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

How We Nearly Doubled Math Scores with Kevin Finnegan Transformative Principal 333

Social Media: When we saw Math could be a discussion, it totally changed everything.

Kevin Finnegan is the principal of Prairie Hill School in Illinois. His students recently showed a 77% growth in Math, and we talk about how he made that happen.

  • Prairie hill is the school and the community comes together around it.
  • Northern Illinois, PK–4th grade.
  • 9 years as the principal.
  • Mission statement: Students first, always.
  • PLC school
  • Reformed schedule so that every day (4 teachers per team) have an hour of common collaborative time every day.
  • Why are we making this decision? The students are always the bringback.
  • Norms: imagine the students you are talking about are here.
  • To be a great principal is easy. You just have to have a great staff.
  • PE teacher said, “I want students more.”
  • Each class has 10 half hour blocks each week: Art, PE, STEM,
  • Always been a high performing district. Makes change really hard when you have had success in the past.
  • staff is competitive within themselves.
  • Noticed that math scores were less than we expected.
  • Dove into the data.
  • Computation was awesome, but they struggled with elaborating on their thoughts.
  • In every math assignment, adding the words, “I know this because…”
  • If you see something that can be done in Kindergarten it can be done anywhere.
  • Ready Math - iReady as platforms for learning.
  • Standards based School, done in isolation.
  • Common language in math.
  • Didn’t get good training at first, but then got good training and that made a huge difference.
  • Math has always dealt black and white.
  • Math didn’t have to be one answer, it could be a discussion, totally changed everything.
  • Talking about kids’ growth, talking about assessments, classwork, and then looking at the data.
  • It’s not about what you teach, it’s about what we learned.
  • How long did it take to understand that it was working?
  • It fit us, rather than us fitting it.
  • How to be a transformative principal? Spend a little time with kids, like on their birthday. It’s a constant reminder that kids come first.

Today’s Transformative Principal sponsor, John Catt Educational, has been publishing high quality guidebooks, magazines and educator-focused professional development books since 1959. John Catt’s mission is to support high-quality teaching and learning by ensuring every educator has access to professional development materials that are research-based, practical, and focused on the key topics proven essential in today’s and tomorrow’s schools.

John Catt amplifies fresh voices on timeless topics, with a list of authors recognized around the world for their fresh perspectives and proven strategies to drive success in modern schools and classrooms. Learn more about these professional development publications that are easy to implement for your entire faculty, and are both quickly digestible and rigorous, by visiting https://us.johncattbookshop.com/. 

Visit this page to learn more about bulk orders and how to bring John Catt’s research-based materials to your school: https://us.johncattbookshop.com/pages/agents-and-distributors

Learn about some of John Catt Educational’s newest publications:


Jaime Casap is the Education Evangelist at Google. Jaime evangelizes the power and potential of technology and the web as enabling and supporting tools in pursuit of promoting inquiry-driven learning models. Jaime collaborates with school systems, educational organizations, and leaders focused on building innovation and iteration into our education policies and practices. He speaks on education, technology, innovation, and generation z, at events around the world.
 
In addition to his role at Google, Jaime is also an author and serves on a number of boards for organizations focused on education, innovation, and equity. Jaime teaches a 10th-grade communication class at the Phoenix Coding Academy in Phoenix and is an adjunct professor at Arizona State University, where he teaches classes on policy, innovation, and leadership.

  • Education evangelist.
  • Launched Gmail, G-suite for education, and chromebooks.
  • Transforming education
  • Facts - education is not broken, graduation rates higher than anywhere else
  • 21st century skills - Critical skill - ability to learn.
  • Education has become a process, but it is a mindset.
  • Our students have to be self-directed.
  • Let kids choose what they want to learn!
  • Math is the most important thing because everything has math in it.
  • There’s nothing that we can’t teach kids when they’re curious.
  • If you want to see pure creative genius, look at an undisciplined two year old.
  • 7 minute meetings.
  • Linear vs vision ways of approaching things - to do list.
  • How to be a transformative principal? Whatever time you set up for a meeting is how long it’s going to take. Empower your teachers! We all want autonomy, purpose, and mastery.

