Season 4, Episode 13 of the FocusED School Leadership Podcast with Guest Dwight Carter

Season 4, Episode 13 of the FocusED School Leadership Podcast with Guest Dwight Carter

Learning to “Be Great” with Dwight Carter 

This is Season 4, Episode 13 of FocusED, and it features our guest, Dwight Carter. It was originally recorded live for a virtual 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 Dwight Carter tells us about being great as a school leader, his five principles of leadership…and so much more.

_________________________________________

Dwight Carter Brings Tons of Experience to FocusED Listeners

Dwight Carter is a nationally recognized school leader from Central OH and has been an educator for 27 years. He is currently the Director of Student Support Systems for the Eastland-Fairfield Career and Technical Schools District. 

Here are just a few of his awards and accolades:

 

  • He was inducted into the Jostens Renaissance Educator Hall of Fame. 

 

  • He was named a National Association of Secondary School Principals Digital Principal of the Year

 

  • He was an Academy of Arts and Science Education High School Principal of the Year

 

  • He was the 2015 Ohio Alliance of Black School Educators Principal of the Year

 

  • And he was a 2021 Columbus Afrocentric Early College Sankofa Emerging Leader Award winner. 

 

He is the co-author of three books: What’s In Your Space? Five Steps to Better School and Classroom Design (Corwin, 2015), Leading Schools in Disruptive Times: How to Survive Hyper-change (Corwin 2017), and the second edition of Leading Schools in Disruptive Times (Corwin, 2021).

 

His newest book is Be Great: Five Principles to Improve School Culture from the Inside Out

 

FocusED Show Notes with Dwight Carter

Dwight starts with a simple definition of culture: the accepted behaviors within the organization.

Dwight runs us through the five competencies of school culture. 

  1. Be Grateful 
  2. Be Relational 
  3. Be Enthusiastic 
  4. Be Authentic 
  5. Be teachable 

Joe asks about simple steps that adults can take. Dwight responds with the first principle about gratitude.  

Dwight talks about “what we can control” and brings up the topic of hyper-change. We have total control over our attitudes and actions. 

Don’t miss what Dwight says about the difference between being a “doormat” and a “doorway.”

Dwight reminds us of a Todd Whitaker quote: “When the principal sneezes, everyone catches a cold.” 

What Dwight talks about in terms of “teachable” reminded us of our work in an effort to create learning cultures. 

Don’t miss what he says about the difference between “being judgemental” and “evaluating others.”

Dwight is calling for a shift from teaching to learning–moving from a focus on what teachers are doing to a focus on what students are doing. 

Another shift that Dwight wants to see has to do with assessment and grading. We couldn’t agree more. 

Dwight mentions the book, Because of a Teacher, Volumes One and Two

Dwight highlights the work of his superintendent, Kim Miller, and the book that she has her team reading, The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni.

Dwight wants more to be written about our fear of equity. He tells us that equity is not a zero-sum game. Everyone stands to gain.  

He reminds us of CAT–cope, adjust, and transform. 

Dwight Carter Quotes from FocusED

Be specific when showing gratitude. ~ Dwight Carter

The only two things we can control are our attitude and actions, which requires high levels of self-awareness and self-control. ~ Dwight Carter 

There’s a difference between reacting and responding. ~ Dwight Carter 

To be teachable means the willingness to learn. ~ Dwight Carter 

As an assistant principal, one of your most important jobs is to make your principal’s job easier. The best way to do that is to do your job well. ~ Dwight Carter

You can’t be out-happy, happy. It’s important to be happy in your role. ~ Dwight Carter 

We live in a gray world. There’s nuance to everything. ~ Dwight Carter 

Related School Leadership Content from TheSchoolHouse302

Douglas Reeves Joins Joe and T.J. on the Leading Better & Growing Faster Podcast

Steven Covey Joins Joe and T.J. for a Conversation about Trust

Passionate Leadership

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Thanks for listening to FocusED, an educational leadership podcast brought to you by TheSchoolHouse302 @ theschoolhouse302.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.

Student Engagement During Disruptive Times–Insights from Dwight Carter

Student Engagement During Disruptive Times–Insights from Dwight Carter

Who Is Dwight Carter?

Dwight Carter is a nationally recognized school leader from Central Ohio and has been an educator for 27 years. Because of his collaborative and innovative leadership, in 2010, he was inducted into the Jostens Renaissance Educator Hall of Fame. He was also named a 2013 National Association of Secondary School Principals Digital Principal of the Year, the 2014 Academy of Arts and Science Education High School Principal of the Year, the 2015 Ohio Alliance of Black School Educators Principal of the Year, and a 2021 Columbus Afrocentric Early College Sankofa Emerging Leader Award winner. He is currently the Director of Student Support Systems for the Eastland-Fairfield Career and Technical Schools District. 

 He is the co-author of three books: What’s In Your Space? Five Steps to Better School and Classroom Design (Corwin, 2015), Leading Schools in Disruptive Times: How to Survive Hyper-change (Corwin 2017), and the second edition of Leading Schools in Disruptive Times (Corwin, 2021).

Major Takeaways from Our Interview with Dwight Carter

Dwight dives into how we have to move past our feeling that these are “unprecedented times” so that we don’t inadvertently limit our schools and classrooms in ways that we may not even be aware of.

He specifies that students need consistency and safety. Don’t miss how he defines safety as multi-dimensional–emotional, social, and communal. Social and emotional learning wasn’t created by the pandemic, but it’s compounded by it. 

His perspective on the importance of having a system of accountability after implementing ways to connect with students is critical for us to know every child. The conversation on the “dot exercise” is insightful and most importantly doable. 

We dive into the power of the Jostens Renaissance Education as a framework that Dwight uses with students. Don’t miss what he has to say about finding out how we need to know how students want to be celebrated.

Listen to what Dwight has to say about hyper-change and to-do lists. 

Dwight willingly gets personal and describes what he wants to learn how to do, mainly because it’s limiting family experiences. 

Dwight references The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. You need this book if you don’t have it already. 

Check out the VIA Assessment, something that Dwight uses to continue his leadership growth.

Let us know what you’re reading and who else you want us to bring on the show by contacting us at contact@theschoolhouse302.com.

We can’t wait to hear from you. 

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.