January 24,  2020

Relationships Built on Trust and Integrity Matter

Each EmpowerED 3.2.1 features a brief summary of my musings about and learning from multiple disciplines as they apply to leadership in education.


3 Big Ideas

  1. Values Matter: Be clear about your values and show them with your calendar, what you measure, what you celebrate (and don’t celebrate), stories you tell, the language you use, and your responses in times of crisis. If you claim to value collaboration and don’t include others in drafting the budget or master schedule, do you really value collaboration?
  2. Feedback Matters: Give growth-producing feedback to teachers and students. Grant Wiggins, an acclaimed guru of instruction, learning, and assessment wrote: “Feedback is information about how we did in light of what was attempted. Intent vs. effect. Actual vs. ideal performance, the best feedback is highly specific, descriptive of what we did and did not do in light of standards, and occurs in both a timely and on-going way. Think of the best feedback systems: computer games, your shower faucets, tasting meals as you cook. What feedback most certainly isn’t is praise and blame or mere encouragement.”

  3. Big Rocks” Matter: This is a a take off on Stephen Covey’s story about the management expert who put three big rocks in a mason jar and asked if the jar was full. At first observers said yes. He poured gravel into the jar, then sand, then water. The jar kept filling! The moral? If you don’t put your big rocks in first, your time will be filled with the smaller things, and you’ll never get to what matters. Covey reminds us to not prioritize our schedule, but to schedule our priorities. What are your big rocks? Some possibilities are: school climate, professional learning, teachers as leaders, wellness,family engagement, and countless more.
    See clip “The 8th Habit: Big Rocks” from Stephen Covey. (Don’t miss this!) 



“I have perspective, not all the answers.” – Debbie Backus, former principal, Montview Elementary School, Aurora, Colorado

“Praise keeps you in the game; feedback helps you get better.” – Grant Wiggins, former president of Authentic Education

1 Question

Do those you lead know your core values; how do you know they know?

About the Author: Marcia Baldanza is also the author of Professional Practices, a Just ASK Senior Consultant. and adjunct professor at Virginia Tech. Until recently she worked for the School District of Palm Beach County, Florida, where she was an Area Director for School Reform and Accountability; prior to that she was Director of Federal and State Programs.


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