“It’s not what I know, it’s what we know. And my reality is that I would suddenly become much dumber if you told me I had to disconnect when seeking answers or solving problems.” — Will Richardson
No words can express how much I have learned from those that I have connected with both online and face to face. The learning conversations that I participate in on a regular basis are often informal, ongoing, and thought-provoking; these connections have also led me to even more formal and informal learning opportunities.
My good friend George Couros has organized a fantastic learning opportunity that I am going to take advantage of – a learning series or MOOC (massive open online course) that is completely free, reflective, open to everyone, and based on the Alberta Principal Quality Standards. Please join me and many others as we collaborate and take our learning to the next level in this 9 part webinar series on Tuesdays beginning October 2, 2012.
How do I registe????
Hey Rob – no need to register. Just click on the link to the session at the time that it starts (or a few minutes before hand. You will be asked to download the software and sign in and you will be good to go! George will explain everything in the first session so if you are able to make that one, it would be great. If you have any questions at any time you can contact George at firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I participate via iPad?
We are looking into it to find out if we can access the MOOC through the iPad. Will let you know ASAP.
I have been told to install the blackboard collaborate app and you can access that way.
Alright Pal: Ready for a challenge?
If a collaborative schoolhouse is more effective at finding solutions for students, wouldn’t suggesting that the principal of any given building should be the “instructional leader” stifle important work?
Doesn’t the very title of “instructional leader” reinforce unhealthy hierarchies in schools, creating blue-collar workplaces that deprofessionalize teaching and chasing away the kinds of super motivated people that schools most need in their classrooms?
I’ve almost never seen any principal — including the best principals that I’ve ever worked for — as an instructional leader. The people providing me with instructional leadership are my peers, who regularly experiment with practices and who I can test ideas with.
Great principals can be “leaders of instructors,” but I think the “instructional leader” title takes ownership of practice away from practitioners — and that bugs me.
So whaddya’ think?
PS: I’m coming to your webinar!
Bill… bang on buddy! Was just actually having this conversation with a mentor of mine. My point was that I can provide some feedback to many teachers as an observer but the most powerful change happens when a teacher models effective practice. I have been encouraging more technology in our school for years… significant changes are happening now. WHy? Because some more teachers are trying new things and sharing with each other. I truly believe that it my number one job is to create the conditions for teachers and students to do well – all I have done to get technology moving at our school is encourage teachers to take risks and provide resources – time, autonomy, devices – for them to fly.
This is just one example… would love to pick your brain further on this one. I do believe that it is my job to be aware of great practices and ideas to share with others and for me, instructional leadership is about being aware of effective practices and, more importantly, creating the conditions for those teachers (using and developing effective practices) to share and excel. Let’s skype soon.
all I have done to get technology moving at our school is encourage teachers to take risks and provide resources – time, autonomy, devices – for them to fly.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
This is EXACTLY what I want out of a principal — and it’s an incredibly important job that I think many principals miss.
I’m not surprised to hear that this is your definition of instructional leadership — you’re a bright dude who respects teachers.
But I can say that I’ve seen more than one principal take the definition of “instructional leadership” WAY too far, thinking that they were FAR more informed about what good instruction looked like in action than they really were.
Let me give you an example: A buddy of mine just interviewed with his district’s superintendent for a principal’s position. In the interview, he was asked what he’d do first to build trust with teachers.
His answer was pretty darn progressive. He said he’d work on teaching lessons in front of his learning teams and getting their feedback. He wanted to model instructional vulnerability — something that he planned to ask of his teachers.
The superintendent’s response: “Don’t do too much of that. You’ve already proven that you can teach. You need to assume the ‘instructional leader’ role without question. You wouldn’t be in the position you’re in if you weren’t an accomplished teacher already.”
Do you see how that kind of attitude just plain sucks?
Maybe it’s just a language thing, but I’d rather see principals title themselves as “leaders of instructors” or “organizational leaders.”
It serves as a reminder to everyone involved that teachers have a unique set of skills and abilities that should be respected and valued.
Any of this make sense?