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Are we Good?
Transcript of Are we Good?
Can we spot trends in excellent teachers?
In groups of 5, I want you to go through Sue Lehmann award winners and their matched pair, packets.
Are there any trends we can find in the way they operate?
Think of: Values, Mindsets, Behavior.
The 1 Student Panel
Where are you then?
What does it look like when your self and student vision come together?
Let's rip apart what some of these 'great' teachers do on a day to day level - let's go back to the BASICs.
What would the most conducive working environment for our group be?
"I don't know the answers. I have no messianic vision, I am going to motivate you to follow. What I am going to do though, is ask questions. The easy ones, the not so easy ones and the difficult ones. The ones that will lead to the best possible insights." ~ Alan Wurtzel, CEO, Circuit City.
Good to great companies had a penchant for 'intense dialogue.' Phrases like "loud debate", "heated discussions" and "healthy conflict" often peppered articles written about them. They didn't use discussions as a sham process, where people could 'have a say' so that people could buy in to a pre-determined decision. Discussions were a scientific debate, where people engaged in a search for the best answers. ~ Jim Collins, Good to Great.
"I realized that this was another Joe Cullman plan that was not going to work, Full credit to my colleagues, who pointed out the flaws in this plan. If only I had listened better.
I take responsibility for this decision. But WE will take responsibility for extracting the maximum learning from the tuition we have paid." ~ Joe Cullman, CEO, Philip Morris.
In confronting brutal facts, the great companies left themselves stronger and more resilient, not weaker and more dispirited. There is a sense of exhilaration that comes in facing head on hard truths and saying, "We will never give up. It might take a long time, but we will figure this out." . ~ Jim Collins, Good to Great.
The Base ->
Where is all this, even coming from?
We don't have great schools, principally because we have good schools.
If you had invested $1 in the general market stock fund versus the good to great companies fund, for the same period -
One would have given you a
fold increase. The other a
In our context, what does this translate to?
i - Vision for
ii - Vision for
High School Science and Math Teacher, Phoenix.
Student Vision and Goals
Are his vision and goals flowing through his lesson? What evidence did you see of this?
What do you think it took, to make this happen?
7th & 8th Grade, ELA.
Student Vision and Goals
Are her vision and goals flowing through her lesson? What evidence did you see of this?
What do you think it took, to make this happen?
Interestingly, one of the girls told me that she thought values couldn’t be taught. She even went so far as to quote a Silverstein poem and said that everyone has a small voice in their heads that tells them what is right and what is wrong. If we want to be good human beings, we just have to listen to that voice.
I felt that these kids are ambitious but at the same time they aren’t negatively competitive. They give themselves credit for the things they do well. They give their peers credit when they deserve. There is mutual respect and admiration for each other, which is commendable given the competitive times.
The students took complete ownership of what they were doing. They were polite and confident. They took responsibilities and conducted and organized events in their school.
The higher-grade students in the American School are exposed to a Community Action and Service program where they create a balance in terms of the kinds of activities they involve themselves with. This program enables the students to practice the act of empathy in their service related program, build teamwork in their actions etc.
Values and Mindsets
Exposure & Access
They believe that only academic achievement alone is one-dimensional, and will not help them become what they aspire to be if not coupled with other forms of development.
Most of them could articulate what they wanted in the long term (‘what do you want to be when you grow up and why’). They believe that where they are academically will help them achieve that long term goal.
The students I spoke with seemed to have a very clear understanding of the relation between what they learnt at school and what they wanted to do after school. One said that he wanted to be a palaeontologist and explained how he would have to make sure he did well at science so that he could pursue his dream.
The students exhibited interest and knowledge in practical applications of various theoretical concepts taught in school. They seemed to be familiar with the Library, labs and experiments and activities. They were more interested in talking about the projects which they had undertaken in each subject than the marks which they obtained in each.
Constant exposure to people from different careers, economic and social backgrounds is something that their teaching focuses on. Students not only understand this, but can articulate why they think this helps with their learning.
It was in the area of Exposure and Access that I truly saw the biggest difference between the children I interviewed and my own children in class. Every child I interviewed was involved in activities outside of school and academic curriculum.
They interact with people from different spheres of life. This gives them a lot of confidence. They don’t only have book knowledge, but usually all the things are explained to them practically and hence they can relate to it a lot better.
Every single child is well informed about the news, the book they are reading; its significance and its importance.
The last book the 7th grader I interviewed read was, “ A short history of everything” by Bill Bryson. He loves a variety of genres from comics to scientific and thriller.
Another thing to think about... from the Good to Great Archives...
"I never lost faith in the end of the story. I never doubted that I would get out, and also prevail in the end."
"The ones who didn't make it out in the end, were the optimists. The people who said, 'We're going to be out by Christmas.' And Christmas would come and Christmas would go. Then they would say it for Easter, Thanksgiving and then it would be Christmas again. And they would die of a broken heart."
"That is the most important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end - which you can never afford to lose - with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they may be."
~Admiral Jim Stockdale, POW, Vietnam.
The Stockdale Paradox.
What is your vision for you?
How do you need to operate, always?
Where do you need to push yourself?
As we watch the video, I want you to think about the three buckets again.
Where is Zahaan on these buckets?
What evidence do you see?
Vision for Self
- Next Steps
-> Look at all the parameters we spoke about.
-> Rate yourself, as honestly as you can, on it.
-> Discuss it with a partner: Your PM, a co-fellow, me..
Anyone you would feel comfortable being honest with. And who will be equally honest with you.
-> Set yourself a personal vision.
These are as important as student visions.
A means to that end.
As you write/re-draft your student vision, think blue sky...
If your kids could be anything you wanted them to be, what would that look like?
And then work backward from there.
Don't start with thinking of '
', because frankly, you don't know that.
How do your visions find their way into your classroom, everyday?
Break. It. Down.
-> What is the one thing you heard during this session that is going to stay with you, for a long, long time?
-> Put down 2 immediate next steps, you want to be held accountable for. I'll ensure that you are. =)
-> When do you think you'll be ready to share these documents with each other?
-- How about some videos?