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. Itâ€™s too easy to forget what itâ€™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 â€œWoot.â€ I donâ€™t know about you, but I cannot remember a time I experienced a standing ovation with hoots and hollers for a central office meeting. Letâ€™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 Ohioâ€™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 wonâ€™t do that. What we are doing is talking with designers, leaders, and librarians with experience and vision. Weâ€™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 â€” The Daring Librarian â€” self-proclaimed goofball, geek, and “EdTech teaching ninja.”
You ask how the ideas in “The Power of Pull” have transformed my leading. Iâ€™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.