloud. And, again, if you want one simple model for leading better and growing faster per month, follow this blog by entering your email at the top right of the screen.

TheSchoolHouse302 is about getting to simple by maximizing effective research-based strategies that empower individuals to lead better and grow faster.

Joe & T.J. 

This episode was brought to you by GhostBed, a family-owned business of sleep experts with 20+ years of experience. With 30K+ 5-star reviews, you can’t go wrong with GhostBed. Their mattresses are handcrafted, and they come with a 101-night-at-home-sleep trial. For a limited time, you can get 30% by using our code — SH302 — at checkout. And, even if you tell someone about GhostBed, you can earn a $100 referral reward. Go to Ghostbed.com today and use SH302 at checkout. 

Build a Better & Stronger School Community: An Inside Look On How to Implement the 4 Ps of Service-Oriented Principal Leadership

Build a Better & Stronger School Community: An Inside Look On How to Implement the 4 Ps of Service-Oriented Principal Leadership

Servant and Service Leadership: Harmony Between the Two for Superior Principal Leadership

Servant leadership is touted and recognized as an effective way to lead. Principals who embrace servant leadership build their winning team by empowering their school community at all levels. This month, we draw a simple distinction between servant leadership and service leadership. We contend that service leadership is the actionable aspect of effective leadership that goes beyond the general duties of the job. Service leaders provide something special and unique for each person on the team or for the community at large. They don’t just empower, they provide. 

To better understand how to be a service leader, we offer the 4 Ps of Service Leadership, which we breakdown in this month’s 302 Thoughts. This component of our One Thing Series podcast, takes a deep dive into this month’s topic so that anyone in an educational leadership position–district leaders, principals, assistant principals, instructional coaches, and teacher leaders–all see how they can uniquely support a learning environment throughout the entire school community. 

The Four Ps Model of Service Leadership

Topics We Cover Regarding Service Leadership:

  • We discuss how service leadership is the engine behind servant leadership. Essentially, the way we empower others impacts how they can serve in their roles. 
  • We break down the 4 P model and how it can guide our daily work.
  • We emphasize the power of a positive attitude and how it really is a choice.
  • We talk about turning pride into something of virtue rather than voice.

We hope you like this month’s 302 Thoughts as we continue to discuss leadership and the impact that you can have on your community. 

Stay tuned for more nuggets of wisdom, podcasts, books to read, reflection sessions, and the best resources for leading better and growing faster in schools. Follow us at theschoolhouse302.com to join thousands of leaders who get our content each month. Send this to a friend. 

As always, let us know what you think of this with a like, a follow, or a comment. Find us on Twitter, YouTube, iTunes, Facebook, & SoundCloud. And, again, if you want one simple model for leading better and growing faster per month, follow this blog by entering your email at the top right of the screen.

TheSchoolHouse302 is about getting to simple by maximizing effective research-based strategies that empower individuals to lead better and grow faster.
Joe & T.J.

Learning is a Leader’s Top Priority — #ReviewAndReflect

Learning is a Leader’s Top Priority — #ReviewAndReflect

This is TheSchoolHouse302’s monthly #reviewandreflect, wrapping up our focus on Four Often Overlooked Strategies to Learn as a Leader.

Our Review and Reflect series embraces the powerful sentiment from Soren Kierkegaard: “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” Throughout this post, we take a deep dive into our leadership content so that you can develop the skills you need to lead better and grow faster. 

Key Model to Help Guide the Learning of a Leader

#1. Be Vulnerable — Always think like a novice, never overestimate your own expertise.

#2. Be Curious — Don’t assume that you know something in depth when you may only have a very cursory knowledge of the subject. 

#3. Be Versatile — Expand your willingness to use multiple modalities as a learner.  

#4. Be Open-Minded — Often there are multiple perspectives that must be explored and considered. 

Great Leaders Are Avid Readers

Review: In our #readthisseries we featured practical books that offer actionable information to improve your goal-getting.

Our first recommendation is Focus: Elevating the Essentials to Radically Improve Student Learning by Mike Schmoker

Our second recommendation is Instructional Rounds in Education by Elizabeth City, Richard Elmore, Sara Fiarman, and Lee Teitel

Our third recommendation is Brain Rules by John Medina

Who should I follow…

What does an expert have to say? 

Who better to ask then Dr. Richard Elmore on this topic. His on-line HarvardX course, Leaders of Learning, has been taken by more than 100,000 learners internationally since its inception in 2014. From 1995 to 2014, his research and consulting practice focused on building instructional improvement capabilities of teachers and  administrators through direct observation and analysis of classroom practice. 

Listen to the entire podcast on iTunes. One major takeaway from our conversation with Richard is his insistent focus on the beginner’s mindset. His description of how this frames our thinking to improve our learning is powerful. 

Please subscribe!

Listen to the entire podcast on iTunes, One Thing Series, and please rate and like (it helps).

TheSchoolHouse302 is about getting to simple and maximizing effective research-based strategies that empower individuals to lead better and grow faster.

Please let us know how our leadership posts are working for you, what you are reading to improve yourself, and your thoughts on leadership and growth here on our blog and Twitter. Follow our #onethingseries podcast on iTunes and our #readthisseries on YouTube. 

Joe & T.J.

Review And Reflect: Excellence Hacks Every Educator Should Use — #ReviewAndReflect

Review And Reflect: Excellence Hacks Every Educator Should Use — #ReviewAndReflect

4 Hacks to Unleash Your Very Best Work

Review: Review the four hacks and reflect on how well you use them. Let’s use feedback as an example. In what areas of your professional life did you receive feedback? If you are not receiving feedback, ask for it. Your own impression of your work and performance will not make you better. While we always strive to be reflective practitioners, cognitive scientists remind us that reflecting on our work when we’re doing it is near impossible for the brain. 

Reflect: Identify key areas of your life where you would like to receive feedback more often. These areas can vary from how you are generally viewed by others to your actual performance on a specific task at work. See below for a few feedback prompts:

  1. Do I honor commitments?
  2. Am I reliable?
  3. Do I show up to meetings on time? Even on Zoom.
  4. How effectively do I run our meetings?

Ask these prompts to a trusted colleague and give them a scale to use (1-10). When they respond, ask for evidence and one thing that you can do better/differently. Then put that item into practice. That’s how we grow faster than we would without feedback. 

Three Books to Read 

Atomic Habits by James Clear

10 Mindframes for Leaders by John Hattie and Raymond Smith

The Mindful School Leader by Valerie Brown and Kirsten Olson

Review: Based on the brief summarization of these books from our #readthisseries, which one are you starting to read this week? Let us know at @TSH302 on Twitter or send us a quick email @ contact@theschoolhouse302.com

Reflect: All three of these books delve into our behaviors and mindsets; what is one behavior that you are working on to improve or change? Try to think at the micro-level. 

OneThingSeries Podcast

Mindfulness is the capacity to have compassion for ourselves as leaders and to carry that compassion into the world for others. ~ Valerie Brown & Kirsten Olson

Reflect: What is one major takeaway from the podcast that you can implement right now in your day or life? 

Review: in which areas of your life do you need to be more mindful? This doesn’t have to be complicated, just something that needs more attention–something that may be on autopilot that you can notice more often throughout your day.

That’s our #ReviewAndReflect for this month, all on the topic of excellence. We can’t wait to hear from you. 

Joe & T.J.

PS — We’re getting ready to start our first ever Assistant Principal Mastermind. If you’re an assistant principal, and you want to lead better and grow faster, contact us at contact@theschoolhouse302.com so that we can put your name on the list (almost full). 

PPS — Did you know that we’re running our first ever Masterclass on Candid and Compassionate Feedback. Starting in January, you can join us for five sessions on the leadership pitfalls of candor and how to solve them. If you’ve ever had a feedback conversation go wrong, you know how bad that feels. We’ve identified 9 problems and their solutions. Find out more here

Claim Your FREE Copy to Our Praise Practice- Practical Praise Giving Tips for Principals

Claim Your FREE Copy to Our Praise Practice- Practical Praise Giving Tips for Principals

Learn how you can give practical praise each day as you lead your school to develop a better and more positive culture through this complimentary eBook we use in our workshops to help principals all over the nation and subscribe for more resources like this one delivered to your inbox. 

Congratulations on claiming your copy - you may download it here: https://theschoolhouse302.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Technical-Tip-Praise-Practice-A-Model-for-Specific-Praise.pdf