Today’s Transformative Principal sponsor, John Catt Educational, has been publishing high quality guidebooks, magazines and educator-focused professional development books since 1959. John Catt’s mission is to support high-quality teaching and learning by ensuring every educator has access to professional development materials that are research-based, practical, and focused on the key topics proven essential in today’s and tomorrow’s schools.

 

John Catt amplifies fresh voices on timeless topics, with a list of authors recognized around the world for their fresh perspectives and proven strategies to drive success in modern schools and classrooms. Learn more about these professional development publications that are easy to implement for your entire faculty, and are both quickly digestible and rigorous, by visiting https://us.johncattbookshop.com/. 

 

Visit this page to learn more about bulk orders and how to bring John Catt’s research-based materials to your school: https://us.johncattbookshop.com/pages/agents-and-distributors

 

Learn about some of John Catt Educational’s newest publications:

Direct download: Learning_How_to_Learn_with_Jaime_Casap_Transformative_Principal_1063.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:30am MDT

JC Pohl is the co-founder and CEO of TeenTruth.net/schoolculture

  • Young filmmakers looked at coverage of Columbine, and we always saw adults telling the story of what happened.
  • Look into teenage life.
  • Giving students a voice.
  • How to give kids voice?
  • Control - told what to do, what classes to take, and everything else in between.
  • Lack of control really causes a lot of stress in students.
  • Are we doing a disservice to kids by not giving them control?
  • Three major buckets (school assemblies, )
  • These kids made a movie, what are you going to do?
  • Students can take ownership by getting involved.
  • How do you want to solve it?
  • It’s about creating culture of agency and ownership for kids.
  • There are so many kids on our campuses that it’s easy to get lost.
  • Kids desperately want to be there.
  • It’s up to us to create an environment that makes them want to be included.
  • Finding their thing.
  • Open up as many opportunities as we can for kids to get involved.
  • What were some of the data points that came out.
  • Principals get caught up in the data.
  • One goal: work for Disney!
  • If you have a school motto on your campus and you don’t hear your kids say it, it’s not working!
  • If you don’t have a tight brand, your school culture is not as strong as it could be.
  • Don’t mess with Texas.
  • “We > I”
  • We form an emotional connection with some brands.
  • Got to involve students in the process.
  • How to be a transformative principal? Your job is so important. Every principal needs to go all in, even with a slogan. Every student and every staff member is doing their best.

Today’s Transformative Principal sponsor, John Catt Educational, has been publishing high quality guidebooks, magazines and educator-focused professional development books since 1959. John Catt’s mission is to support high-quality teaching and learning by ensuring every educator has access to professional development materials that are research-based, practical, and focused on the key topics proven essential in today’s and tomorrow’s schools.

John Catt amplifies fresh voices on timeless topics, with a list of authors recognized around the world for their fresh perspectives and proven strategies to drive success in modern schools and classrooms. Learn more about these professional development publications that are easy to implement for your entire faculty, and are both quickly digestible and rigorous, by visiting https://us.johncattbookshop.com/

Visit this page to learn more about bulk orders and how to bring John Catt’s research-based materials to your school: https://us.johncattbookshop.com/pages/agents-and-distributors

Learn about some of John Catt Educational’s newest publications:


Dr. Wendy Oliver serves as Chief Learning Officer for EdisonLearning, a leading international educational services provider with nearly a generation of experience creating effective and sustainable solutions to raise student achievement.  In this role, her experience in digital learning and curriculum design, paired with her expertise in assessment and evaluation, are leveraged to design an innovative, learner-centered curriculum.

  • Expectations around online learning
  • How good design applies to online learning.
  • Teachers are working themselves into the ground to reach students!
  • 19% of teachers said they were adjusted!
  • Also have an 8 year old in her second grade studies.
  • Everyone is in survival mode.
  • Edison learning offering free courses to seniors.
  • Where to go to get help.
  • quality matters and common sense media.
  • How to make things look better?
  • Less is more.
  • How to be a transformative principal? Care about kids.

Ryan Gottfredson, Ph.D. is a mental success coach and cutting-edge leadership consultant, author, trainer, and researcher. He helps improve organizations, leaders, teams, and employees by improving their mindsets. Ryan is currently a leadership and management professor at the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics at California State University-Fullerton (CSUF). He holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and Human Resources from Indiana University, and a B.A. from Brigham Young University.
Ryan is the author of “Success Mindsets: The Key to Unlocking Greater Success in Your Life, Work, & Leadership.” (Morgan James Publishing)

  • How a school changed their growth mindsets.

