My third semester of educational leadership is winding down, and that means I can use more of my summer vacation for blogging about things OTHER THAN EDUCATION! If you’re still with me, though, here’s a follow-up to my last post about implementing rigorous and relevant ELA curriculum. Enjoy, and please let me know what you think in the comments. – Bill
Leaders often look to best practices, scholarship, and other leaders before making changes in their organizations. However, much of my coursework in educational leadership has called on me to look to myself for answers. I find this to be valuable, as I do not yet have years of leadership experience to ponder; it does me good to envision how I will meet the inevitable changes and challenges I can expect when I assume a formal leadership role. Though I have opportunities to reflect in my coursework, prior assignments required me to ground my reflection in research. This may seem contradictory because most of us self-reflect without considering others’ thoughts, but academia demands explanation enforced by citation.
This post, though, is a reflective narrative reflection, a metacognitive exercise—a record of my thinking about my thinking. And in this instance I will write my way through the problem of implementing a rigorous and relevant ELA curriculum. Here is how I understand the issue.
I wrote this short paper recently for a grad class in learning theory. I hope it’s useful to those seeking information about the importance of learning theory for educational leaders. Learning standards and theorists such as Carol Dweck and James Comer are discussed.
The backlash against the Common Core among teacher is, at its essence, a leadership problem.
In Heifetz and Laurie’s near seminal “The Work of Leadership” the two leadership scholars start by explaining the difference between adaptive challenges (game-changers, challenges that enable positive growth) and technical challenges (business-as-usual type stuff that just needs to get done).
In general, it seems that CCSS and the challenges it presents are being approached as technical challenges by many school leaders. However, there is a tremendous opportunity to make them out to be adaptive challenges and to rally staff behind a common vision.
It takes a lot of work to become a good leader!
Here’s an essay I wrote for one of my educational leadership classes at Southern Connecticut State University. It ties together my study of communication skills, conflict resolution, and a few New Year’s Resolutions to boot. If you enjoy the essay and find it useful, please let us know in the comments. Thanks! – Bill
Here’s an essay I published on this site a few years ago when it first started. It used to have it’s own separate page, but now that I’m redesigning the site it will be a linked post instead. It could use some updated, but it still helps summarize what this blog used to be about, and where it will go in the future. Enjoy! – Bill
PS – Thanks for your patience as I update Good Circuits to better reflect my own writing and thinking and to better invite you to join in the exploration of where technology and the humanities meet to make us better people!
It seems those who make the rules/laws for others have never had the honor of wearing the other’s shoes.
However, firstly, my wife and daughter are both teachers – just to show my status.
Never heard them refer to the profession as a job, they live, eat and breathe teaching. When they get together with other teachers – questions arise about what progress this or that one is making – their hours are set buy themselves, my wife used to go in to school at least 45 or more minutes than required and my daughter is always at school for a special activity, helping a student or readying for the next day. And not to be crass or surly, the $250 the government allows as an education tax deduction is chump change in the real world, where I live.
Sure, it’s a job – my two aren’t of the STEPFORD cookie cutter ilk of which Mrs. Malloy refers. How about the governor and some State Legislators teaching a class for a week (with no chance of parole) and see what ‘job’ they prefer, the good ‘ol boy gathering of’ politicos figuring out how to levy another tax or unrealistic mandate or trying to convince little Jack or Jill that 6 is the product of dividing 42 by 7.
Wonder how NCLB would have fared if this exercise were mandated?
There will always be some debate as why teaching is an easy ‘job'; all the time off, especially in the summer.
Reality is taking over as more and more states are eschewing NCLB as a poor, no horrendous piece of legislation.
Now, being under the proverbial gun, they are scrambling to redeem themselves by coming up with some alternatives.
I hope they consult some ‘dedicated’ educators whilst drawing up the new guidelines; because, if you boil this all down to the basics – if it weren’t for dedicated teachers – I would not have had the skills to write this comment nor would you have the privilege of reading my opinions. Correct?