EDET 668 Wk 12 Reflection

I shared how we are leaders in the classroom and that we are creating change in our students that triggers resistance if it is overloaded. We need to be sensitive to the changes that we are requiring of them. As teachers, we are put under stress from administration, we place change on our students and with our peers. We need to stay open minded to their responses and allow them to bring their experience, emotions and concerns to the table. Through this change we can learn more about each other and grow together.

 

Twitter was interesting without reading the book.   I thought through our leadership skills and our studies up to this point. It made it easier to read other people’s posts and try to make sense of the questions. I did have trouble with some of the questions. I wouldn’t recommend doing it this way. I usually have the book read by Tuesday and have done some research by Thursday.

 

This was a tough week. I didn’t get to read the book until Friday. I couldn’t print, download or read it on e-library. I figured it was my Internet at home, but it wouldn’t work at school either. I tried to buy it on kindle and it wasn’t available, they did have the audio available, but I didn’t have a device that would work. (Both my kids were on school trips and took their kindles). It was just a tough week. Great Lesson though, even with the technology troubles.

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EDET 668 Wk 12 How can understanding of controlled disruption and coherence making impact your leadership of peers at this time, and at this level?

In the book, Fullan spoke a great truth when he pointed out that schools have too many innovations that are disconnected projects. This spreads the teachers too thin and/or becomes a distractor to the moral purpose. The people making decision need to focus on the moral purpose and keep track of the tasks and projects given to the teachers in the district. In the last two schools I was at, the administration seemed to pile on the new innovations and when the teachers would ask what can be taken off the list of new innovations the administration had to think through what their moral purpose was and prioritize what their expectations were. The administration at both school had a new principal that ran with everything the superintendent said and realized that they need to look at the whole picture. The principals seem to become more thoughtful in their direction and help the teachers put down old innovations and pick up the innovations that were currently supporting the moral purpose. It does seem school districts are on a swinging pendulum and need to narrow their focus down a bit. This seems to be nationwide and education needs to slow the pendulum swing. They need to be more selective in the changes, disruptions, and allow teachers to bring the students closer to the real world experiences.

Controlled disruption happens in my classroom with every new chapter we start. For some reason the students highly resist new concepts for fear of failure. They don’t realize that this is a process that requires change on their part. The change that is required with learning affects the students and I have to maintain the reaction and keep the controls during the presentation. Some students loudly protest learning in fear of failing and act out loudly; some students sit quietly and wait for the bell to ring. Others listen intently wanting to understand what is expected of them. With all the different responses, I have to maintain control and continue to teach. At some point, when the majority of the students go for the same distraction, I wait patiently for the excitement to subside and acknowledge the distraction. This acts as a “strange attractor” and gains respect from the students and they once again give the concept(s) another attempt. Most of the class usually realizes that they are starting to understand and be successful which challenges the others to settle in and try to conquer the task. This disruption challenges the students to rise to another level in learning and in the battle they create bonds with one another. So, like Fullan pointed out we feel like we are loosing control but in actuality, the students are realizing that the problem isn’t going away and they come up with a solution to solve it.

As for my mentee, I presented my idea to help with her need; she went home for the weekend and came back with a slight different version of what I had offered. She was very timid and afraid to tell me about the change she made. I listened to her change and I could see that it was similar to our goal, but a program that was a smaller stepping-stone for her students. I agreed with the change and acknowledge the thought process. My mentee was relieved she was not rejected by the changes she had made. I assured her that I was there to help her and not control her. I believe this response I had to her changes allowed our relationship to take a stronger bond, since I allowed her to be innovative with what I offered her. As Fullan states, “Change your approach to strategy and you change the way company runs. The leader becomes a context setter, the designer of a leaning experience-not an authority figure with solutions. Once the folks at the grassroots realize they own the problem, they also discover that they can help create and own the answer-and they get after it very quickly, very aggressively, and very creatively, with a lot more ideas than the ole-style strategic direction could ever have prescribed from headquarters.” I could have demanded my way and lose my mentee altogether. I needed to stay open the talent that she brings to a solution to a problem. By doing so kept her talent alive and between us we can develop something that is more successful.

