My colleague Tanny McGregor works daily in West Clermont (OH)’s Dept of Teaching & Learning. She’s also the author of the best-selling “Comprehension Connections” and a sought-after speaker and professional developer. In this interview we talk about digital literacy and her upcoming book on helping students meet the challenge of Common Core standards in English/LA. “If I want my writing to be authentic,” she says, “if I want it to be current, if I want it to matter, then I need to be planning lessons, modeling lessons, reflecting upon instruction. It’s too easy to forget what it’s like to be in the classroom.”
In an era when teaching as a profession is disparaged, even vilified, I say let there be more leaders who know the power of “Woot.” I don’t know about you, but I cannot remember a time I experienced a standing ovation with hoots and hollers for a central office meeting. Let’s have some of that Woot to lighten the psychological load of tightened budgets, restricted resources, and political heat. Joy, says a teacher on our staff who’s a certified Laughter Yoga instructor, is extremely therapeutic.
Because of the state of the economy and Ohio’s school funding, our district recently pink-slipped 61 educators. Ten of those are library staff. Some districts in similar circumstances chose to close their libraries and shrink wrap their collections. We won’t do that. What we are doing is talking with designers, leaders, and librarians with experience and vision. We’re asking lots of questions, seeking models that do not replicate the stacks of the past.
As schools around the country pink-slip librarians because of budget cuts, I began my own ninja quest to better understand the shift from library-as-sacred-institution to library-on-the-chopping-block. Who are the library change agents championing alternatives to the old school library model? I turned for answers to one of my favorite voices from the literacy revolution — The Daring Librarian — self-proclaimed goofball, geek, and “EdTech teaching ninja.”
You ask how the ideas in “The Power of Pull” have transformed my leading. I’m not so certain about that yet (I think leadership is a blend of pull with an occasional nudge). I am sure, however, that Pull ideas have transformed my learning. For me learning means “changing my mind,” that is, reshaping my thoughts and my worldview. Several new-to-me ideas from Hagel, Brown, and Davison have changed my mind.