Kyle B. Pace

Category: Leadership

Keeping Up With The Maintenance

There is always a heavy stream of information on Twitter or any other network you belong to on a myriad of topics and buzz words. Skim over a hashtag as of late and we see a million and one ways to do better with technology, implementing personalized learning, project-based learning, makerspaces, etc., etc. No doubt that this is the beauty of being connected in various spaces – to learn from anyone about anything anytime you want.  These topics are good as well as important, but where my mind really focuses most lately is how we’re properly (or not) preparing our teachers for these things. We can talk the talk and claim we’re going to walk the talk, but at the end of the day are we truly willing to do what’s necessary to make the talk and the walk into a lasting change?

picture of people checking under the hood of a car

https://www.flickr.com/people/tcee35mm/

We have to be talking a long, hard look at what kinds of teacher learning opportunities we’re giving our teachers first in order to give them successfully to our students. Wanting to give students more personalized learning? Then that’s how teacher PD on the topic should be designed. Allow teachers to experience it as a student if you’re wanting them to create it for their students. I saw lots of tweets about this very topic earlier in the week, and all were in favor of it, but no one was talking about how they’re preparing teachers for it. If they were, it was outweighed by the “personalized learning for everyone” posts.

We also have to make sure we’re providing “regular maintenance” opportunities beyond the initial learning opportunity. It’s like a car – what happens if you don’t regularly get an oil change or have the tires checked? The car is going to not run as intended and eventually wear out. Now put that into perspective with professional learning. Are we giving teachers enough time to reconvene and share or at least reflect on what worked/didn’t work? This is key “maintenance” our teachers need. If there aren’t instructional coaches in place (technology or otherwise) that teachers can work with, we must incorporate more self-reflection into professional learning and have teachers share this with each other.

Our teachers deserve this and our kids definitely do. We have to make it a normal part of the “scheduled maintenance”.

 

Continue Reading

As Good As Your Team

I’ve been in my new role in my district for 4 months now. The fastest 4 months of my life. I’m learning lots and it’s happening multiple times a day. I’ve asked lots of questions and I’ve taken more handwritten notes than I have in years. It’s been great and I’m very thankful for being where I am.

Whenever someone asks me how things are going, these are some of the most common responses they usually hear from me. One thing I make sure of is letting others know how fortunate I am to have inherited such a great team. Now, this isn’t a touchy-feely post about how awesome my team is. Don’t get me wrong, they’re awesome, but that’s not the point of my writing. I still have plenty (and I mean plenty) to learn about the roles and duties of my position along with many more technology-related acronyms. 🙂 Also, I have much yet to learn about how to be a good leader. It’s something I will always keep learning about.

In my short time in my new role, I’ve come to discover, that the true earmark of good leadership is directly related to the team that you serve. I am only as good as my team. They teach me every day. I represent them just as much as they represent me. Whether it’s a tech department, a curriculum team, or the staff at a school, we’re truly better together than we ever could be apart. We need to remember this now more than ever. Our people and our functioning as a team are always worth investing our time and resources in.

My favorite Guardian of the Galaxy sums it up best: “We are Groot.”.

picture of baby groot in a flower pot

https://www.flickr.com/people/chrisandholley/

 

Continue Reading

The Way ISTE Should Be Attended #iste17 #iste18

How do you think we build a future? I think we build it by investing in our kids and investing in education.
~Elizabeth Warren

Everyone has now returned from the beautiful chaos that is ISTE. I’ve been to ISTE several times now, and it still feels just as massive as the first time. However, this year was different in one big way. How was it different you ask? No, it wasn’t a product or app that I saw, it wasn’t a vendor party, and it wasn’t a particular presenter (way too many great ones to list anyway).

This is the first time I’ve attended ISTE as part of a group from my school district. In the past, I’ve always gone as just me; I attended on my own. This year, however, I was fortunate enough to attend with 10 other fantastic educators from my district. Our Director of Curriculum, one of our instructional technology coaches, 6 high school teachers, and 2 middle school teachers. This is a really great group with a great desire to be better for kids and a desire to help their colleagues be better too. It was such a pleasure to help them experience their first ISTE and learn from so many of my excellent friends. I was able to hear about their excitement first hand after listening to my friend Jennie give a standing ovation-worthy keynote, I watched them post selfies with other presenters that I knew they’d love learning from. I felt like a proud parent! 🙂

I just kept thinking, “Every person that attends ISTE should get to attend this way.”. I know many do, but I also know many that wish they could. That’s not to say attending solo cannot be impactful; just want to make sure that’s clear. And yes, many have a tribe of people that they only see at ISTE each year that they’ve become connected to through Twitter, blogging, and other connected means. Those connections are important too and a huge part of who I am. I love getting to see so many amazing friends that live all over the world…it’s the nicest feeling ever!

However, if you work for a school or a district and you have the means to take a group, please do it. Take your district leaders, school leaders, and certainly your teachers. As many as you can take. Plan now for 2018. It’s worth the investment I promise.

ISTE 2018 in Chicago

Continue Reading
%d bloggers like this: