#MaximizePerformance: Successful School #Leaders Communicate Survey #Feedback

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Maximize PerformanceIn education, we administer an engagement survey to employees that measures the extent to which leaders provide an environment that gives employees the opportunity to reach their highest potential. We find that leaders generally have the most difficulty working through this type of feedback from their direct reports. At times, it’s downright emotional for some.

Our job is to help leaders celebrate the wins and to carefully review the results to determine areas for improvement. Leadership training and skill development will build the skills leaders need, but there’s also another dimension to consider: consistency in executing those skills.

Here’s an example of a school leader who not only modeled new behaviors, she worked hard with her team to gather data and then used the results to improve. Ms. Underwood is the principal of Pepperhill Elementary School in Charleston, South Carolina. Both the employee engagement and parent satisfaction surveys are administered in her school district.

From day one, Ms. Underwood’s school had the highest number of responses for both surveys, with almost 100 percent returned from parents. She also leads the district with some of the best results on those surveys.

What makes these such notable accomplishments is that her school is located in North Charleston, an area that struggles with poverty and changing demographics, including higher populations of students who are learning English as a second language. Yet despite these challenges, at no time has Ms. Underwood been out of compliance with the principles we teach—and never have we witnessed or heard of her making excuses. She sees her job as serving teachers, staff, students, and parents—and she does it all cheerfully and well. At a principal training session, we recognized Ms. Underwood’s accomplishments to her peers and the senior leadership of the district.

The way Ms. Underwood and other successful school leaders communicate survey feedback and change influences how their colleagues work through the feedback received, especially when there are suggestions for improvement. Accountable leadership relies on executing strategic actions consistently and effectively. The essence of leadership is creating a work environment in which people are inspired to work together to achieve a common goal. A primary responsibility of all education leaders is to build and guide teams to achieve defined goals that lead to high levels of student achievement and success.

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Maximize Performance: Creating a Culture for Educational Excellence by Quint Studer and Janet Pilcher will help education leaders engage in systematic reviews to diagnose, apply, assess, and validate the execution of strategies across school, department, and school system levels. Learn more about Maximize Performance at
http://www.firestarterpublishing.com/MaximizePerformance. Follow the authors on Twitter using @quint_studer and @janetpilcher.

Our mission at Studer Education is to help education systems achieve measurable results that produce positive outcomes in student achievement, employee engagement, support services, and financial efficiencies and productivity. Our goal is to help school systems provide students with a great place to learn, teachers with a great place to teach, and parents with confidence that their children are getting a great education. Follow us on Twitter at @StuderEducation and visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the seventh straight year on the Best Small and Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work® and a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

Instructional Rounding with an Online Survey Tool #EdTech

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What’s the next step when the results on a service excellence survey suggest “needs for improvement”? While the solution to this question seems as simple as a call to action to do something, employees often find it difficult to identify and then execute a solution. What if the call to action is at the instructional level – teachers responding to their coaches’ question, “What can we do to better assist you meet your instructional goals?”

Below is an example how instructional coaches at one school engaged their teachers using an online survey tool. “Rounding” on the teachers in this way encouraged teachers to provide feedback so that the instructional coaches could better assist them.

Free online survey tools (like Survey Monkey) can be used to create a questionnaire where teachers can anonymously provide feedback to instructional coaches at their school. Survey results are then communicated to the teachers by the coaches in grade-level meetings. Prior to the grade-level meetings, coaches send an email to teachers providing a brief overview of the results; here’s a portion of a sample email that may preclude the meeting:

We appreciate your survey feedback and have pinpointed four areas that the coaching team may assist you with in professional development as needing most improvement. The areas suggested by you are:

Modeling for teachers
Rewarding and recognizing good work
Planning for productive and efficiently run meetings
Being more transparent in communicating the whys behind decisions made that affect your teaching

We will work diligently with you over the next 90 days on modeling effective ways to [choose 1 area]. When you have a chance, please take a look at the survey results and provide further input. We want to serve you the best we possibly can and we value your opinions! We look forward to talking with you more about the survey results at our grade-level meeting on April 3.

Rounding on teachers (and all employees) provides an opportunity for coaches and leaders to hear “what’s working well,” “what needs improvement,” and whether there are any colleagues that have been supportive and need recognized. It helps us as leaders move to the question, “Is there anything I may do that would better assist you?” and begins truly connecting us with colleagues.

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Learn more about rounding on teachers in How to Lead Teachers to Become Great. It’s a book that will help school leaders create a results-driven culture, guide teachers on what they can expect from leaders, and help school leaders recruit and retain highly effective teachers. Learn more about the book here and read Chapter 1!

Our mission at Studer Education is to provide students with a great place to learn, teachers with a great place to teach, and parents with confidence that their children are getting a great education. To do this we work with school boards, leaders, and teachers to apply Evidence-Based continuous improvement processes and the principles from How to Lead Teachers to Become Great in their districts to get the best student learning results and create results-oriented school cultures. Visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the seventh straight year on the Best Small and Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work® and a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

#MaximizePerformance: The Nine Principles® and the Pursuit of Performance Excellence

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Maximize PerformanceThe Nine Principles® are the glue that holds Evidence-Based Leadership together. They are probably the easiest way to communicate to every department what it takes to create a culture of high performance. What are The Nine Principles®?

