Thinking about What if school leaders practiced the change they preach…and developed a people strategy? 60-60-60 #57 and reflecting…

A people strategy begins with EMPATHY. It moves along the stepping stones of the Golden Rule. A people strategy refuses to commit the fundamental attribution error (see the Heath Bros’ Switch).

Bo’s reflections on “The Big Shifts” are ones that I want to save here on my blog, thus making today’s riff a re-post of his questions…in hopes that they will inspire future posts about how I, in my future work in school administration, am striving to proactively respond to the shifting notions of what it means to create the right learning environments for both children and adults in the 21st century.

So, for this 57th post…

If we administrators expect teachers to proactively respond to these big shifts for the futures of their students, mustn’t we do so ourselves?

  • Shouldn’t we be transforming faculty meetings (and other “PD”) into faculty doings? Shouldn’t we be experimenting with PBL with adults…and with projects that are relevant and meaningful to teachers? Are we even asking them what they want and need?
  • From the admin view, how can we make school more “teacher-centered” so that teachers can, in turn, make school more student-centered? Shouldn’t we admin be modeling “student voice and choice” by providing such to our faculties?
  • How are we un-silo-ing our schools to facilitate teachers working in teams?
  • How are we facilitating the construction of meaning among our faculties, instead of asking them to consume information? Do decisions feel top-down or bottom-up? Or inside-out? Or outside-in?
  • How are we admin employing and engaging learning networks and advocating for OPEN and SAFE and THOUGHTFUL use of such endless learning resources in the network…outside our school walls?
  • How are we crowd-sourcing our collective wisdom within our faculties and among our faculties from school to school? How are we refusing to re-invent the wheel and instead partnering with the crowds of other doing schools…I mean networks?
  • How are we refusing the high stakes testing of teachers and engaging high value demonstrations of professional practice?

Thanks for creating and categorizing these questions, Bo. They are important ones that we must tackle…and not necessary in isolation!



  1. I think this is the number one obstacle to innovation at our schools; if the leaders either do not have the DNA or do not chose to prioritize acquisition and use of the DNA, innovation is not going to happen. I think there is a case to be made that this single issue will determine the long-term sustainability of some schools with long and strong legacies.

  2. AMEN Grant. And it will be interesting to see how/when (not if, in my opinion) demand begins to shift toward schools with innovative people and programs. I agree with you that long-term sustainability of schools with long and strong legacies is an emerging issue for all of us. We’re seeing what’s happening in higher-ed (open courses, online learning, etc)…and it’s going to trickle down. K-12s have a chance to innovate. Now. It’ll be interesting to see who takes the lead (nationally and locally) and what that shift looks like (from vision/mission to what’s “on the ground”). Thank you for supporting my thinking and writing — I’m glad we’ve connected.

  3. Pingback: Losing sight of the shore a.k.a. challenged and delighted by opportunities to struggle, grow, and act | Experiments in Learning by Doing

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