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Q&A: Lead From Your Feet, Not Your Seat

Jessica Cabeen presents at the 2018 Transformative Leadership Summit

TLS Logo 2Jessica Cabeen, the 2017 Minnesota Principal of the Year, will join more than 40 leading presenters for the 2018 Transformative Leadership Summit, an online PD event taking place from July 30 to August 7. The third annual summit will focus on empowerment for administrators, teachers, students, and parents. Educators can attend each day’s sessions online, free of charge, and can also purchase an all-access pass to get exclusive bonuses and archived content. Visit TransformativeLeadershipSummit.com to register.

Q: In the Transformative Leadership Summit, you are presenting on the topic of Administrator Empowerment. How can the education community make administrators feel empowered to lead initiatives in their schools or districts that are truly meaningful?

Jessica Cabeen: I would love to see more schools, staff and communities recognizing school leaders. This could be in the form of a card, a note, a phone call or any other way possible to celebrate our school leaders. The work is hard, and celebrating the positive is not done enough. The more we highlight the positives and successes from our school leaders, the more of these initiatives will be created, shared and celebrated.

Q: Buy-in for new approaches to teaching and learning from all school leaders – both administrators and teachers – has been identified as a challenge to innovation in classrooms. As a former teacher, supervisor, and now principal, what are the best approaches to sparking a school transformation?

JC: It starts with you. In Hacking Early Learning I introduce the framework Listen, Learn, Lead.

Listen: What do you really know about the new initiative? And have you heard from all stakeholders it might be impacting?

Learn: What information is out there about the initiative? Blog posts, research articles, and connecting with members of your PLN can give you answers to the questions your stakeholders are asking.

Lead: Armed with all this information, you can move forward knowing you have worked to make an informed decision that will be positively impacting your school.

Q: In your book, Hacking Early Learning, you get straight to strategies administrators can use to make a difference for early learners. What are one or two ideas from the book that you’d like all educators two know about?

JC: Lead from your feet, not your seat. Spending time in classrooms really gives you back that perspective that administrators lose after years out of the classroom.

Do you know where your students are coming from? I loved every second of going into community preschools to meet students, talk with staff and introduce myself to families. Building connections isn’t a program or curriculum; it is about finding time to intentionally be in the spaces your students are in before they come to you.

This post includes mentions of a partner of MindRocket Media Group the parent company of edCircuit
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