Tag Archives: Learn

Fullan and Leading Change

6 Nov


Michael Fullan has long championed the critical importance of transforming school culture and writes extensively on the topic. His perspective is also clear: “Structure does make a difference, but it is not the main point of achieving success. Transforming the culture – changing the way we do things around here – is the main point.”

For many, simply introducing change to schools is the golden bullet solution. Our recent HOF Inquiry understood this fact early. There is no point in making change unless you have clarity around “why?”

Despite the massive investments that reveal the productivity towards this trend, the reality of organizational change is far more complex. The jury is no longer out on the impact of technology on formal learning. We know that attempts to engage in change (be it digital or otherwise) without vision are simply not going to have much of an impact. Attempts to transform schools because there is some populist pressure to do so have proven similarly facile. Embracing innovation for student-centered reasons with vision and culture that is carefully cultivated to allow this vision to thrive is the way forward. I consider myself fortunate to work in a school where this is part of the ambition for every learner.

I have written about culture often recently. I guess it is on my mind. Change without attention to culture is no change at all. Levin and Shrum’s study echoes this perspective: “Leaders that engage the school community in the effective use of technology… appreciate the power of school culture. They create … cultures in which meaningful teamwork based on trust is the primary force of professional learning and continuous improvement.” This trust must be centered on a conviction that we are doing what is best for students and that, as professionals, we routinely question what this means.

The following have been on my reading list in 2017. Worth a look.

Couros, George. In the Service of the Right Aims, 2016.
Richardson, Will. Learning. All. The. Time. 2016.
Bersin, Josh. Predictions for 2017: Everything Is Becoming Digital. 2016.
Fullan, Michael. Leading in a Culture of Change. 2007.
Levin, Barbara B.  & Schrum, Lynne. Leading 21st-Century Schools: Harnessing 



5 Jul

We’re all human, we’re all flawed and we all make mistakes.  By human nature we try to improve our weaknesses.  Sometimes I want to fix several flaws at one time…this is next to impossible.  So how do we go about improving ourselves?  This is what I’ve discovered through reading books, listening to podcasts and watching Come Dine with Me!

1)  Self-Reflect:  Reflecting on situations promotes growth.  You must be honest with yourself in this process.

2)  Stop Comparing:  Be the best YOU!  Everyone has idiosyncrasies, embrace them and don’t try to be someone you aren’t.

3)  Laugh At Yourself:  Humour can heal the soul.  When you make mistakes be willing to laugh at yourself.  Remember we are all flawed.

4)  Learn From Others:  It takes a big person to admit they don’t have all the answers and that they need support/help.  Learning from/with others creates strong bonds.

Fear and Pain

27 Apr


Crazy as it may seem, this week I had time to reflect on two issues. Fear and pain motivate you to stop, run, avoid, or stubbornly dig in. They don’t move you forward. As a leader this is important to consider.

Fear and pain may ignite a passion to change. No doubt the All Blacks had a great deal of this going into the 2011 RWC. Manchester United had a great deal of pain after being beaten on the last day of the season by their City rivals for the EPL title. The problem, fear and pain only works for the short-term. It creates a huddling effect but doesn’t create a future. These sports teams could tell you that.

Fear and pain are good if they drive you towards two greater things. Courage and joy is the point I have found. What I’m learning then is:

  1. Fear comes with us when we move forward, accept it.
  2. Faith answers but doesn’t eliminate fear. I’m learning to trust others. Empower others I suppose.
  3. Conversations change me. I’m fortunate to have conversations with some of clever kind people; their stories, experiences, and wisdom inspire me.
  4. Sharing my inner-most thoughts took time. However, the more I do the easier it gets.
  5. My journey makes some uncomfortable. Because it does.
  6. I can’t please everybody because decisions based on other people’s values and opinions are not positive.
  7. Exploring and understanding others opens the door for me to explore, understand and communicate with myself.
  8. Doing what’s best for others isn’t people pleasing as long as it aligns with my values.

What have you learned about yourself this year that has made a change?

Professional Reading

Leading inquiry at a teacher level: It’s all about mentorship by Mike Fowler

Click below to go to the article.



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