Category Archives: Leadership

Change Illusion

Blog post written by: Dr. Anthony Muhammad

Change is a very difficult process, but it is the catalyst to continuous improvement.  It tests our ability as professionals at many different levels.  Sometimes, when things get too challenging, we tend to look for short-cuts or we quietly surrender.  We live in a political climate that demands that we change, whether we choose to or not, but I have found that some organizations are good at creating the illusion of change, rather than being fully involved in the process of change.  There are three key phrases which clearly indicate that an organization is not fully committed to the change process. Continue reading Change Illusion

Observation and Formative Feedback: Best Practices

Written by Steve Seward, Associate Director, MASSP

“Teaching is complex work. You don’t have to be bad to get better!”  Candi B. McKay

Regardless of age or role, we all deserve formative feedback for growth that is centered on clearly specified areas of focus and success criteria. Those that are most effective as leaders, in all educational capacities, consistently engage in the process inquiry through the gathering and gaining feedback for growth.

There are multiple ways to give and receive feedback and multiple uses of feedback. Most important is that feedback is provided based on a strengths-based approach. As John Hattie explains, “Feedback must be timely, relevant, and action-oriented”. The goal with formative feedback is to provide feedback that moves learning forward by causing the learner to think, and at the same time be the owner of their learning. Continue reading Observation and Formative Feedback: Best Practices

Leaders In Action

Originally posted: September 20, 2017 | Ben Gilpin (@benjamingilpin) on The Colorful Principal Blog

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Ghandi

True Story.  Every year (including this year), my intentions and optimism are sky high.  I head into a school year thinking of projects, ideas, innovation and truly changing the face of education.

This year my summer ideas included student podcasting, mobile maker space, supporting aspiring administrators and continuing to transform learning spaces.  Furthermore, I wanted to really spread our vision beyond our walls and into the community.

Sounds fantastic, right?

Then reality hits.  I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders.  Issues ranged from student discipline all the way to balancing a budget…and don’t get me started on evaluations!

What is a leader to do?

Continue reading Leaders In Action

Literacy Leadership Symposium is here in Grand Rapids!

Attention School Administrators: The Fall Literacy Leadership Symposium is here in Grand Rapids!

In March, Reading Now Network (RNN) hosted the West Michigan Early Literacy Leadership Symposium at Western Michigan University. More than 600 educators from 26 counties gathered to focus on literacy. Participants learned how to implement the RNN Five Key Findings and explored the Instructional and School-Wide Essential Practices. The urgency and excitement surrounding the RNN Five Key Findings has resulted in a fall Literacy Leadership Symposium aimed to energize and inspire building and district administrators. Continue reading Literacy Leadership Symposium is here in Grand Rapids!

Twitterpated: Three Ways to Take Twitter to the Next Level

Remember the Rolodex? Educators would exchange business cards with phone numbers, alphabetize them and access their contacts to help answer questions or identify resources they didn’t already have at their fingertips. People with a plethora of names and numbers could have an answer to any problem by the end of the week.

Now, with Twitter, educators use hashtags and handles to reach out to a global community and rarely have to wait more than 5 minutes for unlimited tools that can be used immediately.  Twitter has changed the way educators connect, stay current on trends and research, and how learning is shared with others.

While some teachers and school leaders are still trying to figure when to use # and how it’s different than @, others are leveraging their professional learning network through Twitter in the follow ways: Continue reading Twitterpated: Three Ways to Take Twitter to the Next Level

Growing Confident and Compassionate Student Leaders…the “LLL” Approach

 “Schools should teach two things…Problem Solving and Leadership. Leading is a skill, not a gift. You’re not born with it, you learn how. And schools can teach leadership as easily as they figured out how to teach compliance.” Seth Godin, Linchpin

Schools do many things well…teaching students to be independent leaders is NOT one of them.

I have been an educator for almost four decades now, and I have never met a teacher that did not have good intentions for their students!  Very few men and women become teachers that don’t have their heart in the right place…being child-centered.

With that said, if parents often parent how they were parented, then teachers usually teach the way they were taught…unfortunately. Continue reading Growing Confident and Compassionate Student Leaders…the “LLL” Approach

#SummerAdminReads

Kelli Campbell, T&L Director Kent ISD- As summer approaches, I am preparing my summer reading list. One thing we know as educators, is that reading is very important to professional growth. Reading can remind you, challenge you, and give you an opportunity to interact with others. (Why Leaders Must Be Readers, Forbes.com)

What’s on your summer reading list?

As you put together your summer reading list, here are a few newly published books that may be of interest to every building administrator! Continue reading #SummerAdminReads

Leaders in Action Needed

Kent ISD strives to provide the highest quality professional learning opportunities for educators. The West Michigan Educational Leadership Conference (WMELC) is an intensive day of learning and networking experience bringing together hundreds of education administrators and leaders, as well as, content experts.

The goal of WMELC is to inform and equip school leaders so they may govern and lead their districts effectively. The theme this year will be Leaders in Action. A “Leader in Action” is someone who has successfully implemented the topic of the presentation. Every presentation will have a district/building administrator that can showcase the presentation topic in action. Continue reading Leaders in Action Needed

Why YOU should attend SCICON 2017!

SCICON is back for another exciting year.  

On May 17th, Kent ISD will be hosting the annual SCICON GR. This one day conference will feature Wendy Johnson. Wendy is a Ph.D. Candidate in Science Education, and writing her dissertation on “Fostering Three-Dimensional Science Learning: The Role of Curiosity in Productive Classroom Discourse”, at Michigan State University.  Area teachers will be sharing classroom stories and experts from STEM and education technology will  facilitate sessions.

Reasons to Attend SCI CON this year:

Continue reading Why YOU should attend SCICON 2017!

Top 5 Sessions for Admins at PLCON 2017

“Personalized learning is intended to facilitate the academic success of each student by first determining the learning needs, interests, and aspirations of individual students, and then providing learning experiences that are customized—to a greater or lesser extent—for each student. To accomplish this goal, schools, teachers, guidance counselors, and other educational specialists may employ a wide variety of educational methods, from intentionally cultivating strong and trusting student-adult relationships to modifying assignments and instructional strategies in the classroom to entirely redesigning the ways in which students are grouped and taught in a school.” (Glossary of Education Reform, 5/14/15)

On May 3rd, Kent ISD will host The Personalized Learning Conference (PLCON). This conference is beneficial to all educators who want to learn more about personalized teaching and learning.

Leaders in education have a unique opportunity to create organizational priorities and values that support personalized learning for every student.  Administrators can maximize time and teachers to create student success! Continue reading Top 5 Sessions for Admins at PLCON 2017