The Secret to Getting Your Staff On Board
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You're listening to School Leadership Reimagined, episode number 189.
Welcome to the School Leadership Reimagined podcast...
where we rethink what's possible to transform your school. If you're tired of settling for small wins and incremental improvement, then stay tuned to discover powerful and practical strategies for getting every teacher in your school moving towards excellence. Now, here's your host, Robyn Jackson.
Hey, builders, welcome to another episode of the school leadership reimagined podcast. I'm your host, Robyn Jackson, and Happy New Year. Welcome to 2023.
Now, to start off the new year, this year, we're doing something we're gonna be doing a couple of things that are really cool inside of builder, ship University, and here on the podcast. Over the next month, I want to share with you some very practical episodes, thinking about the work that you're doing right now. And so we're going to tackle that today by talking about why a lot of our efforts to get teachers moving in a particular direction, especially as we start the new year, and we have, you know, this new energy to really get some things done, why those efforts often stall and by March, we're ready to give up and we haven't made the progress that we want to make. And I'm hoping that after hearing today's episode, you'll recognize some of the things that you may be thinking about doing that aren't going to work and so that you can not waste time doing that, and instead focus on the things that actually will work. So even though this is practical, we're gonna get into some of the reasons why some of the things that we were taught to do, just don't work. And I'm going to share with you some alternatives.
So we'll get into that in just a moment.
Before we do, you know, I've been sitting on something for a while we spent November and December, building something pretty amazing. And I'll be making an announcement about it next week. So on January 9, I'll be making an announcement. And if you are not on the school leadership, reimagined podcast mailing list, you need to get on the mailing list, or you can join the Facebook group, I'll put the link, we're going to be making big announcement live on Zoom. And we're going to have some time for us to spend talking about what we're doing giving you an opportunity to ask questions, it's going to be way more interactive than just kind of a broadcast. So if you're not on the mailing list, you need to get on the mailing list. So you can get the Zoom link to the announcement that's happening on January 9, and it'll take about 20 minutes unless you have other questions, longer questions. And then it may take a little bit longer, but I'm not going to take up a whole bunch of your time. But I want to tell you live what we're doing and why we're doing it, and how I think it could really, really serve you.
So that big announcement is happening next week, I can't wait. I've been sitting on this for so long, I can't wait to tell you what's going on. And you can get the link by either going to school leadership reimagined.com and joining the mailing list there, which is actually a good idea anyway, because that way you get all the announcements about the podcast, you never miss an episode. Or if you don't want to do that you feel like I've got too much email already, or I'm afraid I'll miss it.
Then the other place you can go is we have the school leadership reimagined Facebook group, and that that group is about to get a little bit more active. So you definitely want to be a part of the school leadership reimagined Facebook group, and we'll post the Zoom link inside the Facebook group as well. All right, so only a few more days, and then we can get to make the announcement.
Today, let's jump in to some really practical things that that you're probably dealing with right now, you know, this always happens, right? We we just hold on to winter break. And then we go home, we get rejuvenated, we have a few days off. Or if you're like many administrators, I know your teachers had a few days off and you went into the office or you bought work home, just so that you could have some uninterrupted time to get caught up. So now you're back and you're feeling a little bit better. Because you've gotten caught up a bit you you've you've had some time to kind of reflect on the year.
And now it's January and it feels like a new start.
And you're starting to probably look at your CIP plan and realize you haven't made the progress that you thought you were going to make. But now that we're back in January, we're going to get back on it. We're going to do some things that are new, you've had some ideas over break, and you've come back and you're ready to implement them into your school, you're ready to kind of tighten things up so you can finish the year strong. You've got that January, New Year's resolution energy all about you. And you walk into the school and you start, you know, trying to make moves in the direction that you need to go. And you get hit with pushback.
