How Pirates can lead the way for Falcons- 7/12/19

This summer, I joined the PD4uandme Bloggers. We are a group of educators who support each other as we blog about being educators and its impact on each of us. So when July started, the group introduced Blogging Bingo. My first entry was about Innovative Pedagogy and shared my reflections on #WanderlustEdu by Micah Shippe. My second entry was about my 2019-2020 goals.

This week's entry seems long overdue; after all, I read this book a while ago- but as I get ready to start my new position next Wednesday, lessons learned from this book keep popping up in my mind. So, here it is- How Pirates Can Help Lead The Way for Falcons (Part 1)

How Pirates Can Help Lead The Way for Falcons

This summer has been full of reading amazing books. As I prepared first for interviews and now for my new position at Sangster ES as a Sangster Falcon, I have been like a sponge trying to soak up as much knowledge about coaching, innovation, relationships and leadership as I can. Even before I attended ISTE, I was working on that goal and one of the first books I got the opportunity to enjoy is Lead Like a Pirate. I read this book back in late May and early June, but it continues to resonate for me. I am starting an amazing new journey next week and here are the first of three powerful lessons that I will take with me.

1. What does it mean to lead like a PIRATE?

I love being a School Based Technology Specialist; it is truly my dream job, my passion. I really enjoy collaborating with both the staff and students at my school to help match innovative technology with student learning goals. I love how excited both staff and students get as they use these tools to create, to share their voice and to transform learning.

But it's not just about my passions, but also learning about my staff and students' passions. Building relationships is so important as a pirate leader. It requires you to be actively involved with others at your school- really get to know them, work collaboratively and set up an safe environments to take risks. You need to be visible and accessible- this idea planted the seed for one of my 2019-2020 goals of being more social.

With all this in mind, questions are key. Good questions inform; great questions transform. I love this- what makes a question great? They inspire new and innovative thinking. Here's one I definitely plan to use this year:

  • What's someting that you have always wanted to do in your class, but haven't tried it yet? How can I help make this happen?

I love this question because it is so open-ended. It allows us to look outside of the box and find ways to transform out classrooms. What new ideas or thoughts can impact our schools? We won't know until we try. Show your growth mindset- take some risks and show your enthusiasm while doing so. After all, our enthusiasm can be contagious!

2. Who is your crew?

I love the Seth Godin quote to the left. A crowd is a tribe without a leader and communication. As I start my 21st year of teaching (yes, I know that I don't look that old), I have worked in many different environments- some great and others, not so great. What made some of these places great? Until I read this book, I couldn't put my finger on it, but yes, leadership and communication DO matter.

3. How do we share and advance our story?

In my June 18, 2019 post, I shared my reflections on Your School Rocks, So Tell People! Many of these reflections percolated as I read this book. Connection is such a key component in our work as educators. Using social media is just one way schools can form connections with the school community and even the world. It creates opportunities for families to engage in the school culture and get involved. All of us are working together, after all, to do what's best for our students.

But schools are not static institutions, they need to be dynamic to both meets learner needs but also prepare our students for the future. That means that we are in constant iteration, searching for the best ways to educate and engage our students.

Our mission, as educators, is to model being lifelong learners and continue our professional learning in new ways to meet that outcome. Supporting, inspiring and encouraging each other as we do this hard, but meaningful work is key!

Not surprising, there is so much more to tell. Lead Like A Pirate goes on to share coaching strategies and better ways to lead. I'm going to save my reflection on the second half of the book for later and share how these strategies impact me in my new position. Will pirate help lead the way for falcons? Only time, vision, collaboration and communication will tell.

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