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Mentoring Matters for Superintendents: December 2016

Leadership-life Fit: Meditation Isn’t Just for Monks

A daily practice of focus and awareness can help you give the gift of your best self! Learn some quick and easy strategies to get started or to support you as you continue your meditation practice!

System Leader—The 10 Questions Every Superintendent Needs to Answer:

Maximize your contribution to your district and community with insights and linked resources to these 10 questions posed by Tom Vander Ark, author of Smart Parents, Smart Cities and Getting Smart.

Be sure to access the full article to connect to valuable resources that will assist you in answering each of these questions for your district.

Tom’s 10 Questions:

1.   What should graduates know and be able to do?

2.   How to build public support?

3.   What kind of schools does the community want/deserve?

4.   How do schools improve?

5.   What’s the innovation agenda?

6.   How do systems improve?

7.   How to develop leadership?

8.   Who makes what decision?

9.   How to provide great support services?

10. Who is helping you drive this agenda?

Leading Learning— Cultivating a Growth Mindset

Watch this eight and a half-minute video explaining the Why, What, and How of growth mindset, and then delve into the Growth Mindset Playbook! Process the reflective questions that follow in your mentoring partnership.

Questions for Reflection:

  1. We know that high expectations have a 1.44 effect size on student achievement, and we know that expectations include the belief by both student and teacher that the student can learn whatever standard is being addressed. How do you surface your teachers’ beliefs about students?
  2. When you notice incongruence between teachers’ behaviors and what they say they believe, how do you engage in conversation around that? For example, a teacher says she believes all children can learn at high levels, but then she consistently asks simpler questions of a particular student or settles for lower quality work from a certain student.
  3. Have you examined what you believe about your teachers’ ability to learn? How do you model and communicate a growth mindset with your teachers?
  4. What language shifts need to happen in your school to reinforce a growth mindset? (Example: Joe hasn’t learned that YET. What’s the next skill or content piece he needs to move toward the target? What does this mean for my instruction? OR Mr. Smith hasn’t implemented feedback YET. What does he need to do to begin moving toward our vision for effective feedback? What is my role in that?)
  5. What stories speak to the impact of a growth mindset in your building (or personally)?

Leading Learning: ESSA Toolkit

Just a reminder that this toolkit resource is available to help principals engage in informed conversations around ESSA!

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!