Thursday, April 3, 2014

UPDATE: Don’t drive the barge, steer your sailboat! | Connected Principals

Don’t drive the barge, steer your sailboat! | Connected Principals:

7 Tips For Dealing With Challenging Students
A few years ago, I was talking to a teacher about a student she had volunteered to mentor. The young lady had had a difficult past, and the teacher had confided in me that some of their meetings had been challenging. While I was encouraging her to keep up the good work, at the same time, I wanted to prepare her for the reality of mentoring. “Don’t be surprised,” I said, “when you are disappointed

Don’t drive the barge, steer your sailboat!

todayThe large barge of the educational system is viewed as flawed by many. There are theoretical discussions that take place lamenting grades, schedules, and pedagogy. Terminology, vocabulary, & semantic sludge, left and right. These conversations take place in the halls, in the lounge, and on the interwebs. You can’t help but be aware of the growing dissension amongst the masses.
There has to shift amongst the silo’s in education. While yes, many of these facets are true, and may indeed be long overdue for a vast overhaul…conversations that leave educators frustrated, overwhelmed, or confused, help no one.
Giving students number grades each grading cycle is bad? Ok. My district requires grades, what do I do?
School start times need to be later in the day? We have 57,000 students, multiply that by families, and tell me how to make that happen?
Parents need to be more involved? I agree…but I can’t FORCE them…and I kinda feel like I’m making an effort already!
No more whole group, lecture driven, lessons? But what if that’s all a teacher is comfortable doing? It’s not like all of our teachers are in classrooms trying to be below average.
How can I, as an administrator, solve systemic educational reform?
The answer is that I can’t. I can’t make global decisions. I can’t turn the barge of the educational ship around.
But you know what I can do? I can turn my own boat. My sailboat of a world is much easier to steer and navigate. Make the changes/shifts where you can. Have conversations within your building, within your team, or with yourself about what YOU can do to make a difference.
I may not be able to make school start later, but I can implement a brief “meeting time” across the campus that allows  Don’t drive the barge, steer your sailboat! | Connected Principals: