School Leadership Reimagined - Never Waste A Crisis

Never Waste A Crisis

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You're listening to the school leadership reimagined podcast, episode 68.

Welcome to the school leadership re-imagined podcast where we rethink what's possible to transform your school if you're tired of settling for small wins and incremental improvement than stayed 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 today we're going to talk about a phrase that actually is not a Mindsteps-ism. You see lately I've been hearing some advice and at first I thought that the advice with a little glib and it kind of ignored some of the challenges that we're all facing right now is we deal with this pandemic and the quarantine, and so I was lo to repeat it even though I kept hearing it all over the place. I don't even know where it originated, but after thinking about it for some time, I realized that there may be something to it. So we're going to talk about that advice in just a moment. But before we do, I have four cool things to tell you about. The first is that we are still going strong in the Mindsteps pop-up group.

Now, I started this popup group right at the beginning of quarantine education in order to provide you with resources and support to help you navigate your schools through this crisis. It's a popup group because it will not last forever, but right now while we're still trying to figure it out, I want to do my best to give you the resources and support you need so it's absolutely free and you can join the Mindsteps pop-up group by going to Mindsteps inc com and on the homepage there'll be a box that says join the popup group. Remember, it's absolutely free and it's not going to be around forever, but if you join right now, you still have an opportunity to not only view all of the archive trainings and masterclasses and download all of the resources that we've been posting so far, but you also have the opportunity to participate in some of our live trainings every single week.

I do a masterclass which teaches you something vital. 

Right now to help you build your schools throughout this crisis. I also do regular office hours at least once a week where you can hop on at any time during those office hours and you can ask me anything and then when you get the answer to your question you hop off or you can stick around and hear what other people have to say. We have had some amazing office hours where we have just kind of rolled our sleeves up and solved challenges in schools and then they come back next week and they report how it went and seeing these huge success stories come out of office hours. So if you've ever wanted to ask me a question or get my personal help on something, now's your opportunity to do that for free when you joined the popup group.

The third thing that we do every week in the popup group and it's become a tradition, is I do a workshop on how to develop your school vision. I thought I was going to do this once, but it was so popular that every single week people are asking for it again because during that workshop I spend the first 10 to 15 minutes kind of talking you through how to develop your school vision and then the rest of the time we workshop you actually use the time that we're together to build your vision and you get my feedback and guidance. Now normally that is something that is only available in our private workshops or at builder's lab, but right now I'm seeing such a need for it that we're offering that every single week inside of the popup group. So again, go to mindstepsinc dot com to join the free pop-up group and you need to move quickly because it will not last much longer.We're probably going to go another month and then we'll start disbanding the popup group. So now's your shot to get that training and access to all of those resources absolutely free. And again, go to mindsets ink.com and look for the signup place on the page for the popup group.

Now, the second thing I want to talk about and I'm really excited about this because this is good news. 

Those of you who have been following my book writing journey on Facebook, you already know this, but for the rest of you I finished. The manuscript is done and the working title of the new book is turn your school into a success story. How to make a dramatic difference with the people and resources you already have. I poured everything into this book. This is the most comprehensive kind of practical book that I've written so far and it really takes you through the entire builder ship model from how to develop your vision, mission, and core values to how to get your people on board and commit it to those vision, mission, and core values to how to then identify what is your biggest obstacle towards achieving your vision, mission, and core values, and then finally, how to develop a plan to remove that obstacle so that you make significant and steady and dramatic progress towards achieving your vision, mission, and core values in your school without having to fire anybody, without having to wait for somebody to leave without having to wait for resources or money.

How to do that right now with this school that you have and what's really amazing to me is that the principles that I write about in the book are the principles that I've been seeing builders practice right now during this pandemic. I knew they worked before in normal times because we have hundreds of success stories of schools who have applied. What I've taught you over the years and what I've been writing about in this book, and they've seen these dramatic transformations of their schools. But what's really heartening to me is that the people who are practicing these principles during the pandemic are also developing success stories. There's is not a story of just survival. They are thriving in the midst of this crisis. So it's kind of, you know, heartening to me to know that the things that I'm writing about in this book, they not only stand the test of time, but they have now withstood a pandemic. So they work and I'm so happy to be done y'all.

This has been a long journey. 

I used to be able to kind of write books very quickly, but the older I get, the harder it is for me. Or maybe I shouldn't blame it on old age. I know for this book, what was hard was that I was so immersed in this subject area because this is the work that we do in schools every single day. It was really hard to kind of narrow it down and put it in a book format, because I've been living this for the last five years, so this one took a long time and there's blood on the page and I, this one was hard. It was hard. You know why? What's hard? My editor asked, you know, she said never work hard. It was like a hundred thousand words and you know, it's a good book, but it's kind of long.

And so she asked if I could cut that in half already, maybe 50,000 words. Well, I clocked in at 60,000 words and it was a struggle to do that. There's so many stories that I wanted to tell about how real people are making this work in their schools. There's so many kinds of nuances I wanted to get into. And it was really hard to kind of pair back and make this book very, very focused. You know, they call it the curse of knowledge where you get to the point where you forget what it's like to not know something once you know it so deeply. And so I had to really kind of take a step back and say, nobody has been exposed to this information before. What are the things that they need to know? And I think I've done it. The book, I think if you take that book and follow it step by step by step, you will be able to implement everything that we're talking about a builder's lab and then what we're talking about in our private workshops, you'll be able to do that in your school.

That has been my intention in writing this book. 

I wanted you to have all of the tools, all of the ideas around this so that you can take these ideas and immediately implement them. So I've tried to make them very, very practical. It's very, very step-by-step. First do this, then do this. Here's why you need to do it. And I cannot wait to get this book into your hands. So look out for this book. I'll keep you updated because the book writing journey is done, but the book journey is not done. And if you want to follow along, go ahead and just friend me on Facebook. And that's where I'm kind of posting updates because I'll have to go through the editing process and then I'm planning something really, really cool for the book launch and you definitely want to be a part of that. There's going to be lots of free stuff and swag and you know you need to get on that so make sure that you friend me on Facebook so that you can be a part of that book writing journey.

Okay. Third announcement. Builder's lab is still happening. In fact, now that the book is done, my team and I are spending a tremendous amount of time really kind of putting flesh on some of the contingencies that we've been figuring out. You know, in a perfect world we'd love to do builder's lab live, but that's looking more and more iffy, especially in the upcoming weeks. We are still planning on doing it live. We still, we haven't canceled anything yet, but we also want to make sure that if we can't meet together live, we have a dynamic, interesting, amazing online option for you. So we're not going to do builders lab where we just kind of, you know, you're sitting in front of a zoom meeting all day looking at slides and hearing me talk that is just excruciating, excruciating for you. It definitely will be excruciating for me and it misses the point of builder's lab.

One of the things that makes builder's labs so magical is that you get to come away for three days. 

You get to work with an amazing group of other builders collaborating. You get to work with. Me personally, the reason we keep builders labs small is so that I can give everybody in the room some one on one attention and that just can't happen when you're sitting in front of a screen looking at slides. So we are designing something pretty amazing if I'm a say so myself, we had a breakthrough last week as we started thinking about what it was that may build his lab so special. And we started thinking about, okay, how can we still give people that same experience? I can't share a whole bunch of details with you right now.

We're still kind of trying to finalize a couple of things and lock some things in, but as soon as those things get locked in, you are just going to be blown away by the virtual builder's lab experience that we have planned for you. So here's what we're going to do it because I don't want to leave things up in the air. If you already have a ticket to builder's lab, you already have a ticket to the virtual builder's lab. If you are worried that your district may not allow you to attend builder's lab and you definitely want to attend, but you're worried about travel restrictions, go ahead and get your builder's lab ticket. Because even though we don't have anything up on the website right now about virtual builder's lab, there will be a virtual option for you.

So you can go ahead and get a ticket now.

And once we have the everything kind of cemented. If you want to take that ticket and transfer it over to the virtual option, you can certainly do that because the price will be the same, but the experience is going to be amazing. If you live in a place where you, you can't get to build your slab easily, you've always wanted to come to builders lab. This is your opportunity. I don't know if we'll ever do another virtual live event again. So this is a unique opportunity. If you have sent me an email and said, you know, in the past I love to kind of build this lab, but I live in Australia or live in Singapore or live in the middle East or I'm in Nigeria and I can't get over there. It's not easy for me to there. This is your chance. So you need to go to mindset sync.com/builders-lab that's mindset thing.com/builders-lab and whether you are getting a live ticket or a virtual ticket, the ticket investment is the same.

So go ahead and get your ticket. And then once we announced the virtual option, you will have an option to convert your ticket to a virtual ticket and still get the amazing experience that you would have gotten live at builder's lab. And if you still want to come live and we are allowed to still have a live event, then then come live. You'll have the option and the flexibility again, you can go get your tickets at [inaudible] dot com slash builders dash lab and I need to say this, we will not have an unlimited number of tickets because the virtual experience that we are planning still involves lots of one-on-one help for me. So we can't have thousands of people in builder's lab and still give you that, that intimate experience. So whether you coming live or virtually, you will still have that one on one feedback.

Access to me, support, and I'll be working with you directly. 

We have some coaches that are going to come in and help, you know, kind of manage some of that too. We are going to have, they look at me, I'm about to tell you all this stuff and I can't tell you yet. So just know that we are planning an amazing, amazing experience. It's unlike anything that you've ever seen before. I know a lot of conferences are going virtual this year and a lot of that just amounts to kind of just, you know, speakers on the screen and you can kind of watch them and you know, do some work on the side and just have it playing in the background. Nope, that's not going to be builders lab. You'll still need to take off work because during those three days I want you to be set apart so that we can do things like build a strong vision, mission and core values so that we can take a look at your staff, figure out how to get everybody on your staff.

Even that teacher who's resisted you in the past committed to the work. We want to spend time together, you know, kind of figuring out what your biggest obstacle is right now and how you can remove that. So you walk out of there with a plan. So doubts know that that experience is available and you need to get your tickets at Mindsteps think.com/builders-lab. All right, last announcement and then we're going to jump into the not Mindsteps ism for today and that's this last week we did something pretty cool. We started what we're calling a four disciplines implementation sprint, although the nickname for it has been the GSD sprint, which is get stuff done sprint and it's a four day opportunity where I work with a small group of builders and I help you build all of the systems you need to be to manage your team remotely right now.

On the first day we build your feedback system, it's not me lecturing. 

I go in, we talk about feedback briefly for the first 10 or 15 minutes and then after that the rest of the time, the rest of the 90 minutes we're together, you actually go in and start building it. So we do things like figure out how to create surveys that we can send out to our teachers, to our, our, our students, to their parents. And then I have in a vault, the surveys already built for you. All you have to do is customize them. We look at things like, how do you how do you, what kinds of feedback can you give teachers remotely? You know, how do you observe an online class barely. And what tools do you need to be able to do that? We talk about establishing look fours and ask about, so we talk about creating an environment where your teachers are co-creating feedback and setting goals and figuring out what is important still to be able to have teachers continue to grow even while they're working remotely.

So we build all those systems together. The next thing, next day we do the same thing for support. So we look at what are the different support systems that you can provide for teachers. We also look at how you can support teachers emotionally, how you can support them as they're dealing with their own kind of secondary trauma. And then also how you can support them in terms of their professional growth. And then again, we have all of the things built out for you. You go in and you customize them. We show you how to create a teacher dashboard so that you can keep track of where all your teachers are and you can be very intentional about helping teachers grow.

The third day we talk about accountability. 

So we teach you how to create a virtual master schedule so you can keep track of all of the different classes and activities that are going on in your school right now. And they all are in one place. We talk about how you can help people remain accountable to doing the right work even though they're working remotely and you can't check on them in the same way. And then again, all of the tools are already built out for you. You just customize them and launch them. And then the last day we talk about culture and this one is where we actually show you how you create and control the narrative around your school right now, especially because in the next few weeks, you know now that everybody's kind of settled into this new way of doing things, you are going to start to have culture issues rates up. So how do you create a healthy culture when everyone's working remotely and again, all those tools are there for you and I work you through each of those tools.