Maybe the teachers openly pushback and say, Listen, I just got back. I'm too tired. I can't take on anything else right now. I'm barely holding on. I don't we don't have time to do that right now. How are we going to get that done with everything else we're gonna get done. I already don't have enough time. You know, whatever the pushback is. Maybe you're getting that openly or you might be getting those nonverbal signs of pushback. You know, like the moment you make the announcement about where you're going to go you're trying to get people reenergized to the work. You start seeing the eyes start rolling And the people start sucking their tea then and body language shifts and close up closes up and, and all of a sudden you realize that even if they're not saying anything to you, they're not on board. Now, that's one scenario. But maybe your staff isn't like that maybe they two came back with that new year's resolution energy, and they're like, we're gonna hit the ground running, we're gonna get back to work, we're going to make some changes, things are going to be better. And they're, you know, relatively open to what it is that you want to do. And so they they get to work, they're not pushing back, they're, they seem to be on board, except when you go into classrooms, you see them attempt to do what you ask them to do.
And you realize that implementation is really spotty.
I mean, some teachers are getting it, other teachers are not, other teachers aren't even trying. And so even though there isn't that push back, it's frustrating, because things are not moving as quickly as you want, they're not moving in the way that you want. People are not doing things, the way that you train them to do things, you know, you spend a lot of money on a program, or you spend a lot of money on outside trainers coming in. But after the training is over, people are kind of going back to what they were doing before or they, they kind of do things on the surface, but they're not doing it to the level that you want them to do it. And so every January, we go through this every January, we think, okay, fresh start, you know, it's a chance to reboot, get things going. And every January, we face the same frustration, either because people are pushing back and unwilling to do the thing we're asking them to do or they may be willing, but they don't have the skill set. And so things are not implemented the way that we want. And not only is it frustrating, it also feels like you're trying to move more quickly than your school is trying to move. And, you know, it's it's you're halfway through the year already. And you know that there are things that you wanted to accomplish this year. And time is getting short. But people don't seem to have the same sense of energy. Well, that energy, that's not the word I'm looking for people, they may not have the energy either.
But it's really that sense of urgency that that you you feel they should have. I mean, after all, you know, for them, it may be another school year, but for your first grader, it's it's the only first grade experience they get for it for your ninth graders, it's the only ninth grade experience they get for you, for your seniors, it's the only senior year they get. And so while people might say, well, it's going to take a while you're thinking, but our kids don't have a while we have to move we need to to to help students achieve our kids who aren't on grade level that can get back and have impacts that lasts for the rest of their lives, we have to move. And people don't seem to feel or share that same sense of urgency, at least based on their behavior. Because you have figured out that if teachers teach on grade level, or if teachers are doing more high level questions, or if teachers are doing more formative assessments and checking for understanding, then students could perform better. And you come in and you give this information to teachers, and nothing. And not only is it frustrating, but over time it starts to wear in your resolve it starts to make you believe that maybe we're never going to get there. And that's a that's a lot of weight to carry into a brand new year. And the the problem isn't that your teachers don't believe kids deserve more it that's not really the problem. The problem isn't that your teachers are lazy, they're not. For the most part, it The problem isn't that that people are unwilling to change. Because if the change actually could make their lives better, a lot of your teachers would, the problem goes deeper than that. And it has to do with the way that we were often trained to get teachers moving.
Alright, so the you know, some of the things we were taught to do is we come back we we serve the pancakes and we make the big announcement, right? We have a pancake breakfast, we welcome people back. We value you so much. We tell our teachers Oh, and let's add this new thing to your plate. We make this big announcement and then we wonder why it falls flat? Well, our teachers are coming back and they have had no warning that this big announcements coming. You've had the entire break to think about what you want to do. You've had time to to identify the problem and understand it, you've had time to examine several different solutions and come up with a solution that you believe works, you are convicted, they just came back from break and that many of your teachers have quite rightfully not thought about school during break, they actually took time off. So they get hit with this right when they're coming back right when they're trying to get reoriented themselves right when they're, they have had the you know, their own ideas about what's going to happen after break and enter are thinking that things are going to be one way we totally flip the script on them.
And we wonder why there's pushback.
