Monday, December 5, 2011

What teachers really want to tell parents by Ron Clark

According to Ron Clark, new teachers remain in our profession an average of just 4.5 years, and many of them list "issues with parents" as one of their reasons for throwing in the towel.

So, what can we do to stem the tide? What do teachers really need parents to understand?

Ron Clark advices....
We are educated professionals who work with kids every day and often see your child in a different light than you do. If we give you advice, don't fight it. Take it, and digest it in the same way you would consider advice from a doctor or lawyer. I have become used to some parents who just don't want to hear anything negative about their child, but sometimes if you're willing to take early warning advice to heart, it can help you head off an issue that could become much greater in the future.

Please quit with all the excuses
He suggests parents
if they really want to help theirr children be successful, stop making excuses for them.
"Some parents will make excuses regardless of the situation, and they are raising children who will grow into adults who turn toward excuses and do not create a strong work ethic. If you don't want your child to end up 25 and jobless, sitting on your couch eating potato chips, then stop making excuses for why they aren't succeeding. Instead, focus on finding solutions."


Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Rule of Six by Thomas R. Hoerr

Thomas R. Hoerr says "Each individual needs a different kind of support. We should deliver critical feedback in such a way that the listener hears it, considers it and acts on it. Good leaders praise, but they also push, prod, and let teachers know when their performance isn't satisfactory."

What is the Rule of Six?
Creating a context in which teachers can use negative feedback constructively is an important - but difficult - part of the principal's job. The rule of six helps.
  • This rule recognizes that all communication takes place within the context of a relationship. According to Thomas, if you want to build a supportive relationship, you need to give the other person in the relationship at least six positive comments for every negative one.
Your "deposits" - positive comments or interactions - must remain greater than your withdrawals

We must work harder at focusing on whatever others do that is effective and worthy of praise. Leaders should do this because people deserve to have their achievements noted and also because it creates conditions that enable us to deliver difficult messages when necessary.

People will listen to negative feedback from good leaders even if it is painful to do so, if the relationship is strong and they trust the leader.

Source: apr09/vol66

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Principals and Pancakes!?

Those Plates Are Hot!
Thomas R. Hoerr

As school heads ......
  • Do you ever feel attacked?
  • Do you ever need help?
  • Do you find yourself in a corner?
Thomas R. Hoerr says,
"Good leaders don't avoid heat - they can't.
But they can look ahead and prepare for it."

Thomas explains....
  • When (he's) in a heated situation and feeling attacked, (he) needs to remember that time can be (his) ally.
  • Principals need to establish a personal advisory board, a network of people to turn to for advice or simply to vent .
  • Anticipate what will cause people to get upset and work to change the situation, or at least talk about it before positions are hardened (or entrenched).
Learn the 3 important lessons Thomas, a school head, recognized while eating breakfast with his mother at a pancake house.

Nov 2011, volume 69, no 3

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Self-Study Cycle: A Philosophy of Continous Improvement

Schools don't get repaired unless questions are raised by those who know the school best. By creating and nurturing a culture of inquiry, a school can embed its philosophy and mission in its school-improvement efforts. Figure 1 depicts a School Self-Study Cycle - a process for building continual improvement into the structure of a school.

Figure 1. A school self-study cycle

Source: Inquiry and Action: School Improvement Guide, pg4