By the time you are done at the end of the week, you can have all four systems completely built out and deployed working for your school. Now it's a lot. So you know, don't come and just kind of say I want to look. That's not, this is not the kind of sprint or training that we're talking about. This is a sprint. This is for people who really want to get themselves organized so that their schools are running in a healthy way. For the last few weeks, we've just been trying to kind of triage and deal with issues and and it can feel so overwhelming and I know so many administrators are working long hours, you're feeling overwhelmed, you know your phone is ringing all day. We show you how to manage all of that and we give you the tools they're already done for you.

All you have to do is take them and customize them so you can deploy them right away. 

So if you are in that situation and you want some help, then I invite you to join us for our next sprint. It starts Monday, May 4th and it's going to go four days. We're going to meet Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. If you cannot join us live, you can watch the archives of the videos, we'll have all of the training videos recorded. Plus you will have open access to the vault that has over 30 done for you tools inside of the ball ready to go. And not only that, because I want to make sure that you're successful. We have 30 days of followup. So after we go through the sprint and you build everything and you deploy it, if you hit a snag, if you hit a new challenge, if you realize that you need a different kind of tool, there are 30 days of support where I can help you build the tools that you need.

I can help you solve the challenges that you're facing. I can help you stay accountable to your system so that you are set up for success. So again, this is not for everybody. This is for people who are ready to do the work. Even though I say done for you, there is work that you have to do. But we did one sprint last week and it was, the feedback was incredible. People were just blown away because of all of the resources and the way they fit together and the way they make sense. So if you'd like access to the next sprint, you need to hurry because we are starting on Monday and all you need to do is go to Mindsteps inc com and then on the home page there will be a place for you to sign up for the sprint. So again, mindset think.com and we start again on Monday, May 4th all right, lots of announcements. Now let's get to the advice where today, and actually today's advice, this non Mindsteps ism is really related to all of those announcements that I made before because it's really about this.

I've been hearing this over and over again. I was resistant to it at first. 

You may be too, but hear me out and here's the advice. Never waste a crisis. Now I know that sounds glib. Never waste a crisis and almost feels opportunistic. People are suffering, people are dying. What do you mean never waste a crisis? Well, regardless of what you do, people are going to suffer. People are going to die and if we walk out of this crisis and we just have our grief and our trauma, but we are no better as a result of the crisis, then we have wasted this crisis. We have an opportunity right now to actually transform education.

You've heard me talk about this before. We are not going to go back to the way things were and as builders you have an opportunity right now to build. Not only do you have an opportunity, you have a responsibility to build. It's I want to talk about some ways that I believe we could take advantage of what this crisis is teaching us about how we educate children and how we could use this crisis as an opportunity to heal some old wounds, to, to actually get people focused on doing the right work the right way and focused on our students. And we actually have an opportunity to build something better coming out of this crisis. So the first opportunity we have is we have an opportunity to either really strengthen or upgrade our vision, mission, and core values. You've heard, we talk about those things so much, but what I am learning during this crisis is that those three things, your vision, mission, and core value are the most critical parts of your builder ship.

When those are in place, everything else gets clearer and easier. 

When those aren't in place, you get buffeted by every new thing that comes along and everything feels chaotic and you're kind of always trying to figure out what to do next or putting out fires. The builders who came to builders lab or the builders that we've coached privately who really doubled down on their vision, mission and core values. There is such a sense of calm, doesn't mean that they don't feel personally scared. You know, this is scary. It doesn't mean that, that they don't often feel overwhelmed. This is huge. It does mean that when they do feel that way, they can anchor in the outcome. They can anchor in that vision, mission, and core values, and when they anchor in that, all of a sudden things get clearer. All of a sudden things get calmer.

