During the month of April, I reached out to about a dozen members of my PLN and asked them to guest blog on TransLeadership sometime in during the month of May. Almost all those that I reached out to were able to do so. I want to formally thank Will Richardson, Sheryl-Nussbaum Beach, Pat Larkin, Gerald Aungst, Rob Lyons, John Carver, Deron Durflinger, and Chris Lehmann for finding time in their incredibly busy schedule to contribute to my blog. I am truly humbled and grateful for their commitment. As a result, I am very excited to announce that during the month of May, TransLeadership will feature several guest bloggers in the the area of Ed Leadership. To give you a flavor my prompts to them, below is the transcript of an email I sent to them.
My interests lie in the area of Ed Leadership. It was the focus of all my advanced degree work, it is what I “do” in education, and it is the area in which I spend the most time reading, studying and networking. My blog is called “TransLeadership” because I wanted to chronicle my transformation as an educational leader form a traditional, 20th century leader, to one embracing and shepherding technologies prevalent in today’s (and tomorrow’s) hyper-connected world. Thus, I would like each of you to provide your insight into one or more the following prompts:
1. How has Ed Leadership changed in the last decade?
2. In today’s “flattened world” what responsibility do Ed Leaders have to lead their teachers and students in a connected way?
3. How do Ed Leaders balance that connected leadership with the safety of the students in their care?
4. What role does transparency play in all of this? If you constantly say you are transparent, are you? This is a leading question I know, but it is of particular interest because of some current local politics…. 🙂 I think saying “In the interest of transparency…” is akin to saying, “To be honest…” I’m not sure you truly are in either case.
5. How do you see Ed Leadership changing 5, 10 years from now?
6. Currently in New Hampshire there are a number of Superintendent positions available – and very few Superintendent’s last more than just a few years. Normally, Supe positions are not held for a long period of time, in part because many Supes are near retirement. However, I think there is more to that now, specifically, I think it is more difficult than ever for Ed Leaders to effect meaningful change. I often say that here in New England we have to fight 150 years of tradition when we try to enact change. We know how quickly change happens in the connected world, yet change in education continues to be glacial in comparison. I’m curious what your thoughts are relative to the frustrations of Ed Leaders trying to make change, but unable to do so effectively.
7. What role do new alternatives in education play today? As an Ed Leader, how does one balance the alternatives that new technologies provide students and the institutional structures already in place in schools.
8. Comment on the following: “The institution of schools often gets in the way of its purpose.”
9. How do Ed Leaders balance the traditions of schools (culture, social structures, academic expectations, etc) with the need to prepare students for the 21st century?
10. Comment on the following: We need to stop preparing students for a competitive world, and start preparing them for a collaborative one.”
Don’t feel the need to color within the lines here – have fun and provide what ever perspective you may have relative to Ed Leadership. Your perspectives are truly valued, so if you feel more comfortable going in a different direction, please do.