Alright, then the next thing we do is we say, Okay, we need to just monitor more, right? These teachers, they haven't done anything all year long, it's a word, I'm gonna get into classrooms more, and we make that resolution for ourselves. So we decide, oh, we're going to do more walkthroughs. And, and we create a new walkthrough instrument or get one from a colleague, you know, we commit to getting into five classrooms a day. And we go in and we give teachers this, basically random feedback or this checklist feedback. And the feedback has, it seems like it's coming out of nowhere. And it may have some context and the thing that you want teachers to do, but you know, one time you come and you say, you're not checking, rented Sandy, and other time you come and you say, you're not, you're asking, you're not asking high level questions, another time. It's like, I love the way that you did X, Y, and Z. And it all feels very random. It doesn't give teachers time to actually act on that feedback before you're popping in their classrooms, again, with your checklists, with another piece of feedback. And we wonder why teachers resent are coming in. And we wonder why teachers don't listen to our feedback. Now, maybe you think, okay, we need to do some data dives, and they have data meetings, and you create a data wall, and you get all the teachers in a room with a data wall, and you say, I'm going to make the data visible. But have you really made it visible? Or does it just look like wallpaper? I mean, you've got this wall with all these charts that feel like they have no context. And over time, it's very easy to tune it out. Because what normally happens when we do data dives is we dive into that data, we look at all these things. And we try to make meaning of the data. But it's just a lot of numbers and percentages. What does it really mean? How does it impact my work? Is there a way that you can help me digest the data to understand what's really important? No, we create these clunky data protocols where we go through the motions of looking at data.
And at the end of that meeting, nobody's practice has changed, everybody's exhausted.
And people are thinking, You know what, I could have spent that time grading papers. Because yeah, we might go through the data protocol exactly as it's written. But if it doesn't change practice, if it doesn't help me understand how to serve students better than it was a waste of time. And I hate to say this, a lot of data meetings, even though I believe in looking at data, the way that we are often trained to look at data does not provide wisdom, it just gives us a bunch of numbers to go through. And we all not like room, that percentage has gone up. You know that that thing that one item on the test? That's something students really struggle with, we need to do more about that. And then let's see if the numbers move. Is it creating wisdom? Is it showing me how to serve students better? Is it helping me understand why students didn't get that item on the test correctly? Correct in the first place? Is it helping me understand how to reach students? Is it helping me understand how my practice is directly impacting students? Probably not. And if it's not doing that, why are we wasting our time? So okay, we say we're gonna do the big announcement, we ramp up the walkthroughs. And accountability, we do these intense data does. And then the last thing we do is we often create PD, right? We all we say, Oh, we're going to create new PD around this thing. We go and we hire people. You know, one of the things that used to bother me so much, especially when I was doing a lot more teacher PD is people call the office and say, I've got a PD Day coming up in February, what can you do? I mean, what can I do? What do you need? What it what what, like, if they're just they're just trying to fill a day? Or we say, you know, what, our teachers aren't doing this. So they need PD.
That may be why they're not doing it. And it may not be have we dug down to understand why teachers aren't doing the thing we're asking them to do. Is it because they don't know how to do it? Or is it because they don't want to do it? Do we even have we even considered that? Maybe it's not PD they need maybe they need something else. And we don't we just think, oh, we'll just do PD. And then a lot of times we outsource that PD, we, you know, people say well, I want you to say it because I've been saying it and they're not listening to me maybe they'll listen to you. Really we're going to spend all that money just to bring another voice in if people aren't listening to you, that's the problem. If people don't buy what you're saying, then bring somebody else in to back you up is not going to solve that deeper problem. You have a you have a problem around trust you have a problem around not making that argument that you're trying to make clear enough for people to own that argument for themselves. If you make coming in for a day it's not going to do that or bring another expert in for a day or a week or two days is not going to fix that deeper problem. We think Okay, well let's get them some more materials. So we we you know, we do a book study and we buy I have a book. And then we ask teachers to read a book and talk about a book on top of everything else they're trying to do. And that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with book studies. But if we're using those book studies as a hammer, to get teachers to do something that we're trying to get them to do, I'm not sure that that's going to be the right solution.
We have to think that through.
