Transformative Principal
Discover the secrets of school leadership in this weekly interview podcast with top leaders in education.

This week’s interview is with Tom Whitford, an amazing principal of 3(!) schools in Wisconsin.

  • His mentor that taught him a lot about how to be a leader and how to push yourself and others to be better, book reads, and more.
  • Professional Learning Communities in Tom’s ideal world.
  • PLCs require a whole philosophy change to be effective.
  • How to set the stage to be successful in having discussions with teachers. Power of change comes from stories.
  • Create opportunities for conversation.
  • How can administrators tell stories? Start with true stories. (Don’t make things up.) Provide opportunities for real conversation.
  • What can we do to make this work, and what will prevent us from being successful?
  • It is too easy for things to get said behind closed doors, and we need to address challenges early on, and then address issues as they arise.
  • Focus the conversations on continuous improvement on faculty meeting time.
  • “Jumpstart Fridays” - aides and others work with kids so they can do collaboration times.
  • How Tom gets teachers to feel comfortable sharing their stories with Tom and the other teachers.
  • Speed of Trust” By Stephen M.R. Covey
  • We don’t get better, unless we can talk about the mistakes that we made.
  • How Tom figured out that his faculty did not like his strategy for getting them to have fun with his emails. (Background blog post - “Learning with your mistakes”)

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