So now is your opportunity. If you had a strong vision, mission, and core values going into this, you already know this because now you are showing people that the things that we talked about during times of calm, they really matter. Now that vision is not something that's on the wall. That vision is guiding us through this crisis, those core values. They're not something that was just in a handbook. Those core values are now making sure and giving us direction about how we respond. Right now, that mission is not something that we put on our school website. That mission is helping us, reminding us about our why and that's what's keeping us going. Now, if you didn't have a strong vision, mission and core values going into this, now is the time to do it. You have everybody's attention and right now because of the nature of this crisis, we are having to decide what is really important and what is not.

So now is a time when everybody is focused. It's clear what is really important, what's not. 

Remember your vision, mission and core values. Answer three questions. Your vision answers the question, what are we building? Well, if you have a flimsy vision and you were building something that didn't matter that it's gone. Right. Because even though we are no longer meeting face to face, we are in quarantine right now. If you have a strong vision, you don't stop building. So if you don't have a vision, now's the time to get one. And again, I mentioned if you are, if you really want to establish a strong vision, you need to join us in the popup group. The vision work that's happening in there is just blowing me away. I mean literally I was talking to a principal last week and he was doing vision work and he came to the workshop and he had a vision that was a beautiful sounding slogan.

I won't say what it is cause we protect you during the vision work so we don't record it. So that you can be vulnerable and kind of, you know, really just being a learning space. So I won't mention his vision now, but it was a great slogan. But as he realized when we got into this crisis, because it was not a real vision, it was just a slogan. It was failing him. It was failing in school. By the time we were done, he had a vision that was so clear that he just was like, Oh, I can't believe this. I can hit the idea, started running. He was like, I can't believe it's, we can do this. We can do that. We can do this. All of a sudden, those closed doors for his school opened up. All of a sudden he could see his way through this crisis to the other side.

He could see the opportunities within this crisis. 

He got excited. No longer was he just focused on how do we get through the next couple of weeks of the quarantine? No, he was focused on what are we going to build now and what will our school look like on the other side? That's what a vision will do for you if you're having issues with not everybody getting online and people writing nasty notes and people complaining about what you're asking them to do and why do you need to be in my classroom and how come I have to use Google classrooms? If you're having any of that right now, you need core values because if you have core values, they tell everybody, this is how we handle conflict. This is how we handle stress. And when those core values are established, you don't get the whining.

You don't get the complaining. People just get to work. If you don't have a strong mission right now, now's your chance to double down on it because if you don't have something that gets you out of bed every morning and gets everybody else out of bed, if you don't have a compelling why, people are going to get burned out. But when you have a strong mission, when you say, Hey, I want you to use this technology or try this out, I want you to meet with your students. So many times I know what the district says, well, we need to do it this way. You don't get the same kind of pushback. And the reason is your mission explains the why. If what you're asking people to do is on mission and they buy into your mission, no pushback. If there is no clear mission, then people push back because it's their own personal, you know?

Objection. That's all they have to rely on. 

But when you have a clear mission, not a problem. So the first that we have right now is that if you never had a vision, mission, and core values before, if you never saw the value in having those before, now's the time. Because what this crisis is revealing is that there's a huge divide between the haves and the have nots. And it's not just an economic divide. There's a huge divide between the schools that have clarity and the ones that don't and although we're all quarantined together, when we do go back to school, whatever that looks like, that divide is going to get even wider because the schools that have that clarity that have that sense of purpose they are building now so that when they return their kids are going to thrive and the schools that don't have it, they are floundering right now.

When they get back to school, they are going to continue to flounder. The divides going to get bigger. So the first opportunity you have right now, and I cannot stress this enough now is the time to be thinking about an anchoring in a strong vision, mission and core values and again, if you want help for that, come to the popup group. We are providing a ton of support for people and people would take advantage of that. They're walking out of this excited about what they can build. Okay. The second opportunity that you have right now is you have an opportunity for increased collaboration. If you are meeting with your teachers once a month, you need to be meeting with them once a week. If you're meeting with them once a week, you need to be meeting with them every day. Right now because we are working remotely and because we are scrambling, you need to increase communication, but it's not just problem solving communication.

It's not just top down. Do this, do that communication. 