But the problem is we don't we just, you know, we think let's just, you know, they're not doing what I want them to do. Let's throw some PDF them. And that's not always the answer. And at the root of why these tactics that we have relied on for so long, the reason that these tactics often do not work, has nothing to do with a tactic themselves. Should we be looking at data? Yes. Do we need PD? Absolutely. Should we be getting in and giving teachers feedback? Sure, we absolutely should, should we be creating buzz and excitement around the work we're doing and generating that motivation? Sure, we should be doing that. But if you do that, willy nilly, if you do that without first thinking through the entire process, it's like throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks and hoping something sticks.
You see, before you do any of those things, the first thing you need to do is understand, first of all, what is our root problem, and in most cases, we're attacking symptoms, and we're not even dealing with the root problem, we'll deal with the root problem. And then I'll do an entire podcast on thinking through the root problem and actually finding the root problem another day, because that's a whole other lesson. But for now, let's assume that you have correctly identified the root cause for why performance isn't where it needs to be. And you have the right solution. Let's, let's pretend for a second that you've done all that work. And this solution actually will move the needle this school year, you are convinced of that. Here's still where we make a mistake, we think because we are convinced that it is self evident that this is the right solution. And therefore as soon as we present it to people, they should embrace it as well. We think that just because even when people do embrace it, that that that they are going to because they support the thing that we're trying to get them to do that they're going to immediately have a skill that they need to do it. At the heart of all of this is a misunderstanding of one simple fact, a teacher's effectiveness is a combination of their will and their skill. And when we roll out something new, if we don't understand how will in skill work, nothing we do, is actually going to generate the results in our staff that we want to see. So let's talk a little bit about will and skill.
So the first thing we have to understand is that, you know, teachers effectiveness is a combination of their will and skill and will is about their motivation to do what's right for kids, for the profession for the school. And if teachers do not are not motivated to do the thing that you want them to do, even if they go through the motions, it's not going to have the impact that you want to have, because their will isn't there, their spirit isn't there, they're just complying. And we all know that when you get compliance and that compliance creates a trap. First of all, you have people who are quote, unquote, doing what you want them to do, but not with the spirit behind it. So they they they aren't they they sabotage your results, maybe not purposefully, but they sabotage the results that you want to get because they're not, they're not fully committed to the process. And the kids can pick up on it, it impacts how they deliver the thing that you want them to deliver, it just becomes a disaster. But secondly, that when I'm not motivated to do the work, not only does it help me kind of subtly sabotage the work. But it creates this tension between me and you. And it makes me spend all of my time enforcing the thing that I want people to do, because I'm only getting compliance.
So it's a trap.
So if people don't have the will to do what you want them to do, and you force them into compliance anyway, because we got to get moving, then you've you've trapped yourself into this constant tug of war with your staff and you don't get the results that you really want. Now, skill on the other hand, it's not the motivation skill is about my capacity. And it includes pedagogical knowledge and subject area knowledge. So you know, if I have great pedagogy, I'm great with kids. I know how to reach kids. I don't understand the curriculum. I have low skill if I if I am a subject area expert, but I don't know how to help students learn. I also have low skill and a lot of times what the what looks like laziness or resistance and people is really they they don't truly understand how to do the thing that you're asking them to do. And so sometimes If you have a world problem, sometimes you have a skill problem. And if you don't understand that going into a new rollout, then you're doomed from the start, because you will try all the tactics and strategies and then just get frustrated when it doesn't work. Because you can't force people to do something with fidelity, true fidelity, not follow the steps and that sort of thing. But I mean, truly embracing things the way that you want to see them embrace, truly building their skill set to be able to deliver things where you want them delivered, and see the impact that you want to have on kids. And if you don't understand will and skill and you don't use that, that idea around will and skill, when you're trying to roll something out that you have to address both needs of teachers, if you ignore that, then you're going to end up with compliance, or out and out resistance, and be frustrated, and everything falls apart by March right in time for the testing season. And then you just survive another year, and then write another sip plan in the summer and go through the same process again.
So let's talk about how you deal with will and skill.
