As a teacher, I think anyone in the education field should read “The Tipping Point”. In fact, I think even those who have their hands in education, like parents and politicians should read it too.
Why? Because if you read it with education in mind, then those who created No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, and Common Core, would understand that that these ideas/mandates do not really help the issue. That a one-size fits all kind of attitude does not work, but that these mandates should be treated as roll-outs or instituted into increments.
Because according to Gladwell, if it is done in stages or with a few strategically placed Connectors, Mavens, and Salesmen using the most “simplistic, obvious solution” that our education retention, (ending dropouts), growth (competing in the global world), and reach (3rd grade reading requirement), would have a much larger impact.
When I first picked up “The Tipping Point” by Malcom Gladwell, I thought of several comedic sketches: 1. The last straw on a camel’s back, 2. Cow tipping (favorite past time in Texas) and 3. When someone reaches the boiling point.
Now, I may be a cynic when it comes to reading informational texts, but after reading the first 3 chapters of “The Tipping Point” and reading the word epidemic over and over, I couldn’t help but think of how videos go “viral” on YouTube, Twitter explodes with different hashtags like: #Congress #edchat #sharknado, and Facebook is used by businesses more than consumers…just to name a few.
Most recently, I was involved in a twitter chat called #1to1techat. On November 6th, we had an extensive discussion about using technology in the classroom and if administrators should make it a mandatory requirement for all educators.
Many Twitter chats are archived for reference, You can see the archives here:
In chapter 2, the author discusses “a Connector”. So does that make me a connector? Or connected?
I most recently was hired based on my LinkedIn profile. So again? Am I connected or a connector? I got a job through a personal connection, a reference, a previous professor, an acquaintance. But I’m not sure what the author would call that one.
I like to think of myself as a Maven; someone with a wealth of knowledge about computers, technology, and teaching. I feel I need to be continually learning in order to stay current and on topic. I’m not trying to sell anything,(well maybe I am —to use technology in the classroom) So maybe I am a Salesman too…even though I’m just letting you know it’s out there and how to use it.
I have received a few comments about the links not working in my post Installing Android OS to mini netbook (UPDATE #3).
So, I checked it out and here are some links that may help you: (I double checked them to make sure they open and they do take a few seconds to load)
To install Android:
To install WinCE6:
The 2nd class that I am enrolled in to obtain Principal Licensure is entitled Visionary Leadership.
Our text: “The leadership challenge: How to make extraordinary things happen in organizations” outlines 5 Practices of Exemplary Leaderships
Our first assignment was to determine what type of leader we think we are and what we aspire to be based on those 5 practices.
Here was the question:
Which of the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership is easiest for you? why? Which presents you the most challenges to implement? Why? (we were also asked to highlight a leadership blog to support our answer)
Here is my answer:
Only just recently, I have adopted the “Challenge the Process” practice. I have read a few discussion threads that mentioned that this trait (or practice) is the most difficult to embrace, and with that I have to agree–it is difficult.
But, overtime, it gets easier. After teaching at my current school for over 8 years, I have found that my voice does really matter and that other teachers come to me when they need support, assistance, re-assurance, or confidentiality. It is only because of how I have been treated (I have found that I am considered a leader by other teachers) that I can now say that I am not afraid to “challenge the process”. I have learned to speak up at meetings, question administration, discuss issues and ideas, with tact. It has been a long learning process and I am sure that I am not finished learning how to do it even more effectively.
Of the 5 practices that I find the most difficult is “Enable others to act”. Now this isn’t always the case. I get along great with several of the teachers in my building, but there are a few that choose to separate themselves from the group, and I am having a difficult time communicating with them and enabling them. So I need to learn how to reach them – enable them?!?
I follow Dave Truss on Twitter and he has a great blog: “Dave Truss: Pair of dimes for your thoughts”. (Twitter: @datruss)
Dave is a Vice-Principal in Canada and I have been inspired by him in the past (and hopefully in the future). One of his blog posts from July entitled: Leadership and Capacity — he writes about making time for everything that is required in an administration position. He mentioned this quote:
“Stuff, not people. When things get really busy, and you can’t do everything, things will ‘fall off the back of your truck’. When that happens, make sure that it’s stuff, and not people.”
He writes further:
“I’m not sure if it is just my personal capacity, or if it is the role of an administrator in this day and age, but I’m really struggling with how much of my job is not about educational leadership, and how much of it is more managerial and even secretarial in nature…So how do I fit it all in? The reality is that I don’t want anything falling off the back of my truck. I want to have the capacity to effectively meet the managerial aspects of my leadership position AND also provide effective educational leadership.”
I thought that he really hit home on meeting the demands of administration and appealing to my inability to “enable others to act” difficulties – now I have some work to do…I can’t lose any people off my truck.
Well, I went and did it. I enrolled in and was accepted into the CEL program at Cleveland State University. It is the “Inspired Leaders Principal Licensure” program.
The program lasts 16 months and by the end of it, I should have my Principal’s license.
I never thought that I would consider myself administrator material, but in hindsight and foresight, I have noticed that I have a strong desire to be a better teacher and a better leader.
My first class: CEL 600: Leadership for 21st Century Schools started last week.
My first assignment was to discuss Leadership Blogs so I chose these 2:
Title of the blog: Principal J
Author: Jessica Johnson, Elementary Principal (Wisconsin)
While education blogs were not a requirement for this post, I made it a specific choice to choose 2 educator blogs. I did this for several reasons, but two reasons stand out: Since we are all in this together (earning principal licensure) and there are so many educators on Twitter (with blogs) that have embraced social media within education, they were easy for me to find, as I follow several principals and superintendents.
I have been following “Principal J” on twitter (and she follows me) for a few years, and her blog has always been quite insightful. Recently, she moved her blog from blogspot.com to a (dot) net website. She has been blogging since 2009.
In one post, (July 26, 2013) entitled: “Blog as a Portfolio and Knowing the Admin Standards” http://www.principalj.net/blog-as-a-portfolio-and-knowing-the-admin-standards/
Principal J describes how teachers and administrators can make their blog a personal portfolio. Since we are all learning the standards for principal leadership…this blog post allows us a sneak peak at what the standards are for Wisconsin principals and she has categorized her posts to represent the standards. I think you will gain insight, as I did.
Title of the blog: Michael Smith’s Principal Page
Author: Michael Smith, Superintendent Tuscola, Illinois CUSD #301
Michael Smith’s Principal Page is considered by some to be one of the most popular education blogs out there (Weisskopf Bleill, July).
However, if you go to http://principalspage.com/ you will notice some quick links that are extremely useful for any administrator in education. Michael Smith has posted great resources for administrators from cell phone policies to interviewing questions and surveys. He writes with humor and real-world knowledge. His posts date back to 2007 and he takes the time to create categories and links.
Weisskopf Bleill, L. (July, 2011 29). At the editor’s desk: The blogging superintendent. Retrieved from http://www.chambanamoms.com/2011/07/29/at-the-editors-desk-the-blogging-superintendent/