Dare to Care

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An Open Letter to My New Administrator on Leadership Day

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Dear Administrator,

I am so happy you have chosen our school, not only to further your own career, but to lead us into the future. My prayer is that you will be warmly received by the students, parents, staff and faculty.

I know very little about you. I know nothing about your involvement in digital literacy and if you will be able to lead our students and staff into our inevitable future of social learning. My hope is that you are already a 21st century digital leader with strong technology skills. In case you aren’t, I challenge you to grow in these areas by joining the many leaders who are sharing their genius with the world. There is a rich conversation out there about what the future should hold for education in this century.

I’ve been listening to and beginning to get involved in this productive conversation for just less than a year, and I’m constantly finding new surprises. Educational leaders have been discussing, moving, and shaking education–online. Coming into it, I was amazed at what has been going on for years, right there in front of my unsuspecting Google account. I was oblivious. I can understand what sci-fi writer William Gibson meant when he said, many years ago, “The future is already here–it’s just not very evenly distributed.”

I hope you will become part of this conversation, and, ultimately, part of the revolution of education. It’s a revolution that will require dramatic changes in our school, but I believe we can thrive because of the changes. I’m so excited to be part of education now, and I’m glad you are here to partner with us.

Here are five suggestions for you on August 5, Leadership Day, 2011.

  1. If you haven’t yet, join Twitter and get active. (Or, if you have an inactive account, like I had for a good long while, dust it off and use it.) There is a steeper learning curve on Twitter than other sites, so don’t give up. Here are some good getting-started resources.
  2. Follow cutting-edge administrators, reformers, and instigators. You’ll find out who is on the cutting-edge as you get active and listen to the conversation, but here are a few I follow. You might want to start with them.
    1. Scott McLeod
    2. Angela Maiers
    3. Steve Wheeler
    4. Shannon Smith
    5. George Couros
    6. J. Robinson
    7. Salome Thomas-El
    8. Gregory Walters
    9. Akevy Greenblatt
  3. Listen, contribute, and reflect.
  4. Read through the National Educational Technology Standards for Administrators. What do you think of them? Are they fair? Do you see any goals you might like to pursue?
  5. Even though it’s pricey, our school has a tradition of purchasing great technology. Keep that up. My students and I couldn’t be connecting globally and doing what we do without the technology that our school provides.

There you have it. My five suggestions. I thought 5 was the perfect number–a manageable number to remember and put into practice. Five is my favorite number and the fifth is my birthday. Yes, August 5, Leadership Day, 2011, is my birthday.

Two days to celebrate: Happy birthday to me and Happy Leadership Day to you! As you begin your new position, welcome to our school. I will support you in every way possible! Thanks for being here.

Sincerely,

Denise Krebs

Scott McLeod’s original post about Leadership Day.
Spreadsheet with all posts for Leadership Day 2011.

Author: Denise Krebs

I'm the chief learner in life's adventure.

3 Comments

  1. Great job Denise. While I understand that administrators have so many other duties that swamp them daily, I believe they need the vision to lead their staff in a forward direction (which seems to be changing by the speed of light!).

    William Gibson’s quote, “The future is already here–it’s just not very evenly distributed.” Is so true. Yet, one wonders why that is the case when the tools are right here in front of us.

    I’ll be sure to share this post with my administrators!

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Yes, administrators do have so many duties, as do we. I’m wondering how I will stay up-to-date with all my blogs and connections AND teach. I start in two weeks!

    I know I will not be as active online as I have been this summer. It is hard to balance everything, isn’t it? I’m still in the process of learning how to make my classroom more student-centered so they can be working as hard as me. Have you read the book Never Work Harder Than Your Students and Other Principles of Great Teaching? (I haven’t, but I’m intrigued!)

    Thanks for reading and commenting!
    Denise

  3. Hi Denise,
    I have been thinking about the very same things. I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep up with my blogging and tweeting. We have our #4thchat on Monday nights which is usually our staff and curriculum meeting nights (which is also my Yoga night)…not to mention planning for lessons etc. Hopefully, we will settle in a routine and find the right balance.

    The book you mention does sound intriguing. Last year I really felt like I worked harder than the kids so when someone mentioned the Daily5 and DailyCAFE by Gaily Boushey and Joan Moser (who felt the same way) I decided I would read those to see what they had to say. I think I am going to try and set up my classroom Reading program the way they do. The premise is that they foster independence (and a love of reading like the Book Whisperer). In this way I will be able to incorporate these ideas together.

    It will be a year of change for me and I’m hoping I’m up to all the goals I have set for myself.

    I love your posts – they are so thoughtful! Thanks again for sharing.

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