Happy beautiful February Monday Moanin to all of you. With the Presidential campaign 2016 season in full swing I keep thinking about what is missing in the leadership of our country, communities and in this campaign. I am disappointed and appalled at the rhetoric from all of the candidates from both parties. Over the past several years personal attacks have been levied at Presidents and leaders consistently and there has been a lack of compromise in most of our legislative bodies. There seems to be more energy spent on blocking things than on working together. Read more
Happy February, 2016 Monday Moanin to all of you. Most schools are beginning the long and challenging stretch leading up to spring break. Added to this is the struggle of being a leader in today’s schools. There are mandates, poor funding, learning gaps, multiple standardized tests, lack of respect, less influence and declining input from instructional leaders. These challenges may cause educators to be cautious and less willing to take action. Read more
Happy Monday on this frigid Michigan Moanin. Years ago feature writer Bob Talbert wrote about things that were bugging him or were issues of the day in his Outta My Mind On Monday Moanin columns. So for the first time since posting my MMT blog, I am going to write it like Mr. Talbert. My focus is education, just asking:
Why do policy makers blame failing schools on poor instruction by teachers and rarely if ever discuss the impact poverty has on learning?
Where is the outrage on the funding of public schools in Michigan that basically forces districts to become savings banks in order to stay in business?
How has our culture of fundamental democratic principles been lost? Can’t we work together for the good of all children?
Are we getting learners ready for our world or theirs?
Why are most of the educational decisions being made are by people who have never taught or worked with kids? Do these same individuals make decisions and establish policy fort he medical profession, lawyers, and engineers?
What other questions do you have on this Monday Moanin?
Happy Monday Moanin day after Super Bowl 2016 to all of you. I hope your team was victorious. During the past several weeks, I have had numerous discussions with educational leaders about what is the most important issue they are dealing with. During these discussions, I sometimes will refer to John Kotter’s work about urgency. Kotter writes about complacency, false sense of urgency, and true sense of urgency. The goal and challenge for all of us is to work at operating only on what is truly urgent. Another version of this is what a staff member shared with me years ago. While working at Ford Motor Company his supervisor would talk about minnows and whales. His boss would remind his staff that if you spend time dipping for minnows you may miss the whale swimming by. This week it is crucial to find and focus on the whales. Don’t get sidetracked and distracted by the little things that may be minnows.
This week take action and lead with urgency. Ask yourself, is this a whale or a minnow?
Welcome to the first Monday Moanin of February 2016. As a new month begins it occurred to me that many of you may be starting new semesters or grading periods. You are also half way to finishing the 2015-16 school year. As you reflect on the first half of the year it may be easy to think of all the issues faced and the decisions made that you would like to do over. In other words it is common to focus on what your challenges are.