Just a disclaimer here…this blog post is mostly a big long list of quotes from Jeff and Jimmy. They kept saying such awesome things that I couldn’t process much beyond quoting them! Haha.
I love the title slide; it references “intentional acts of everyday leadership.” This reminds me of my times in Mallorca, where I learned that leadership is something that can be taught, learned, and practiced. One doesn’t simply become a leader accidentally; it’s something intentional that one does!
We started by some thinking about culture and climate. Jeff asked us to write a list to fill in the blank in this sentence: I want to be involved in a school that emphasizes a culture of ______. Here are my responses:
Video: Drew Dudley – Everyday Acts of Leadership <–watch it – it's so good!!
Jeff: Every teacher is a leader; they're leaders of kids. Amen!
Lollipop moments: something said or did something that fundamentally made your life better.
As school leaders, we can do simple things that make teachers' lives better (simple does not have to mean small).
MICEE (5 exemplary leadership practices)
Model the way
Inspire a shared vision
Challenge the process
Enable others to act
Encourage the heart
Jimmy said there are two things he’ll keep coming back to throughout the presentation: MODELING and MINDSET.
Jimmy: “It’s hard to be a leader. It really really is. It’s even harder to be an excellent leader.”
If you want to be great, you have to model every day what greatness looks like, and you have to have an everyday mindset of greatness.
Leaders have on standard, and that standard is excellence. That takes an enormous amount of energy, passion, commitment, and dedication. But if you really want to be great, you can be great if you want to.
Greatness only knows one level; it’s right here! *puts hand above head*
Challenge to classroom teachers for Monday:
Stand at your door and high five every kid coming in. Say to them things like, “you are great!” “you are awesome!” “you are the best!” “you are the best of the best!” “you rock!”
And then do it every day for the rest of the year and watch what happens to the culture of your classroom.
No really, DO IT!!
There is no reason why our cultures can’t be cultures of awesomeness. But you’ve gotta keep bringin’ it because that’s what leaders do.
Leaders think long term; they don’t think short term. Your mindset HAS to switch to long term because thinking short term will kill you. That’s how we have to think about our kids when we’re championing our kids.
Carry the banner: bring a positive voice every day about the organization (inside and out of school). You don’t go to the grocery store and gossip about school. You have to maintain positivity about the organization ALWAYS. Stay positive!
Inspire a shared vision
*Infuse a sense of pride
*”Students first” mindset
What you see in the main entrance shows what your school culture is about. Trophy case? Plaque? Mission statement? Artwork?
When you do student recognition, make it so big and so visible that people will walk in, see it, and say WOW.
Encourage the heart
Two a day: two personal notes to two teachers per day (morning routine). Could be personal, tell them why you value/appreciate them. Love this idea! Could leave notes in mailbox or deliver them in person and say thank you back. When you do this, teachers start writing notes to each other and the kids. How’s that for a culture?
Sharing student voice: Interview kids- (Tell me what you like about our school. Tell me what the challenges are in our school. Tell me how welcome you feel in our school.)
Making the calls: Called every parent and thanked them for sharing their kids with us. Take notes on every reaction from the parents and share that with the teachers.
Jeff talked a bit about the most important habits of a school leader. He said that no matter how many times he asks people what the most important traits are, the answers are almost always “encourage the heart” and “model the way.” He made the great point that if you don’t walk the walk, everything else you do just comes off as a gimmick.
This is just a random thing that I loved: bow-tie Wednesday! What a fun way to bond kids/teachers and add to the culture of the school.
Excellent session- thanks, Jeff and Jimmy! Loved the participants, too! So willing to share, and I loved hearing the stories about leaders who have impacted them. Yay!