07 January 2017

Leadership intelligences, coaching and social competence

Reflect on blindspots: It's interesting when working through the reflection map looking at feedback with a coach how you are prompted to look at things differently. I have acted on and responded to most of the feedback I was given via the feedback tool. You can see my reflection on these in a previous post. Generally, the feedback is positive. And I am currently toying with ways that I can extend on this feedback and gather critique on what I am doing.

My new inquiry: Over the first part of the year I was meeting with many teachers and counselors and we identified that there is a need for us to explore and put a lens on the social/emotional curriculum in Kindergarten. The K1 team are exploring this wholly. Over the past two days, this was reaffirmed for me by our new School Psychologist who made the direct relation between the social/emotional curriculum and links with learning. Without nurturing and care it is very difficult to develop learning. The Kindergarten Leadership Team are in the process of drafting a very raw social/competence policy that will be critiqued by the wider Kindergarten community. I have done some intense reading over the last month on this topic (3 page bibliography in attachments) and am convinced that over the past 20 years in education we have seen a shift from:
"Behavior management" to "Positive guidance" to "Social Competence" and I can see the shift moving towards "Executive Function".
Ultimately, this means in early childhood that we are strongly encouraged to understand the physiological and neurological make up of young children and use this to inform our teaching practices. It's bigger than curriculum! It's the fundamental way in which children learn...Im kind of excited to explore this more (along with 3 of the teachers I am working with who have a similar inquiry). <<notice the change in gear from my previous inquiry?
More feedback from team: I haven't yet explored this, but have recently found another framework which I am hoping will prompt the K2 team and others to share specific feedback on my practice. As the diagram suggests, there are 3 questions. I am going to use the Interlead function to send this out to my team today :D
Leadership: My most favorite quote of all time is "Leadership is a function, not a title". Everyone is a leader and has leadership potential. By the pure nature of our community, I am conscious of the fact that leadership opportunities are few and far between here. Given this fact, how might we best support teacher leaders in Kindergarten? What opportunities can be created to nurture and develop teacher leaders? Over the past 4 years, here in KAUST I have harnessed opportunities to 'practice' leadership. They are not as profound as you might think. These include: presenting at Partners for Learning, mentoring TDPS (and other teachers), presenting workshops inside and out of Kingdom, adding my 2 cents worth to contribute to group dialogue, establishing opportunities within the team e.g. Pecha Kucha, Sunday Sweets, Recognizing AT Potential workshops... Can you think of any other ways that teacher leaders can develop leadership skills?
Christ Wright visited KAUST and presented to a group of Instructional Leaders the 7 Leadership Intelligences, these are:
  • Strategic Intelligence
  • Cultural Intelligence
  • Entrepreneurial Intelligence
  • Heuristic Intelligence
  • Pedagogical Intelligence
  • Relational Intelligence
  • Reflective Intelligence
I would love to share my learning from this with the team (among other things) to hear what their take on these are and ways that they see themselves exhibiting these intelligences.
Getting better at coaching and teaching coaching: Coaching is such a profound resource! How might I share this resource with my team and how can I ensure that I get better at it. Over the next 3 weeks my coaching session with teachers will be on collecting feedback, for this I will use a planning conversation. To ensure that I can better improve my coaching I am going to ask at the end of each conversation "As you reflect on this conversation, how has it supported your learning?" This way I will get specific feedback on the benefit of the coaching process. I am also curious about ways that I can teach coaching to teachers who are interested? If you have any ideas, please feel free to let me know.

  • Explore the link between Social Competence and Executive Function - read more about social competence and finalize social competence guidelines.
  • Send new feedback framework/questions out to teachers
  • Develop Leadership Intelligences Pecha Kucha to share with team