Years ago, The Nine Principles were developed to give organizations a process to attain the desired results—a roadmap to help them develop a success-based culture using evidence. The Nine Principles are the guiding concepts of Evidence-Based Leadership. What are The Nine Principles?

NinePrinciplesSchool systems have made an unprecedented commitment to the pursuit of performance excellence. More and more K12 leaders and boards of education express interest in applying for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award as well as state and local quality awards. The Nine Principles within our own organization serve as the conceptual basis for applying the Baldrige Criteria to our work with schools.

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Maximize Performance: Creating a Culture for Educational Excellence by Quint Studer and Janet Pilcher will help education leaders engage in systematic reviews to diagnose, apply, assess, and validate the execution of strategies across school, department, and school system levels. Learn more about Maximize Performance at
http://www.firestarterpublishing.com/MaximizePerformance. Follow the authors on Twitter using @quint_studer and @janetpilcher.

Our mission at Studer Education is to help education systems achieve measurable results that produce positive outcomes in student achievement, employee engagement, support services, and financial efficiencies and productivity. Our goal is to help school systems provide students with a great place to learn, teachers with a great place to teach, and parents with confidence that their children are getting a great education. Follow us on Twitter at @StuderEducation and visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the seventh straight year on the Best Small and Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work® and a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

Educators Discuss Teacher Leadership at #FLTeachLead via @ValeriaBrownEdu

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Yesterday was an opportunity for educators across Florida and beyond to discuss, think about, and develop a strategy for teacher leadership. This was Florida’s Teacher Leader Summit! One educator participating, Valeria Brown, captured the day via Storify; check out Valeria’s Storify which includes the full day of tweets here.

When we connected earlier with Valeria to see if we could include her Storify, she responded like all great educators, “Please share! Thanks for doing that. The more people who know, the better…” We agree! Enjoy these highlights from Valeria’s Storify:

Focus for the Day

BeginBeginA

Why the need to change the conversation and why teacher leadership?

WhyTL

Call2ServiceCCall2Service Call2ServiceB

 

How?

HowD How HowA HowB

Don’t forget… Collaboration!

Collaboration

What about challenges?

Challenges

What about successes – what are they and where are they?

ShareSuccesses6 ShareSuccesses ShareSuccesses2 ShareSuccesses3 ShareSuccesses4 ShareSuccesses5

End

 

Conversations like the ones captured in Valeria’s Storify—among high-achieving educators who are also leaders—reinforce and accelerate opportunities for making school districts great places for teachers to teach… and lead!

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Special thanks to educator Valeria Brown for capturing the day using Storify; check out Valeria’s Storify which includes the full day of tweets. Follow Valeria on Twitter using @ValeriaBrownEdu.

Our mission at Studer Education is to help education systems achieve measurable results that produce positive outcomes in student achievement, employee engagement, support services, and financial efficiencies and productivity. Our goal is to help school systems provide students with a great place to learn, teachers with a great place to teach, and parents with confidence that their children are getting a great education. Follow us on Twitter at @StuderEducation and visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the seventh straight year on the Best Small and Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work® and a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

 

 

One #EdLeader’s Response to #MaximizePerformance… Values of #Leaders

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Maximize PerformanceYesterday’s What’s Right post encouraged the addition of more focused time and much more commitment to developing skills in leaders. Why? Because in doing so we do something new to increase the efficiency, effectiveness, consistency, and reliability of educational systems. Read the post here.

After reading our post yesterday, a long-time friend and superintendent sent us an email with his reflections. He highlighted the following sentences from the post, “But what they did do was focus on the values of the leaders. They looked at how leaders engage with teachers and staff to give them every opportunity to reach their highest potential,” and added:

Good leaders adopt the values of the organization, GREAT leaders embody the values of the organization. Said another way, the values of a leader mirror the values of the organization IF the organization selects, trains leaders, AND leads with those same values expected of others. An absence of the core values of an organization (or lack of demonstration by senior leadership) will determine the extent leaders in the organization grow. They CANNOT grow any higher than the model presented to them by their leader… 

This superintendent’s reflection is so good. When leaders in school districts hardwire and apply a set of key behaviors to achieve their organizational goals, they create “best place to work” environments. This gives other district and school leaders, teachers, and staff every opportunity to achieve at their highest potential. In addition, when leaders apply these behaviors they renew their sense of purpose and their joy of doing worthwhile work and making a difference.

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Maximize Performance: Creating a Culture for Educational Excellence by Quint Studer and Janet Pilcher will help education leaders engage in systematic reviews to diagnose, apply, assess, and validate the execution of strategies across school, department, and school system levels. Learn more about Maximize Performance at
http://www.firestarterpublishing.com/MaximizePerformance. Follow the authors on Twitter using @quint_studer and @janetpilcher.

Our mission at Studer Education is to help education systems achieve measurable results that produce positive outcomes in student achievement, employee engagement, support services, and financial efficiencies and productivity. Our goal is to help school systems provide students with a great place to learn, teachers with a great place to teach, and parents with confidence that their children are getting a great education. Follow us on Twitter at @StuderEducation and visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the seventh straight year on the Best Small and Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work® and a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

 

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