A Principal Shares… On the Edge of Insight

A LYS Principal shares the following:

SC,

I wanted to share with you what our Instructional Leadership Team (ILT) is doing with our Fundamental 5 data to help us plan for next year. So far this year, we have completed over 3,200 Power Walks; not where I wanted us to be; however, it gives us a goal for next year.

We disaggregated this data by high-yield teacher practices, high-yield student practices, lower yield practices, and basic Fundamental 5. We used six questions to guide our discussion around this data: 1. What do you see?

2. From the teacher’s perspective, what are they working on as they implement the Fundamental 5?

3. If we successfully reached our campus Fundamental 5 goals, what would it tell us about what the teacher knows, understands, and is able to do?

4. What are the implications of this work (Fundamental 5) for teaching and learning?

5. What teaching and learning issues have been raised for you in terms of your own practice?

6. What issues have been raised in terms of school wide practices? It became apparent to me this year that the quality aspects of the Fundamental 5 lagged behind where I expected it to be… I dream big though. I definitely need to work on developing a coaching model around our Fundamental 5 data… yet another goal! I also know we needed to add more “how to” to really cement the learning for teachers. We’ve seen a lot of “turn to your elbow partner” and we wanted to make these interactions more beneficial to our students and teachers… onto the next level. However, what became really apparent to me during our data discussion was that we need to do a better job of building in sustainment and letting the “why” behind the Fundamental 5 be a main driver. Our team struggled to fully answer questions number 2 and 3. No excuses; we failed to focus on the “why”.  “What” we do at our campus is pretty clear or getting clearer every day. As we continue to increase the frequency and quality of the Fundamental 5, coupled with “why” we adopted these instructional practices, I expected that the “how to” will increase in frequency and quality too. Thanks for allowing me to share!

SC Response

When I shared this with the LYS Coaching Staff and they were blown away and you were the unanimous choice for Favorite Principal of The Day (obviously, a well know and prestigious honor). Thanks for sharing!

When you ask, “What do you see,” the answer to that question addresses the “What and How” that is occurring.  You want to follow up with “What do you notice?” It is subtle difference/extension question, but that becomes the precursor answering the “Why” question.

What you are now experiencing is what only a very small sliver of principals ever get to experience… Working on the issues that are hidden behind the common issues.  This is where the work gets exciting.

Your campus is poised to move from delivery centric to receiving centric.  This is where the “What teachers do” is only relevant in terms of how students build on what was provided.

In Jim Collins terms, now you have to facilitate the decision of where the bus will go and why. While continuously working to get better at the skills and practices that put you in this position.

Don’t ease up!

Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…

  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/Fundamental5 
  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “Look at Me: A Cautionary School Leadership Tale” Individual copies available on Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/lookatmebook 
  • Now at the Apple App Store: Fun 5 Plans (Fundamental 5 Lesson Plan Tool); PW Lite (Basic PowerWalks Tool); PW Pro (Mid-level PowerWalks Tool)
  • Upcoming Presentations: Texas Association of Secondary School Principals Conference (Multiple Presentations)
  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation  and like Lead Your School on Facebook
PowerWalks Hero Schools (April 2013)
LYS High School Principal Search – Deadline: May 11, 2013

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