Mentoring Matters for Superintendents: 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 5 tips.

Former Google design ethicist and Time Well Spent founder Tristan Harris explains how in this 3-minute video: 

You can read more from Tristan here.

Leading Technology: Chromebook Buyer’s Guide

As you look to next school year and consider purchasing devices, you might find this guide helpful in determining which device best suits the needs you’ve identified.

This guide from Scholastic Administrator details the different models of Chromebooks available in light of five criteria: Value, Performance, Ruggedness, Touch-screen, Desktop.

Board Relationships: Dealing with Issues of Perceived Authority of an Individual Member

This month’s AASA magazine includes helpful advice for addressing that individual board member who spends inappropriate amounts of time “dropping in” on schools in the district in an attempt to push a personal board agenda or to exert his/her “influence” as a board member. Revisit the concepts of real v. implied authority and ensure your policies and procedures are clear about the privileges extended to members of the board.

Board members collectively have the real authority as established under legislation (see Iowa Code Chapter 279) to create policy. Individual members have no personal authority “except as may be extended to them under limited circumstances to represent the board’s interests in other venues,” according to the article. Superintendents are encouraged to ensure that a Code of Conduct is adopted that explicitly details the district’s privileges extended to each board member.

Read the full article here.

In your mentoring partnership:

  1. Board members may misinterpret the extent of their authority outside of the board meeting itself. What challenges have you faced related to an individual board member who believes that as a board member he/she has positional authority as an individual? How have you dealt with these issues? What role have other board members played? What role should they play?
  2. How do you clarify and communicate the privileges the district extends to the board? What are those privileges?
  3. How do you ensure all board members are on the same page when it comes to expectations for the defined role of a board member?

Monthly Checklist: 

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!