Coherence, according to Henry of Lead Change Group, there are three different meanings. Leaders must be understandable or you won’t create result; they must be consistent or they will be difficult to understand or follow; they must be pure, not complex or they will cause confusion. This can be boiled down to KISS, keep it simple stupid. As a teacher we have to remember to not overload our audience, whether it is our students or our peers. We need to be careful how many concepts or how much of a concept we will teach. We need to be coherent. When we are not clear to our students/peers we create a stressful situation for them. Dr. Watkin, in his Ted Talk, teaches that while we are under stress we lobotomize ourselves. In order for us to be brilliant we need to control our heart rate, which controls our emotions, that controls our thinking and in turn controls our behavior. So, if we want to be brilliant it isn’t enough to just practice or say the right things to ourselves we need to control our physiology that controls us. As a teacher we must not raise this stress level to high or we will lose our students.

A successful teacher will be aware of the state of mind and emotion of their students. The teacher’s goal should not override the reactions of the students. In The Change Leader article, Fullen states, “Leaders with deep moral purpose provide guidance, but they can also have blinders if their ideas are not challenged through the dynamics of change, the give-and-take of relationships, and the ideas generated by new knowledge.” Teachers need to listen to the students and hear their suggestion, emotions or thoughts. We must be careful to not wear blinders and allow the give-and-take of relationships that is generated by the new knowledge.

Leaders, whether teacher or administration, need to be sensitive to the changes they are implementing on other people. We should consider they reactions, listen to their responses and open to their ideas. This would help the relationships and draw out the best in people.

 

References:

Fullan, M. (2014). Leading in a Culture of Change. Somerset, NJ, USA: John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated. Retrieved from http://www.ebrary.com

 

Fullan, M. (2002) The Change Leader. Educational Leadership. ASCD. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/may02/vol59/num08/The-Change-Leader.aspx

 

Henry, M. Coherent Leadership. Lead Change Group, a division of Weaving Influence. Retrieved from http://leadchangegroup.com/coherent-leadership/

 

Watkin, A. Being Brilliant Every Single Day. Ted Talks. Retrieved from http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=coherence+making+in+leadership&FORM=VIRE5#view=detail&mid=E28D9D46BA6BFA145DD0E28D9D46BA6BFA145DD0

EDET 668 Week 11 Reflection

As I reflect on this week I can see the direction of education and how this class is helping send us in the direction of Leadership and sharing knowledge with our peers. I can see how this will take time to make the change with some teachers are stuck in the competitive market. As we bring up the next generation more old school teachers will make the change. I had taken this week and looked at my life and how isolated our school is. The teachers that see us mentoring and sharing knowledge are envious and want to be apart of, yet other teachers don’t even care to hold a conversation. Our students will help make the change in teachers when they see how they benefit from sharing and it will be natural for them to take it into another class and request the competition be taken out of play. Students will also share with the teachers how the competition is taking away from their sharing. I have seen this in my previous school when our middle school emphasized rubrics and the students went to high school asking the teachers for one to follow while they did their assignments. I appreciate the students that point out where I need to make a change, with discretion.

I was reading Ali’s paper and I never considered administration attempting to force change by teaming teachers together, this would be quite the dilemma for both teachers. It was interesting to see the different dynamics that comes into play when people force others to change.

What is the role of knowledge creation and sharing in a healthy educational organization?

Technology isn’t enough, but is necessary for success in life, it gives us easier access to information. Like Fullen points out in the book, “Information is machines. Knowledge is people. Information becomes knowledge only when it takes on a “social life”.” We have an abundance of technology at our school, but we need to access the information, change it to knowledge and share our it with others. Our students must learn how to access this knowledge and learn how to share this knowledge and allow it to take on a “social life” among them. By doing this the students will find a purpose for the information, grow in sharing and develop deeper relationships with their peers.

In a study, Majid and Wey states the two major barriers, one being, students placed in a competition among their peers and the other is students confidence. As educators we are preparing students for the work force. The education field needs to take away the idea of competition with peers in order to prepare students for success in future jobs where sharing knowledge is expected of them. Teachers need to collaborate with their peers to find the best way to reach the students. If teachers are afraid to share knowledge with their peers due to competition or fear, they are not in a position to teach their students to share knowledge and work as a team to perform at their potential. Students must learn by example from their teachers modeling the behavior. When teachers eliminate the barriers that hold back sharing knowledge with their own peers they can teach their students to share their knowledge. Students can build relationships with their peers through sharing their knowledge in order to accomplish a task. This skill of sharing will be carried into their work place. Another barrier is the grading system that promotes competition among students, this needs to be replaced with an emphasis on collaboration among the students.

Our primary motive of having students sharing knowledge is to improve their understanding of concepts in our classes and to build relationships with their classmates. We can do this with group seating, group assignments, and group presentations; group seating arrangements opens the door for students to talk and ask questions when they need to. It also gives the students an opportunity to explain the concepts to each other. When they present together as a group the competition is taken away and they need to rely on each other’s knowledge to get through the presentation.

