Thursday, June 21, 2012

Changing work focus . . .

I’m often asked what I’m going to do with my summer now that students and teachers are on break.  There seems to be a mental model that my work and that of others in our office comes to a halt when students leave.  That is not an accurate picture of our reality as the work continues, but there are opportunities to change focus.  For example, time that was prioritized for working directly with principals and others on our Classroom 10 goal can now be given to increasing my knowledge through reading and reflection.

I have more time during this part of the year for continuing my leadership journey.  This means reading and searching for the next nuggets to increase our capacity to distribute leadership throughout the system.  One of my primary responsibilities is to ensure that we balance the high demands placed on principals and teachers with high support and to create cultures that are reflective and future focused.  In my current reading, the following are two of the questions I’m focused on answering and looking to the reading for those coveted nuggets.  What knowledge and skills do administrators and teacher leaders need to create supports that position all teachers to successfully implement the instructional practices embedded in our Key Content learning goal?  What must leaders do to shift deeply held mental models about what success looks and sounds like in post high school learning and work experiences.

So, what am I and will I be reading?  There are a number of books on my table that have been accumulating dust that have now moved from a pile to a place where I will use them.  The first is the three laws of performance by Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan.  That will be followed in an undetermined order by Renewal Coaching by Reeves and Allison, Habit by Duhigg, Join the Club by Rosenberg, and TheThird Teacher.  Oh, Nancy has also directed me to read Pathways to the Common Corem ., but I’m still waiting for a deadline before starting.

Please let me know when you come across a good leadership book because there is always room for one more.

1 comment:

Scott Mitchell said...

Well Mike, my summer reading will not be as heavy in leadership as your collection but my 2 leadership books are ones I am sure you have read. Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard was shared by Kimberly Allison during my 10 Tech time two years ago (I bought it but never read it) and my other is The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni (older book from 2002).

As I start thinking about my 10th year of being in TEA leadership and this most likely being my last, my reading is going to begin focusing on what to do next. I love classroom teaching but I do not see myself doing it for another 30 years. Administration may be the path but I am not sure I can get dressed up in slacks and a button up shirt everyday (or I guess based on my current attire, anyday).

I have not read many leadership books (4-5) in my careers but would love to hear some of your top 5 quintessential leadership reads.

The rest of my summer reading is The Hunger Game series, Game On by Emmitt Smith, Steve Jobs Biography, and the Weight Loss Boss.

Enjoy your reading Mike.