Okay. So the first thing you have to understand is that if people don't want to do what you are asking them to do, they're not going to do it the way you're asking them to do it. So when you are rolling things out, how do you address the will issues? How do you overcome any initial resistance teachers may have so that they can embrace the thing that you're asking them to do? The first thing you have to do is you have to see you have to step out of yourself and try to see what you're asking them to do from their perspective. For you. You're like, you know what, I mean, this is just pedagogy one on one, you should be doing this anyway. But there's a reason they're not doing it. And if you don't understand that and address that, then just telling them they should be doing it is not going to change their will it's not going to oh, you know what, you're right. I knew I should be doing it. I'm not doing it. But hearing you tell me I should do it. Oh, that's the light that's I've been waiting for all my life. And now I'm so motivated, not going to happen. So what you need to do instead is C, you know, if you're asking teachers to to start checking for understanding, or if you want teachers to give instruction that's more aligned with the curriculum, the first thing you have to ask yourself is why are they doing that to begin with? So you might want to spend a couple of days in classrooms, really digging deep looking at teachers, and how they're currently instruct us in delivering instruction, and try to pinpoint what is the root cause for why they're not delivering instruction that way, you might want to spend some time and PLC meetings, quote, don't run the meeting, don't take over the meeting. I'm just here to watch and watch how teachers plan. What are the questions that they ask what are what how do they approach their planning? What are those conversations looking like? So that you can understand why they don't currently do things the way that they're doing it? And that can help you determine is this an issue of will or skill?
Now, if it's an issue of well, I know what to do, I just don't think it's important. I know what you're asking me to do. But I don't have the time right now. Because I'm overwhelmed. I know what you're asking me to do. But I don't think it's going to make a big difference. I know what you're asking me to do. But I don't like you. I'm sick of you telling me how to teach in my classroom, I don't respect you see how those are very different reasons. And if you don't understand those reasons, you can't address the root cause for that resistance in a way that overcomes that resistance and actually gets people moving forward. Second thing you need to do is after you kind of understand the source of the resistance, you have to determine is this the majority well problem, or is it a majority skill problem? Or is it both? Right? So some people are low will low skill about what you're asking them to do? They don't want to do it? And even if they did want to do it, they don't have the skill set to do it. Okay, that's one issue. Some people are high will they want to do it, but low skill, they don't have the skill set to be able to implement it the way you want to implement it. Okay, different problem, then some people are high will high skill, right? They are excited about doing the work, and they have the skill set to get started. They're ready to go right away. And then some people are low will high skill, right? I could do it. I have the skill set to do it. I don't want to do it. I don't feel like it's important right now. I got other stuff I'm trying to do. And so there that's a different problem. So when you're looking at your staff as a whole, what seems to be the prevailing sense in your staff is your staff lower low skill. So that means you're going to have to build their excitement and motivation around this thing you want them to do and you're going to have to build their skill set. Are they high? Well, low skill they're willing to do whatever you ask, they just don't have the skill set to do it. And so stop getting frustrated with them and show them how to do it not by a PD day but by some sustained support. Are they I will high skill okay, then you're good to go and you just work on the people who who may not be there yet? Or are they low? Well, high skill, they have the capacity to do it, it just don't want to. Once you understand that, then you can take the same strategies you've been using, but you can do them a lot better, right?
When you make the announcement, the announcement is about, it's about generating that excitement, and not because your excitement but you're excited, but because you've looked at the problem from their perspective, and you understand their problem and can articulate their problem. And you're offering them a solution to something that they see as a problem, you're not offering them a solution to something you see as a problem. You've looked at it from their perspective, and looked at how this thing you want them to do, can can serve them in a way that they can see it. There's a very subtle difference. You're still making an announcement, but you're doing the announcement, not from your perspective, but from their perspective. And you can't I still am so surprised often to see how hard it is to get principals to see things from teachers perspective. It's, it's, it's really amazing to me, because even principals think they get it because you know, I was a teacher once do, you know, they told me that, but you had been a teacher in a long time. And you probably weren't the kind of teacher that your teachers are, right, you probably were way more highly motivated. Anyway, that's why you're in the principal's office. But your teachers may not be as motivated as you maybe you are highly skilled teacher. And that's what helped you, you know, get to the principal's office, your teachers may not have your same skill set.