In the article, Role of Knowledge Sharing in the Learning Process, Majid makes a great point when he stated, “Collaborative learning is one of the established, popular and effective learning approaches. However, the success of this approach largely depends on students’ attitude and behavior towards information and knowledge sharing with their peers.” As effective this learning is, teachers will have to keep the environment safe in order for students to share their ideas with each other. Students’ state, “I was thinking that!” So, the next step is for the student to take the risk and say what they are thinking.

As educators we need to take the pressure off of competition and encourage sharing knowledge. Our assessments need to be looked at and changed to alternative methods that don’t create a competition among the students.

Our ultimate goal is to prepare our students for their future. As we prepare students for the business world we have to launch them into sharing their knowledge with their peers. Harold Jarche wrote an article on how important it is to have the skills “. . .– those that are open, transparent and cooperative – is that they are more resilient because they rely on people, not processes.” Students need to understand the purpose of learning, sharing and enabling an action this relies on them having trusted relationships.

References:

Fullan, M. (2014, February). Leading in a Culture of Change. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass (pp. 77-106).

Jarche, H. Enterprise knowledge sharing requires trusted relationships. Posted 2014; filed under ConnectedEnterprse, Key Post, Social Learning. Retrieved from: http://jarche.com/2014/04/enterprise-knowledge-sharing-requires-trusted-relationships/

Majid, S. Role of Knowledge Sharing in the Learning Process. Literacy Information and Computer Education Journal (LICEJ), Special Issue, Volume 2, Issue 1, 2013 Retrieved on November 13, 2015 from http://infonomics-society.org/LICEJ/Role%20of%20Knowledge%20Sharing%20in%20the%20Learning%20Process.pdf

EDET 668 Week 10 Reflection

This week was an interesting essential question, “Explain and give examples to argue why the following statement is true or false: “Get the right people on your team, and get the wrong ones off.” I can see how it can be true or false. We can get people off our team for the wrong reasons or we can keep people for the wrong reasons. The most important point I thought about this question is that we can’t make this a hasty stance. As teachers we are contracted into our job for at least a year and as a leader we don’t choose our students. I went with the surviving stance of having to live with the wrong people on our team. Are they really the wrong people? Or do we need to just learn from the experience. Sometimes we don’t like people because they have a behavior that resembles something we don’t like about ourselves.

Many of the papers I read pointed out that the wrong people would be those who don’t fight for the same cause, which is a good deciding factor of whether they are right for the team or not. I like how Ali had decided that the statement could be either true or false. She also pointed out that many teachers choose to be professional and do the right thing regardless of the strength of the principal. I know I would and I have worked with colleagues that stated the same when we were going through principals. Cindy has a great point of diversity and the non-team players should find a more appropriate team. We should all be working for a moral purpose and this purpose should be close to the same.

As for twitter, I pointed out that there are those of us who will fight for our moral purpose regardless the principal strength or weakness. I know our staff of 70-100 in Hawaii stood for our moral purpose regardless to the turnover of four principals before settling on one of the teachers as principal. We kept having the principals change the rules and purpose. We decided to lay low and keep working hard regardless of the hardship they were creating. I believe if you want to stay employed you keep working hard regardless the changes. It was a tough two years that went quickly and our perseverance paid off. We had teachers with a poor attitude too, but it didn’t matter who came, that was their attitude and after five-six years the principal had one removed and the other moved on. Their attitude was ingrained; they had no intent on changing. I think it matters where the person is at in their head as to whether they will be moldable or not to a system they choose to be a part of.

Get the right people on your team, and get the wrong ones off! EDET 668 Week 10

As a Leader we would love to lighten our load and shrug off the trouble from our lives. If we have a choice to pick members that is going to be on our team we would favor a certain type, which would lack a skill we would need. To sacrifice this harmony we have to have a variety of types to ensure talent of all types. Reality is, as a teacher, we don’t get to pick our peers nor do we pick our audience. We have to learn how to get along with our peers and our students. We are contracted into our positions for at least a year so we need to be prepared to survive it. If we can learn the right skills we can teach our students how to not just survive, but turn adversity into a positive.

