Since I just got finished presenting at SCMidlands Summit in Columbia, South Carolina, I've got two books on my mind. I think I referenced these books at least 5 times in 2 days with other EDU coaches and teachers. Lead Like A Pirate (Beth Houf & Shelley Burgess) and Be REAL (Tara Martin)! Both of these are a must for educational leaders!
Lead Like A PIRATE taught me ...
How to take the Teach like a PIRATE model and implement it as a leader in our schools.
"Navigating the C's of Change" in each section of the PIRATE acronym are super helpful in remember what to do and not to do!
Setting Your Compass
Setting your compass with a vision is the best place to start! "If a man does not know to what port he is steering, no wind is favorable to him." ~Seneca, Epistle LXXI
Beth and Shelley suggest that you ask yourself "What is the most important work you are focused on right now?" before making a plan. Then you "must be relentless about filtering out ideas that don't support your long-term vision.". Keeping this in mind helps me organize my time more effectively, especially when having a flexible schedule as a coach.
When I read Lead Like a PIRATE in 2017, I wrote this blog post about "telling your story before someone else does" with tips for special education teachers to share on social media creatively without putting our students' privacy in jeopardy. Now that I'm an Instructional Coach, I continue to encourage this! There are so many great things going on in our school that we need to share . Like George Couros says, "We need to make the positive so loud that the negative becomes almost impossible to hear.". This is my long term vision... to help build a strong, transparent culture of sharing and encouragement between the students, teachers, administration, and our community. I know it takes some time, but I also know it will be worth it!
At the end of each section, there are challenges to help you reflect on what your next steps might be. If you haven't read it already, make sure to take the time to try some of them. If you have read it, I find it helpful to go back and review them. It's amazing how your perspective and mindset can change each year depending on your job or other situations in your building.
"Changing culture requires changing the conversation."
"ANCHOR conversations represent a shift away from the judgmental fix-it mentality and toward a mentally that notices people's strengths and commits to building off those strengths with the desire to move each individual forward."
I LOVED this section of the book! I wrote a blog post on this one as well where I created a Hyperdoc to help guide these conversations. I'm looking forward to using it next year since I'm in the role of a Instructional Coach now. Here's the Google Drawing template if you'd like to use the Hyperdoc for yourself! Even if you don't use the document, the visual is a helpful summary if you want to print it.
Be REAL taught me...
I wrote a reflection blog post on this book because I love it so much! The acronym really gives you an idea of what you'll get out of this book. Just saying "Be REAL" to myself after reading this book is enough to keep those ideas close to my heart when I'm working with teachers. It's great for every educational leader no matter what their title might be!
Part 1: Relatable
I'm an Instructional Coach at Daniel Island School in Berkeley County South Carolina and a Google Certified Trainer.