Now is your chance to shift the relationship to collaboration. You need to be talking about what's happening. You need to be asking people what are you learning through this crisis about what it means to help children learn. You need to be playing around with ideas. Your teachers' input is more valuable now than ever. One of the things I teach you how to do in this sprint is to create a more collaborative feedback process so that it's not top down. I'm going to go in and check to make sure you hit all these domains and sub domains. No, now's a time for two way feedback. Now it's a time for you to be giving teachers feedback about how well they are moving towards the vision, mission and core values, but it's also time for teachers to be giving you feedback about that as well.

And that collaboration is what building is all about. Remember, bosses say go, leaders say let's go. But builders say come and when you are a builder, you invite somebody into this new future and then they join you in building and then they begin to invite other people and they begin building and you create something better together than you could have ever created alone. What I'm seeing, and it worries me, is that a lot of us say we want to be builders, but the moment crisis hit, we reverted being bosses. We reverted to saying we have to give people clarity in the midst of crisis, so do this, do that, do the other.

No. Now is a time to collaborate. Trust your teachers. 

They have so much to offer you. You cannot figure this out alone. You need to collaborate anomaly that you need to be collaborating with other builders because we're working for home. This can feel so isolating and some of us are really kind of just contracting into just our school and our teachers, but now's the time to be collaborating with other builders. What is, what are other people doing? Just the other day, inside of the popup group, someone posted a request for help because she's trying to build something and she's been getting such really good encouragement and advice from other people all over the world. Now's your time to be collaborative and to not just be collaborative so we can get through the crisis. Now's your time to start establishing new relationships with your teachers, with your colleagues, so that when we get through the crisis, you now have a network of other people who are going to continue to pour into you and into whom you will continue to pour and so that you get better because builders build other builders.

Now's your chance to do that. Now's your chance to build your staff and other builders. Now's your chance to find other builders and for you to build each other up. When you do that, you are so much better. So don't miss that opportunity. Don't just kind of hide out at home and just say, I'm just overwhelmed. I just need to get this done now. Now's your chance for true collaboration. The third opportunity I think you're going to have right now is announce our chance to pilot new ways of learning. I don't want to see every single teacher doing the same thing. Now. I want my teachers experimenting, so if I were in your shoes, I would be having teachers pilot different processes. I'd say, okay, what are you interested in? Okay, I want you to try that. What are you interested? And the goal of the pilot is not to just play around with cool technology.

The goal of the pilot is, are there better ways for us to achieve our vision, mission, and core values? 

Ways that we haven't had the luxury of time to ever consider before? Right now you are allowed to play with stuff more than you've ever been allowed before because everybody's still trying to figure this out. So before they do, now's your chance to kind of play with things. We have to be careful not to lock teachers into one way of doing things because as I've told you before, the habits you make now will be hard to break later on. So I will be telling my teachers, we're going to figure this out, but right now let's consider this a really good opportunity to pilot. And then every week or so I'd be sitting down with teachers and say, what are you learning? What are you seeing? You're trying, this isn't working.

Okay, then let it go. You don't need to do this anymore. I'm not going to lock anybody into something that doesn't work. You know, one of the things that we teach during the sprint is how to set up a pilot process as a part of what you're doing. And when you do that, when you give teachers permission to pilot and you kind of this idea that what we're doing now, we may not be doing in two weeks, and that's okay, we are learning from this together. You can come back and you can talk about what do we learn so far? What can we do better? And you build something stronger because you have this opportunity right now, it's a pilot. The fourth opportunity you have is that there's a real opportunity to focus on soft skills and social emotional learning.

There's no testing this year, right?

So there's no big drum beat and March towards the test. Now you have an opportunity to really stake, take a step back and say, okay, now that there is no state test and we have this huge opportunity with the pressure has gone, what's really important now you have an opportunity to develop students' soft skills. Now you have an opportunity to really focus in on their social, emotional health and, and finding ways to kind of teach the entire child and not just teach to the test. Take this opportunity. We may never get it again. Take this opportunity to think about what are we building and what does that mean for our kids and how can we support kids in ways that we may not have felt permission to support them in before? And how do we do that in a way that nurtures them? Play around with that.

