Mentoring Matters for Middle Level and Secondary Principals: April 2017
Leadership-life Fit: Organize Your Phone, Unhijack Your Mind
Did you know the more your phone buzzes and sends you notifications, the more you’re conditioned to release cortisol and stress?? Reclaim control by reorganizing your phone using these five tips.
Former Google design ethicist and Time Well Spent founder Tristan Harris explains how in this three-minute video:
You can read more from Tristan here.
Leading Technology Use—Ensure Your School Is Future Ready
Is technology use being leveraged in a way that amplifies instructional best practice? How can you plan systemically for the effective use of technology? These Future Ready Schools resources described in this month’s Principal magazine support you ensuring that local technology and digital learning plans align with effective methods and lead to quality personalized learning experiences for all students.
Future Ready Schools helps districts build capacity to:
The Future Ready Schools Framework is anchored in personalized learning and provides school leaders a support system. The following chart identifies each gear and includes reflective questions that you might consider together in your mentoring partnership.
Read the full article here
This month’s full issue of Principal magazine, which is focused on Technology for All, is available for free.
Find out more about Future Ready Schools and take advantage of high-quality resources available at NO CHARGE!
Leading Professional Learning—Measuring Impact
Is your professional learning making a difference in student learning? How do you know? Thomas Guskey dispels the myth that evaluating professional learning requires a special skill set and narrows effective evaluation down to being able to answer three key questions.
In this month’s The Learning Professional Guskey identifies a process for assessing your professional learning. He invites us to begin with these three questions:
Generally, the answer to the first question is tied to student learning, and the second question requires that we determine what evidence we will accept as verification we have achieved our goal. Since no single source of data provides a complete picture, we must ensure that we identify multiple sources. The third question helps us to consider the implications of the change we are looking to make. For example, if we create a common specials schedule so that all grade level teams will have a common plan time, we may need to adjust the times for art, music, or PE. This may be perceived as “bad.” Or, by developing our instruction in non-fiction writing, we may notice an improvement in reading data, which would be perceived as “good.”
As in any evaluation process, we need to begin with the end in mind. What is our goal? Why is that our goal? We will need to examine our current reality as portrayed by our data. Though standardized assessment data provide a piece of the picture, we will also need to consider our local and classroom assessments to paint the most complete picture. Attendance, behavioral (referral and positive reinforcement) data, and family/community perception data may also guide our planning at this stage. When we analyze these data, we gain clarity regarding our focus, our outcomes, and what we will need to know and be able to do in order to achieve our goals.
Once we have set our goals and determined what evidence will speak to our progress toward and attainment of that goal, we can engage in Guskey’s five essential steps.
5. Determine impact on student learning outcomes.
4. Implement new practices (consider John Hattie’s work as a point of conversation to determine highest effect size—remember, 95% of what we do works. We need to ask: What works BEST?
3. Gain organizational support and change.
2. Develop essential knowledge and skills.
1. Plan targeted professional learning experiences.
When we are clear about our student learning goals and plan backward from there, we set the stage for successful evaluation. Guskey notes: Plan well and evaluation will take care of itself.
Read the full article here (subscription required)
Remember the Iowa Professional Development Guide provides excellent tools and resources to support you engaging in the process Guskey describes.
Hiring the Best—Your Next Assistant Principal
This month’s Principal Leadership magazine includes a timely article on employing behavior-based interviewing techniques to determine which candidate has the strongest skill set and knowledge base to navigate the multi-faceted role of the AP.
Behavior-based interviewing is built on the premise that past behavior is the best predictor of future performance. Mary Clement offers 18 sample questions and “look fors” when hiring an assistant principal. Questions should be designed to align with the responsibilities and expected behaviors of an AP in the specific context so that interviewers can gain insight as to how the candidate’s past performance might transfer or inform his/her future performance as an AP.
For example, with the understanding that in your school, an AP is expected to have leadership experience; knowledge in the area of curriculum, instruction, and assessment; facility in working with diverse populations; skill in connecting with families and community resources; understanding of budget; and experience in supervision and discipline, questions that surface the candidate’s past experience in these areas will be most helpful in determining how successful he/she will be in your context.
Following is a sampling of the questions proposed by Clement:
The power in behavior-based interviewing is to understand clearly the role and responsibility of the position to be hired and then to design questions that will elicit responses that create for the interviewer a picture of how this candidate has handled similar situations in the past such that future behavior can be predicted.
Access the full article here (subscription required)
Other Articles by Clement re: Behavior Based Interviewing (Free)
These lists are intended as a guide—we encourage you to process in your mentor-mentee team to identify other items that may need your attention!