Friday, May 14, 2010

Everyone Needs Mentoring

I had an interesting week. Our state school improvement team brought author and presenter, holcomb_old_smallEdie Holcomb, to work with regional service agency staff to enhance and expand our understanding of the change process and assist schools with developing more effective school improvement plans. The training reaffirmed many things, namely the importance of providing tools for schools to monitor their plan implementation, but Edie managed to layer in additional activities and thinking to more clearly focus our efforts.

shordThen today, I received a phone call from Shirely Hord, a long story as to how we connected, but WOW!!!!! For those of you that do not know Shirley, her work is legendary in the area of staff development and the change process. She has authored and co-authored numerous books on Change, Professional Learning Communities, etc..

She has a rich southern accent and each word she says practically drips with wisdom. Needless to say, I wrote down  everything she said and can’t wait until this week is over so I can really think about the implications of her teaching.

Let me give you a taste of Shirley’s wisdom.

Shirley: “We invest in professional development. Why do we use the word invest?

Me: Lack luster response

Shirley: Because we expect results! We expect a dividend from our efforts!

So how lucky am I? To practically sit at the feet of two knowledgeable and accomplished women – I only wish it could have been longer. Sigh……..

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Law of Initiative Fatigue


In his new book, Transforming Professional Development into Student Results, Doug Reeves makes a case for severely limiting the number of initiatives a school or district pursues.

“Education leaders have three essential resources: time, money, and emotional energy. Time is fixed. Financial resources are typically fixed, and in the present economy, diminishing. Emotional energy is variable.”

“The Law of Initiative Fatigue states that when the number of initiatives increases while time, resources and emotional energy are constant, then each new initiative, no matter how well conceived or well intentioned – will receive fewer minutes, dollars and ounces of emotional energy than its predecessors.”

Reader Challenge: Take a blank sheet of paper and write down every initiative in your school. Reply via comment and let us know how many initiatives you have and your thoughts about the Law of Initiative Fatigue.