So stop thinking about, well, if I were in a classroom, I would do this, because you're not if you were in a classroom, you and your teachers were like you, you wouldn't have this problem. Instead, think about it from a teacher's perspective. You know, they you know, people were saying all teachers that was talking about, they don't have any more time, but I see them wasting time all day. All right, but you think it's wasting time, they obviously don't, because that's what they're spending time doing. You need to understand that before you make the announcement. So when you are coming with the announcement come from their perspective, after you've taken time to do that, you know, one of the things we teach you very early in builder ship University is we teach you how to tell the vision story, when it's a storytelling technique that has been around for ages, where instead when you're trying to get people to understand and get excited about a new initiative, rather than then just kind of making the announcement, you come before people and you you tell the story, you join the story that they're already telling themselves in their own heads.
So I never dismiss a teacher complaint.
I listen to that complaint, I listened for the story behind the complaint. And then I step into the story they're already telling I don't try to yank them out of their story and try to you know, push them into the story that I want to tell. I step into their story. I listen for their story and step into their story. And then I talk about how the thing that I'm asking them to do helps solve the problem. They see not the problem, I see the problem that's most important to them. That's just that's just treating somebody like a human being instead of a cog in a machine to move numbers. It's, it's it's the right and honorable thing to do. How often do we when we're making trying to roll out something new, we make that announcement? How, how often do we actually spend time thinking about that? What is it going to mean for teachers? How will they see it? What is their perspective, doing that can overcome a lot of initial resistance, it at least opens the conversation.
Second thing you do is after you roll out the announcement, you give people time to push back a little bit. You know, one of the things we do in build a ship University is we teach you the six C's of transformation. And the second E is explore and it's really where you we show you how to you intentionally surface the push back so you can deal with it from the front and keep it from derailing you later on down the road. Oftentimes we make the announcement and we consider it a fait accompli and we just say done, I've made the announcement. Now let's move forward. It takes people longer to do that. Remember, you've had weeks to think about this, they've had seconds to think about this. So you've got to give people time to process it. And in doing so you create trust you you you open up the floor so that people can express themselves. They feel heard, and often the things that they come to you with, if you really carefully consider them they actually make what you're trying to do better. And when they contribute to making it do better. They have a part in planning and designing this thing. And when they have a part and planning and design this thing, people don't tear down what they helped build. So as a builder you are from the very beginning and inviting them to join you and building something better. Okay, so instead of just an announcement, you got to have an announcement that actually comes from their perspective that it gives people time to process that isn't afraid of people's pushback and actually solicits their their objections and uses those objections to make things better. When you do that, you've gotten the ball rolling.
The second thing we do is we say, Okay, we got to increase our walkthroughs. And those become those amounts a little more than chasing, checking and correcting people, right I walk into your room, I have my checklist or I have my form, I have my or we trying to make it a kinder gentler form. So we you know, do it like it's a joy note, or a happy face, or glows and grows and all of that people see through it, all it's really doing is you're coming in to check to see if I'm complying with a thing that you've asked me to do. And so my response is often compliance. When you give people meaningful feedback, feedback, that is differentiated feedback that helps them develop and grow feedback that is intentional and focused on them. You don't get that compliance, what you do is you get people growing, because you're giving people insight into their practice, that if you do it, right creates more ownership over their practice, you know that one of the things I hate about, about the way that we're taught to give feedback, and listen, I used to give feedback this way. And always, there was something about it, that always bothered me. And the thing that bothered me is that the moment I come in and give a teacher feedback, I've taken ownership over their practice, and I've robbed them of ownership over their practice. But there is a way to give people feedback that helps them maintain ownership over their practice. And that does two things. It overcomes will issues because it gives people the choice.
When people feel like they have a choice, they often make the right choice.
