I had an interesting Twitter conversation yesterday.
I do a lot of reading but what really impresses me are the thoughts from folks in Ontario who talk about education in the context of the Ontario Curriculum. In their way, they are leading the charge to innovation and great thinking about what’s best for schools and students. It’s a way of sharing the learning in ways that were just not possible years ago.
Years ago, you might go to one board PD Day a year or twice a year if you were lucky. You got filled up with knowledge and ideas for one day and then it was back to the regular routine. Quite frankly, any change is incremental and there certainly wasn’t an opportunity to celebrate success or reach out to colleagues for a continual dialogue after the fact. All that has changed now for these leaders who are very transparent in their learnings and their thoughts. They’re sharing regularly.
And yet, the question was thrown back to me – I’ll bet my superintendent has no idea what I’m doing.
That’s a really sad question.
I know that everyone has lots to do but, in a position of leadership, is there nothing more important that listening to those who are actually carrying out the work in the classroom?
I had a coffee recently with another friend who was talking about a supposed leader in social media who is held up as an example. The comment was made that it’s good that Christmas is a recurring event. The Principal’s Christmas message from last year was still up on the school website and in a few weeks it would be timely again.
Compare that to the classroom teacher who is constantly learning, growing, sharing, promoting the cause.
The call to action from this post? If you’re a principal or superintendent, you absolutely need to find some way to gather the blog and social media content from your jurisdiction and read what’s happening. Set up an RSS feed, a Livebinder, a Scoopit page, a Flipboard page, … There are leaders in your charge. Celebrate with them and promote the cause for continuous learning and sharing. You might want to even go out on a limb and leave a comment or engage in a conversation.
You want to demonstrate and talk about 21st Century skills? They’re probably being very well demonstrated just a few steps away.