And if you do that enough, you may never go back to this teach to the test mentality. Instead you'll do something far more rich and far more rewarding because you will be able to now teach the entire child. The fifth opportunity we have right now is, one of the things that this pandemic has exposed is that there is a real equity divide. Now for years we've been talking about equity and people have been able to kind of brush it under the rug or, or to feel satisfied because they endured an equity speech and then they, you know, self flagellate and say, Oh I'm a part of the problem and I feel guilty. And then after the speech they go back to their lives because they feel like that was the work.

In reality the work is, we have to make sure that all of our kids have an equitable education.

Well now's an opportunity to revisit equity and talk about it and in some real terms and now an opportunity to see where the equity divides exist for your students and fill them. And the last opportunity we have right now is we have an opportunity to reconsider how we educate children. We have an opportunity ask ourselves, what does it really mean to learn? We have an opportunity to think about what does learning look like and how can we provide students with meaningful learning opportunities that are context agnostic. We don't know whether or not we're going to be back in the fall. We don't know if classrooms are going to look different or how they're going to look different. If we go back. We don't know whether if we go back in the fall and then we have to start doing quarantine again so no longer can we just rely on the traps and the tricks of face to face proximity education.

You know a lot of us have been getting away with connecting with kids on the sheer force of our personality. Well, distance learning is changing that and means that we are going to have to find other ways to connect with kids that don't depend on being in front of them every day face to face, but that raises bigger questions. It raises the question, what does it really mean to learn and how do I help students learn regardless, and I shouldn't even say help students learn because students are learning all the time, but how do I foster that, that deep thinking, how do I give them meaningful feedback that they can use? How do I develop that independent thinking? So many of us for years have said we want our kids to think more independently and in reality the way we run classrooms undermines that very thing that we say that we want.

Well now we have an opportunity. 

See, I'm seeing a lot of schools who are just trying to replicate a face to face experience online. No, you can't. Instead, what we should be asking ourselves is how do we create an entirely new learning experience for students? One where students are able to think deeply, one where students are able to cocreate that learning experience. One where kids are able to get and receive meaningful feedback. One where kids are not dependent on us. Instead we build their own thinking, their own independence. Now that opportunity, let's not waste it by just trying to replicate what we did in school online. Let's use this as an opportunity to to upgrade our vision, mission, and core values, which gives us focus. Let's use this as an opportunity to tap into the collective wisdom of our teachers to build other builders. Let's use this as an opportunity to pilot new ways of learning and learn from that.

Yet, let's use this as an opportunity to build soft skills and social emotional learning. Let's use this as an opportunity to close equity divide so that we can build something better. You see, right now, we have an opportunity to rebuild education. We have an opportunity now to take the things that we value and make them the focus, so don't waste this crisis instead of panicking or surviving or telling yourself, I just need to get through this or making rash quick decisions. We have an opportunity right now to approach this challenge and think deeply about the kind of world and education we want to build. Most changes that happen in nature happen after some sort of catastrophic event. Most changes in society happened the same way. Education will be changed as a result of this pandemic. So what can you do right now to make sense of our challenges without crippling ourselves?

Even an opportunity right now to reshape education, the new normal will be built by you, the builders. 

So don't waste this crisis because right now we need you more than ever to build. We need you more than ever to be thinking about how do we create something better for our children, for our teachers, for our schools, for their families, for our communities. I'll say it again, the new normal will be built by the builders. So my challenge for you this week is to start crafting that new normal, make things better for our students. Think about what the world will look like when we get through this pandemic and how will we transform education as a result of it. And that's how you don't waste a crisis like a builder. That's it for today. I will see you next time. Thanks for joining me. In the meantime, if you have any questions, don't forget about joining the mindsets pop-up group and don't forget about getting your tickets to builders lab. We are going to have an amazing time and finally, don't forget about the sprint that we are starting next week. It is the fastest, easiest way to get these systems up and I'll be working with you and I'll be holding your hand right along the way. We'll build it together.

I'll talk to you next time. 

Thank you for listening to the School Leadership Reimagined podcast for show notes and free downloads visit https://schoolleadershipreimagined.com/

School Leadership Reimagined is brought to you by Mindsteps Inc, where we build master teachers.