  • We take on the mindsets of our collective culture.

  • When people have a fixed mindset they focus on looking good.

  • When we are emphasizing grades and not learning and growing, we are emphasizing a fixed mindset.

  • Fixed vs. Growth mindset

  • 90% of our thinking feeling acting is driven subconsciously. What drives that? Our mindsets.

  • Study about when kids faced difficult questions.

  • When we don’t believe we can improve, and we fail, we feel that we are failures.

  • Growth mindset - when we have that belief that we can change, we see growth as an opportunity to learn.

  • 50/50 growth vs. fixed

  • Intervention for growth mindsets.

  • Small interventions can shift our mindsets for 2–4 weeks.

  • 15 minute training just talking about how people are not fixed can be beneficial.

  • TED Talks and brain plasticity.

  • Open vs. Closed mindset

  • Compare our mind to a bucket relating to a particular area.

  • Closed minded don’t invite feedback.

  • Open minded folks leave space in their bucket.

  • Book recommendations: Success Mindsets

  • Bridgewater Associates - Principles by Ray Dalio.

  • Discussions - are we a team or a group where ideas can be heard?

  • Principles for success

  • Prevention vs. Promotion mindsets

  • Compliance is the stereotypical prevention mindset.

  • Is that place of safety the intended destination.

  • Interventions: Have a destination.

  • Amy Purdy ted talk

  • Greatest Showman Keala Settle

  • Inward mindsets: we see ourselves as being more important than others.

  • Outward mindset: others have needs just as great as my own.

  • Interventions: positive self talk. Am I seeing people as tools?

  • The Arbinger Institute: Leadership and self-deception

  • TED talk Benjamin Xander

  • When we have an inward mindset, we expect students to cater to us.

  • The most powerful thing we can do as educators is see students as people.

  • How to be a transformative principal? Go individually to his or her teachers and ask what stands in your way of being your ideal self?


Nhon Ma is the co-founder of numerade.com

  • Mom was an educator in South Vietnam, Chinese immigrants who then moved to LA.
  • Grew up in LAUSD system.
  • Better Chance program in middle school. Placed me in a top private school.
  • Shaped my thinking around education.
  • Ride bus to school in a completely different culture.
  • Close educational opportunity gap
  • Prices for tutoring for synchronous doesn’t drop.
  • Largest STEM video library.
  • Jethro’s YouTube channel from when he was an English teacher
  • Mass adoption of synchronous learning through zoom.
  • Participation rates are much lower.
  • Office hours, daily creation, Students consume content at their own time.
  • Anonymous q&a feature.
  • Especially with STEM students, if there is a fall-off, it’s very hard to make up lost ground.
  • Stitching together playlists of math and science for students.
  • How to be a transformative leader? Always focus on the why!

Ryan Gottfredson, Ph.D. is a mental success coach and cutting-edge leadership consultant, author, trainer, and researcher. He helps improve organizations, leaders, teams, and employees by improving their mindsets. Ryan is currently a leadership and management professor at the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics at California State University-Fullerton (CSUF). He holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and Human Resources from Indiana University, and a B.A. from Brigham Young University.
Ryan is the author of “Success Mindsets: The Key to Unlocking Greater Success in Your Life, Work, & Leadership.” (Morgan James Publishing)

  • How do we tap into the “being” element of leadership?

  • different types of mindset:

  • Fixed vs. Growth mindset

  • Open vs. closed mindset

  • Prevention vs. promotion mindset

  • Inward vs. outward

  • Continuum of positive and negative.

  • The more we are towards the positive, the better we interact with our environment.

  • Innate beliefs about our ability to change affect how we interact with the world.

  • With a fixed mindset, we internalize failure as though it means we are a failure.

  • What kinds of interventions can help improve our mindset?

  • Engage in interventions to promote growth mindset but if the culture doesn’t support it, there’s no point.

  • How Jethro and Ryan each reacted when doing poorly in a class in their freshman year of college.

  • Our mindsets are foundational to everything we do. They shape how we see the world, and how we operate in the world.

