Tuesday, May 27, 2014


I've been thinking about communication quite a bit in the last few weeks. Scenarios both at school and with our community all could have had better outcomes and understanding with stronger communication. Some questions I am reflecting on:

-How can I increase the opportunities for students to communicate directly with me and with the school leadership?
-Where are there unrealized opportunities to involve students in generating changes and strengthening our community and program?
-What leadership opportunities could we facilitate for students in all grades?
-How might we better invite student feedback and ideas for improvement in all aspects of our organization?

-How can I improve communication and transparency of decision-making with my colleagues?
-What is the best way to improve this communication? Different media? Changes to schedule? More invitations and opportunities to connect?
-Where is the balance between keeping everyone "in the loop" and also considering the privacy of the scenario and participants? How do I know if things are in balance or if we are missing the mark?
-How does my response to communications (or lack of) influence positive organizational behaviors and connections?

-How could I improve both the vehicles we utilize for communication and also the content of what we share?
-What additional tools might improve the reach of our communication efforts?
-Where can existing or new communication efforts be adjusted to change from a delivery methodology to more of a conversation?
-How might we better communicate the follow-up or next steps in response to feedback or new ideas?

-How can I better manage my "to-do" list such that I take those important additional opportunities to communicate informally and formally?
-How do I better convey our mission and vision to all stake-holders?
-Where can I create new opportunities for dialogue about what is important and how we can be the very best for our students?

A lot to think about and a lot to do. I know that these themes and ideas will be guiding questions as I continue my work in school leadership. Are there other questions we should consider? Feel free to comment or share your ideas.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Collaborative Culture

At yesterday's staff meeting we discussed the importance of developing a collaborative culture as a means of strengthening relationships and increasing opportunities for excellence. Here is a quick summary of what we talked about:

Collaborative Culture - A Vision for RMS
Staff meeting conversation 051514

We are one team and we succeed when we do things together. We are at risk when we do things in isolation or in competition with one another.

We need to strengthen who we are as individuals by strengthening who we are as a team.

With this in mind, all efforts and initiatives are subject to the question:

-How are you leveraging the talents, experience, and expertise of your colleagues, students, and the community to level up this opportunity?

Given this simple vision of a collaborative workplace … what is the foundational work we need to undertake?

-Put an emphasis on knowing and caring for each other. Positive working relationships don’t happen solely by proximity. They require effort and on-going care and attention.
-Focus on those efforts, initiatives, and ideas that maximize collaborative outcomes.
-Celebrate and appreciate the ideas and contributions of all members of our RMS community.

What is your vision of what this would look like? What work needs to be done to make this a reality? How do we make RMS truly an exceptional place to work and learn?

The staff generated ideas in small groups and then we took some time for individuals to share something they had heard or reactions to ideas that were put forward.  The conversation continues on a shared GoogleDoc and will be a recurring theme as we transition into the new year.

I believe that if we can commit to working together in a positive way we ensure we succeed with our goals and we create an even better educational experience for our students. Ultimately, we all want RMS to be the best possible place to learn and to work. I think we have the talent, resources, and collective excitement about learning to do great things.