When you don’t like someone they can tell and the repercussions aren’t worth the pain it will bring. Peter Bregman points out in his article, Working with People You Don’t Like, that people will eventually decide they don’t like you. As a leader this isn’t going to work for you. Bregman states, “It’s simple, really. The people you get along with will find ways to help you; the people you don’t get along with will find ways to obstruct you.” So, we really need to catch on to our emotions early and change our thinking. Bregman says that we could be just seeing ourselves in them and not liking it. He states, “. . . chances are, the reason you can’t stand that person in the first place, is that they remind you of what you can’t stand about yourself.” With self-reflection, we have to be real and search ourselves for what the real reasons are that we don’t like about them; are they reflecting us. Bregman goes on to say we need to get over what we don’t like about ourselves. I like how he summarized his article with, “. . . being compassionate with yourself is the key to being compassionate with others. Before you know it, you’ll actually begin to like people you never liked before. Maybe you’ll even feel like helping them run those meeting more productively.” This is a higher calling that many of us need to learn; we need to get over ourselves and step up to admit what we don’t like about ourselves and make peace with it.

As teachers we need to collaborate with our peers and find what works with the students we share. As Fullan pointed out, teachers need to collaborate and help each other with teaching strategies. As a leader in our classroom, we can apply this to our students needs; we need to know our students well enough to place them in a group to enhance their skills. We need to give the students a chance to get to know each other at a deeper level where they will learn to respect each other’s differences and learn to see the qualities in each other.

Collaboration among teachers, administration and students was shared by Loop in her article, The Advantages of Collaboration in Education, where she shared how teachers can share projects or positive and negatives of a project for others to learn from. Loop also pointed out that teachers also share with administration the goals of the school, community belonging and increasing student success. She goes on to tell how partnering with parents can help improve educational outcomes like self-esteem, decrease the dropout rate, grades and test scores.   I was happy to see how Loop incorporates the students with group work when she said, “Group projects encourage children to cooperate, improve social and interpersonal skills and help them to better understand the material at hand through discussion and a team learning effort.” Through this group work the students learn see the diversity and deal with it. With the help of teachers they can learn to accept each others’ differences and look for quality in a person. They can learn more about each other as well as themselves.

As we evolve into being a leader we have to work with a variety of people and we need to be aware of our weaknesses to develop our skills to lead people. Like a baby bird coming out of it shell or a butterfly coming out of its cocoon, they need to develop their muscles by breaking out of their shell. If you do it for them they won’t have the muscle to survive in this world. Leaders need to develop their weaknesses to be well-rounded leaders. We also have to help our students to work with a variety of people too.

Getting the right people on your team, and getting the wrong ones off mentality isn’t always reality. We need to learn to adapt until there is a change. Our students love to request removal of students or themselves, but are we really preparing them for life if we don’t teach them how to accept each other’s differences and to look for the quality that they bring. The people that are “work” for us are actually teaching us about ourselves. They help us see our limitations and we can learn to embrace the change required to tolerate or accept people that are different, this requires thinking differently. These relationships make a difference in us and for our groups. We need to value our differences and accept people for who they are and focus on their strengths. Our students need to learn how to accept diversity as well. A skill they will use, and will be tested in their life.

References:

Bregman, P. (2012) Working with People you Don’t Like. Fox Business. Retrieved on November 6, 2015 from http://www.foxbusiness.com/business-leaders/2012/09/21/working-with-people-dont-like/

Fullan, M. (2014). Leading in a Culture of Change. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass (pp. 51-77).

Loop, E. The Advantages of Collaboration in Education. Globalpost. America’s world news site. Retrieved on November 6, 2015 from http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/advantages-collaboration-education-19763.html

EDET 668 Week 9 Reflection

This week was a perfect week of major changes. Our schedule changed to MAP testing for four days. We changed two classes to only 30 minutes instead of 51 minutes. A teacher who was talked into hire, quit, so I was short help in my classroom in two classes.

I had to roll with the changes and help the students adjust to the changes. With Halloween on the coming weekend they really didn’t want to work or learn anything this week. With less help in the classroom I had students who wanted to throw in the towel. I usually stop and stay with a student until they were comfortable with the new concept, but I had to continually change groups and help those in need of help. Students that finished help me teach those who were still struggling. As stressful as it was we made it through and I could see that I had two restless students, three struggling students, three very successful students and the rest were on/off with success with the concept. Thankfully, I will have help in my room again on Monday.

Cherie’s test has helps me see that I’m on the right track. I know I need to work at my people skills. I have been for the last few years, of course, I have room to grow. I like the recipe that Sunshine shared, it was a creative way of showing how much of each leadership type should be used.   I have also shared how we use leadership to teach. I know we are leaders and some better than others, but through studying and learning more about leadership and change we can all get better at it. I also used an analogy of the different styles as being a different hat that we have to wear. We have to read the situation and grab the hat to best fit the situation.   It has been a great learning/application week.