It's often when people feel like they don't have a choice that they push back and make the wrong choice. The second member feedback does is it gives people insight that they can use to get better, it helps them to see their practice in a way that they can't see it, you actually are adding to their practice, rather than chipping away at their self esteem. So we got to give feedback differently. It's not that we shouldn't be giving feedback. But our feedback should feel like feedback and not monitoring. It should feel like feedback and not enforcement, it should leave the ownership with the teacher. Okay, so that's the second thing.
The third thing is that, as we're looking at data, we don't need to look at all the data, we need to look at the data that answers the question around the work we're doing. And a lot of times we don't we torture data to make it say what we wanted to say. Or we dive into data and drown in all of the numbers, when what we should be doing with data, is we should be interrogating the data, like your data is really only as good as the questions you ask of it. So we should be formulating better data questions, questions that help us stay accountable to the bigger goal. It's not about just did they post the learning intention on the board that day, right? Because I've been in classrooms where the learning intention is focused. I mean, this poll is posted on the board. It's perfectly worded. And I still have no idea what's happening in the classroom. Right? So it's not about the learning intention being on the board. It's really about when we walk in, are the kids lost? Am I lost as a teacher lost. And that's more important than, you know, 27 out of 28 classrooms have the learning intention posted. What I want to know is do kids know what they're doing. And so that may be a different data source. In everything we do with data is we only look at numbers, right? So we look at achievement numbers, or we tick mark, you know, behaviors and that sort of thing. But there's a whole rich source of data that we're not looking at, in a bill to ship University, we show you how to examine three types of data.
So there's observational data when I see in a classrooms, but also what I see in the hallways, what I see on the playground, what I see in the lunchroom, what I see and drop off and pickup. It's all that data, I'm observing the what's happening in the schools. And then we also look at student achievement data. So we're looking at those numbers and test scores and that sort of thing. And we're looking at climate data, not the climate survey, but we're also kind of looking at when kids come in, I mean, are they smiling? Are they are they stressed out? How many kids are walking in the school having been cussed out by their parents in the front door? What are teachers when they sit down in the PLCs? Do the teachers feel exhausted? How do the teachers feel about the work we're doing? What seems to be the common objections that we're hearing from teachers or from kids or from families, focus group data that helps me understand how people are really feeling all of that data comes together. So I don't need a data wall instead of a simple dashboard. You know, we show you how to create that simple dashboard and we call Have a scorecard. And so it's a it's a simple scorecard that says, How are we doing in this initiative? And is it having the impact we want to have, it's just a few numbers we're looking at. And those numbers give us insight about what we need to be doing next. Okay. So it's not that you shouldn't be looking at data. But you need to be looking at data differently. And here's how it changes will and skill. If I know that I have some real questions that need to be answered through the data, it creates a natural will for me to look at the data because I'm, I know what I'm looking at the data for the data has information that I need, and that changes my will about looking at the data, but also changes my skill, because the data gives me wisdom and insight, that makes me better at the goals that I'm trying to get at. It helps me to, to figure out where I need to adjust and what I need to be doing next. And that improves my skill. If your data work isn't doing that, you shouldn't be doing it. And then the fourth thing, all right, we need PD days and tactics. But the way we provide support for teachers is haphazard, it's scattered, it does. It's not differentiated.
You know, we tell teachers all the time, you need to differentiate instruction for kids.
But we don't feel like we have time to differentiate the support we have for teachers, right? If I'm a struggling teacher, I need a different level of support than a teacher who is is already mastered the work. In fact, the teachers who've already mastered the work, we kind of leave them alone. And we ignore the fact that they too need support. If we are providing teachers with differentiated support, support that actually show them, if you do this, you can get this so that the support we gave them was directly tied to student outcomes. It would change people's will around the kind of support they're getting, because they're getting the support they need, at the time that they need it to help them do something they want to do. Why would I ignore that support? Why would I resist that support, right, and it recognizes where I am and doesn't punish me for where I am. And the support shows me how to get to the next level, and build a ship University, we teach something called the Surefire support system that shows you how to do that. And we've created a teacher dashboard, so that you can do that without going crazy, right? Like, you can actually provide teachers with the support that they need in the play that they need it and differentiate that support and make it much more personal and individual to teachers, without creating a ton of extra work for yourself. And the dashboard shows you how to do that.
