Friday, June 29, 2018

What Are Our Barriers?

<notes from Simon T. Bailey's session at USA Conference 2018>

Educational Barriers in Today's Environment:
1. Do we really know our kids; their family life, social issues, home life, family connections, beliefs?
2. Do parents have a full understanding of their child's ambitions? Or do parents "get in the way" of that? No parent will purposefully hamper any opportunity for their child, but if they misunderstand or are disconnected, they will appear to be "in the way."
3. Is our staff clear about the vision or direction of the school district? Of their building? Of their role? Make clear the expectations of the district. Communicate the end goal in its relation to post-graduation plans and the future of the community.


Businesses today are looking for:

  • Critical Thinking Skills
    • Less concern on what you know going in to the job. 
  • Entrepreneurs
    • There is a need for innovation and methods to do things better.
  • Staff who will question/challenge their thinking and processes.
    • A need to constantly look at the mission of the business to monitor its societal worthiness.
Do our daily learning opportunities in schools teach this?


Leadership Notes:
  • Do you lead with a vision or an agenda? After answering that question, which do you think people will follow?...
  • Leaders must have people on their team who are comfortable disagreeing. This is NOT to say that team members who work against each other is healthy. Rather it's healthy to consider other points of view.
  • In order to be an effective leader, you must release the need to always be correct. This is known as "Intellectual Humility."

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Social Intelligence

In George Couros' book, Innovator's Mindset, he states that 1/4 of success is attributed to academic knowledge, and 3/4 of success is attributed to Social Intelligence and the ability to handle success.

This makes me think of what we teach, and how we instruct. If we are coming out of a test-driven culture in schools, and focusing more on student interest, Social Intelligence should be a critical part of the education. The trick is embedding this in our students.

I'm pondering a couple of questions:
1. Is the school setting the only place Social Intelligence can be taught? What about the role of home life? Family? Friends?
2. Do the adults in our community provide outstanding modeling of what Social Intelligence looks like? I've never had a lesson in SI, but I think I know what it looks like.

Remember Everyday...

In Dayton Moore's book, More Than a Season: Building a Championship Culture, Moore talks about three things he tries to "remember everyday." They are:

1. Your team is at home. Obviously pointing out the importance of family.
2. Forgive everyday. Suggesting you live your life without holding grudges.
3. You have to persevere. Don't let anything get you down.

The great Jimmy Valvano, in his speech at the ESPY's recommends you:
1. Laugh everyday.
2. Spend time in thought.
3. Have your emotions move you to tears.
He then famously stated that if you can do these three things everyday, then that's a heck of a day!

These kinds of lists are fun to think about, but I've yet to find one that matches my preferences though. Lists like this are personal, and they should be. So what would my list include? A couple of thoughts:
1. Stand up for someone. We spend a lot of time spreading negative gossip. Let's spend the same amount (or more?) spreading good words. Stand up for someone who doesn't stick out. Protect someone from unkind words. Make a positive statement about someone who does "behind the scenes" work.
2. Go out of the way to be kind. The satisfaction of seeing the reaction of another person when you hold the door for them, carry something they are struggling with, compliment their appearance, etc., is such an incredible reward. Try it!