Tag Archives: Ron Canuel

Challenging the Status Quo (Safely)

At the end of #YRDSBQuest, Michael Fullan told the educators in attendance that they need to go back and challenge the status quo.

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I am documenting the ongoing conversation about how to do this safely.

We rarely talk about it, but in our work, many educators have told us they won’t blog because they are afraid it will show others “what they don’t know”.  They see leaders in education as people who will label them as being inappropriate for leadership roles.

We talk a lot about how we want a growth mindset for our students, yet conversations with aspiring leaders demonstrate that challenging leaders can result in a label – “not moving up in this organization”.

How do we build a system that values challenge to the status quo? How do we challenge the status quo without jeopardizing our careers in the current environment?

Below is the conversation currently developing.  Please add to the conversation and help push our thinking about how we can best effect change – how those wanting to challenge can do so effectively.

You can continue to follow the tweet replies here.  We encourage you to also join the conversation by commenting on the blog.

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In addition, Seth Godin shared this post on his blog this morning:

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Shared by Seth Godin on his blog here: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2015/11/a-reason-persuasion-is-surprisingly-difficult.html

We are Half-Way: How’s Your #OneWordOnt?

In January, we asked educators, “What’s your ONE WORD for 2015?”.  In Ontario, we used #onewordont as a hashtag to collect the ideas, and Julie Balen created a word cloud to share.

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So how’s it going?  Six months in, is this word still a focus for your work?

Today I am thinking a lot about my word for 2015 – COURAGE.

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What does courage look like in practice?

Over the past six months, here are some places I have observed where courage is needed:

The courage to stop and not walk by.  If you are a leader and you just walk by, you say by your actions that “this is fine”.

The courage to take a chance on people.  I think of hockey players – talented players who flounder on one team, then thrive and lead on another.  Take a chance on people who may thrive in your organization while wilting in others.  Not all teams are right for all players.

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The courage to pick up the phone and call, rather than defaulting to an impersonal email message.

The courage to hire the right person, rather than the person who will make the fewest disruptions.

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The courage to let people rise up out of the little categories we put them in – to have a growth mindset about our coworkers and not just our students.

The courage to pick yourself up and dust yourself off again, and again, and again, because kids really do come first.

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The courage to give others a chance to be great.

It’s the courage to support failure as a part of learning not just in your words, but in your practice, especially when it comes to those you work with.

The courage to ask for feedback when you fail.

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In high scoring PISA nations, the courage and tenacity to stand up for what is best for children is valued and encouraged.

Earlier this year, Ron Canuel reminded us that being a connected leader is not enough.  You must also have the courage to use what you learn and move forward with change.

What have you learned by focusing on your #oneword this year?

 

 

 

The Answers Can’t Be Found In The Back of the Book

2014 is coming to a close, and as I read the many excellent reflective educator “end of the year” blogs, so many are asking how to move forward in 2015.

There is no simple answer to that question.

What will it take to transform our schools into the centres of learning our children need?

What can we do to #CTW (Change the World) in 2015? So many educators are already giving so much to their work.

Fullan and Hargreaves (2012: Professional Capital, p.3) warn about the dangers of individual educators in unsupportive environments.

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How do we create the conditions that allow our best thinkers, our teacher leaders, to thrive?

In “Great to Excellent: Launching the Next Stage of Ontario’s Education Agenda” (2013), Michael Fullan outlines the importance of “leading from the middle”. Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 3.47.59 PM   Are we building the capacity of our best education thinkers to lead from the middle?  Is leading from the middle even possible in our current system?

No longer is it necessary for educators to progress through a series of AQ courses or PQP qualifications to learn and think deeply about practice.  Rich learning and conversations are available 24/7 on social media like twitter.  Leaders with and without titles are learning and sharing with others around the world.

But are their own colleagues open to their new thinking?

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Shared under a Creative Commons Attribution License by Steven Depolo

What happens when school, board and provincial policies are challenged by educators who think differently? Is anyone listening? More importantly, is anyone providing encouragement to continue?

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Shared under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license by Frank Jakobi.

It takes enormous courage to question those who make decisions about public education. Are we embracing those who ask the questions?

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For @Dunlop_Sue, my “one word” for 2015 has to be COURAGE. We all need to have the courage to put student learning at the very centre of every decision we make, even if it means challenging the status quo.

Be courageous in 2015. Put student learning first.

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 4.36.58 PMWhat is your “one word” for 2015? Tweet it under the hashtag #oneword or if you are from Ontario, tweet it as #onewordONT right now. Let’s see what matters in education this year both on the world and #Ontario fronts.

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