Sticky Standards

The Teacher is a Learner! A Conversation with Nancy Bolz (Sticky Standards #29)

Our guest is Nancy Bolz. Nancy is  Director of Kansas and Oklahoma AdvanceEd (now Cognia). She comes to our conversation as a former teacher, assistant principal, school improvement coordinator, and principal.

Leadership is second only to classroom instruction among all school-related factors that contribute to what students learn at school.  ~Kenneth Leithwood

Nancy chose the Leadership standard for our podcast. The three components:

  • Develop capacity for learning and leading
  • Advocate for professional learning
  • Create support systems for professional learning

What are the traits of leaders who focus on continuous improvement, shared leadership, and student learning?  Leaders who celebrate teachers and teacher leaders? These leaders create a shared vision through leadership (humility) and that creates energy. Leaders see the best in others, creating a culture of commitment! Others WANT to work with these leaders. Leaders are REAL, they embrace change and are open to new ideas. It is not a specific personality — it is being focused on the continuous improvement and learning.

Culture eats strategies for breakfast.

There is not a recipe for implementing continuous improvement. It is different for every building and every district.  Leaders (building and district) create the conditions for success. What is the “dance” between the central office and building leadership? Shared leadership and much more! It takes courage to look at the data….and do something about it!

If professional learning isn’t the answer, what is?

The teacher/educator is a learner. What does that mean to a leader? What is holding us back? Nancy shares!!

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