  • Assess teacher’s mindset across the school and determine what our collective mindsets are across the school and what does that teach our students.

  • How a school changed their growth mindsets.

  • We take on the mindsets of our collective culture.

  • When people have a fixed mindset they focus on looking good.

  • When we are emphasizing grades and not learning and growing, we are emphasizing a fixed mindset.

  • Fixed vs. Growth mindset

  • 90% of our thinking feeling acting is driven subconsciously. What drives that? Our mindsets.

  • Study about when kids faced difficult questions.

  • When we don’t believe we can improve, and we fail, we feel that we are failures.

  • Growth mindset - when we have that belief that we can change, we see growth as an opportunity to learn.

  • 50/50 growth vs. fixed

  • Intervention for growth mindsets.

 


Ross Romano is Managing Director of Communications & Public Affairs for MindRocket Media Group, a strategic advisory firm providing a range of services to companies and institutions operating within the K–20 education and education technology sectors worldwide.

In his current role, Ross oversees all corporate communications for MindRocket, as well as communications and public relations strategy and execution for MindRocket clients. He supervises PR, media relations, social media, and digital marketing efforts, is creative director for editorial content development, and drives significant efforts in partnership development and expansion into new lines of business.

Ross has built a reputation as a creative communications leader with expertise in telling compelling stories via diverse media. He has created and executive produced a number of successful podcast series, created and edited book projects, provided initial platforms to numerous authors, educators, and industry leaders, and more.

Prior to joining MindRocket, Ross spent time as the communications lead for the global education leadership association ASCD, where his media relations and publicity work contributed to multiple national award-winning communications teams. Earlier in his career, he worked in different roles for Major League Baseball, both in the US and internationally. Ross has a BA from The George Washington University, a Master’s of Professional Studies from Georgetown University, and is a member of the Education Writers Association (EWA) and Public Relations Society of merica (PRSA).

  • Works with ed tech companies and publishers and schools in K–20 space.
  • Comprehensive communication for stakeholders
  • When free isn’t really free.
  • Start with Empathy
  • Recognize startup situation.
  • Quick drop off in usage after a week.
  • Have a little patience for companies reaching out.
  • Before we put them on the do not buy list, let’s have empathy.
  • Everybody’s perspective is valid and understood.
  • Many different stakeholders have different expectations.
  • It works up until what point?
  • This is an extra long back to school period.
  • Wrap up the school year as best as possible.
  • Put the plan in place now and start warming up to it.
  • We can’t fail to learn from the challenges facing us right now.
  • How to be a transformative principal? Communicating. So important, all the time. If can communicate how I make decisions, it helps them make better decisions too.

Thom Gibson is a middle school math and robotics teacher and high school YouTube teacher in Austin, Texas.

  • Budgeting, saving and spending
  • How we should teach kids about money.
  • Rafe Esquith - Teach like your hair’s on fire.
  • Are you still using classroom economy?
  • Moved away from paper money to all digital
  • Automate a lot of things with it.
  • Classroom jobs.
  • Beginning of year is full of prep work.
  • Jobs that free up your time as the teacher.
  • Auctioneer takes a letter to local businesses.
  • Virtual bank for the kids’ money. paygrade.io
  • Forcing kids to do jobs.
  • Get Thom’s course 20% discount code - transformative
  • How to be a transformative principal? Look for an opportunity to let your teachers do something they would flourish in.

Today’s Transformative Principal sponsor, John Catt Educational, has been publishing high quality guidebooks, magazines and educator-focused professional development books since 1959. John Catt’s mission is to support high-quality teaching and learning by ensuring every educator has access to professional development materials that are research-based, practical, and focused on the key topics proven essential in today’s and tomorrow’s schools.

 

John Catt amplifies fresh voices on timeless topics, with a list of authors recognized around the world for their fresh perspectives and proven strategies to drive success in modern schools and classrooms. Learn more about these professional development publications that are easy to implement for your entire faculty, and are both quickly digestible and rigorous, by visiting https://us.johncattbookshop.com/. 

 

Visit this page to learn more about bulk orders and how to bring John Catt’s research-based materials to your school: https://us.johncattbookshop.com/pages/agents-and-distributors

 

Learn about some of John Catt Educational’s newest publications:


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