Our guest is Bruce Wellman. Bruce comes to this dialogue as a former classroom teacher, a science specialist, and an amazing author, consultant, and friend to many educators….including ME!
Bruce selected the Learning Communities and Leadership standards for our podcast. What are the connections of these two standards? How do we lead the leaders of learning communities? What are the tools that support quality learning communities? GROUP development…what does it mean? Strategic interventions? For Teams? For Leaders?
What are our expectations for teacher/team leaders? How do we coach teacher/team leaders?
- Specific tools/skills for people who supervise groups (central office, principals)
- A robust tool kit for teacher/team leaders.
How do principals address toxic teams? When/what are the connections to teacher evaluations, professional responsibility? There are two levels of tools – personal (self) and mentoring others with skills of collaboration. Strategies AND structures are critical. Principals are hungry for the tools that include strategies, protocols, and the structure of group work.
Structure becomes habit and habit becomes the new norm!
Learn more from Bruce about What, Why, How. (His books, Data Driven Dialogue, Groups at Work, Got Data? Now What?, Adaptive Schools, and more are listed in the resource section.) What makes groups smart? What is social sensitivity? Why is that important in our schools? Working with each other in schools is part of our work, not taking us away from our work!
We must drill down deep to the heart of our persistent problems, being comfortable about being uncomfortable. Safe, but uncomfortable, looking at learning, not teaching.
A well run meeting needs a lesson plan, not a list of topics!
Who needs to “get it” to take it to scale? District-wide? State-wide? Again, drill down to the persistent problems and connect to the context – root cause analysis. It is the culture that counts. It is the structure that counts.
Dialogue, Discussion, and then Decisions