So it is possible, right. And when teachers have that kind of support, not only will they welcome that support, because it really is focused on them, instead of trying to quickly show them something that I want you to do tomorrow and you have to be compliant, and I'm coming around to check, it helps them grow, it helps them to achieve the results that they want to achieve. And that that that you as a school decided are most important for your kids. And the support actually moves there will I mean their skill, sorry, the support actually helps them get better. If you do support, right, there is no reason why every teacher should not make at least one leap in terms of go one level and at least one critical area every single school year. And sometimes an mitigators, it's going to be more than one level or grow one level in several different areas. So that the more you do this, the better your teaching staff becomes, the better their skill is. So I mean, today, what I've done is tried to just take for things that we are taught to do and show you that it's not the thing itself, but it's how we do it. If we do the thing without considering their will. And the skill of the teachers, if we if we don't take the things that we're being taught to do, and do them in a way that most teachers will and skill we're wasting our time. But these simple tweaks can take that that those things that we've been taught to do and turn them into very powerful tools to move the will and skill of our staff and help us achieve something this school year. So I'll say more about this next week. But if you've been intrigued today, and you want to know how to do this help is coming. Fall, I can say you need to be with me next week for the big announcement. And so you can either join the school leadership reimagined Facebook group and be a part of there will be well, you know, we'll be posting the Zoom link there for the big announcement or if you are on the school leadership reimagined mailing list, and you just go to school leadership reimagined.com And on the front page, there'll be a link to join the mailing list so that you can get the email we'll be letting you know there.
But I'm telling you help is coming. Real help is coming.
So you don't have to start the year frustrated already. You don't have to start the year with pushback. You don't have to spend the rest of the year trying to drag your teachers towards their goals. I mean your goals. Instead what you can do is if you do these things, right if you take the things that you're already doing, but make that small tweak so that you're focused on the will and skill of your team chairs, if you if you if you do this consistently, three things happen. Number one, you actually get moving stuff starts happening, you get people on the same page, you get people moving in the same direction, it happens. Number two, the culture in your school feels better. Not always at at odds with everybody, everybody when they're on the same page and working towards the same goal, the Spirit in your school changes, you feel like you're doing something important ever you create momentum, it changes the way that you when you walk in the school, the feel of the school, and you pick up on it, and your teachers pick up on it and your kids benefit from it. And number three, you save yourself a lot of work and headache and frustration, right. Because when you're trying to drag everybody towards your goal, you're the only one pulling and everybody else is resisting you and you spend all of your time running after teachers trying to make them do this, getting frustrated, when everybody is on the same page and pulling in the same direction. You don't have to do the work alone, other people are pulling with you.
So your work gets easier, it gets more focus, you have time to do the things that only you can do because everybody else is pulling their own weight. So it's worth it to you to take some time and, and and to rethink how you do things. And make sure that you're taking into consideration that anything you want teachers to do, you have to consider both their will and their skill. And the question is how are you taking the things that you're doing? And using the those things to to help increase your teachers will in scale? And if it's not moving teachers will in skill? Why are you wasting time doing it? There's so many other things you could be doing stop, reconsider it and do the things that actually move teach your will and skill so much easier. When you actually take time to take to take into consideration teachers will and skill and to adjust the work so that you are constantly feeding their will and skill. That's how you get stuff moving like a builder. I'll talk to you next time.
Hey, if you're ready to get started being a builder right away, then I want to invite you to join us at builder ship University. It's our exclusive online community for builders just like you where you'll be able to get the exact training that you need to turn your school into a success story right now with the people and resources you already have. Inside. You'll find our best online courses, live trainings with me tons of resources, templates and exemplars and monthly live office hours with me where you can ask me anything and get my help on whatever challenge you're facing right now. If you're tired of hitting obstacle after obstacle and you're sick of tiny little incremental gains each year, if you're ready to make a dramatic difference in your school right now, then you need to Join builders ship University. Just go to build a ship university.com and get started writing your school success story today
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