Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Why Leadership Matters

By Will Deyamport, III, Ed.D Candidate

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard that teachers are the determining factor in a student’s academic success. Aside from that not being true, that frame of thought dismisses the importance of school, district, state, and federal leadership. A teacher can only do what the leadership has planned, designed, and allowed him or her to do. If the leadership’s primary focus is on raising test scores, then you are going to see that school not do well, no matter who or what type of teachers are at the school.

There is a reason why suburban schools are more successful than urban or rural schools. Discounting parental and communal support, what suburban schools do differently is focus on college admittance rates as well as developing the whole student. By not having such a narrow view of student success, suburban schools have more expansive and rigorous curriculum, greater expectations for their students, and empower their teachers to challenge their students. While urban and rural schools cling to rote memorization and hand cuff their teachers to teaching to the test.

OK. Yes, I know that suburban schools don’t have to deal with generations of poverty, high dropout rates and high rates of teenage pregnancy, and parental neglect. And yes, I know that suburban schools don’t have to deal with students who started school from behind on day one. However, that doesn’t excuse the lack of leadership that has been displayed by too many urban and rural leaders at the school, district, state and levels.

Leadership sets the overall tone of the school. They create the culture, choose the learning programs, and make the personnel decisions. Leadership is responsible for the mission and vision of the school and is charged with making sure that every action taken falls in alignment with said mission and vision. Leadership spearheads innovation and encourages the teachers as well as the students to bring their best selves to school. Plain and simple, leadership is the spoon that stirs the drink.

If urban and rural schools continue to make testing and graduation rates their be all, end all, then we are going to see more schools in urban and rural areas fall short. Fixing America's urban and rural  schools begins with fixing public education's leadership problem.

What I would like to see is a fundamental shift in how urban and rural schools live and breathe.  I want to see leadership that embraces change as an inevitability and seeks out opportunities in which their schools can move from a consumption model to a production model.  I want to see leadership that makes it its mission to develop the strengths and talents of students. And I want to see leadership that understands that we live in a global economy, and we can no longer prepare our students for the jobs/careers of yesterday. 

Will Deyamport, III, is an educational digital strategist, new media trainer, online content creator and Ed.D. Candidate at Capella University. With more than 13 years of experience recruiting, youth development, and  seminar and workshop design, Will is a thought-leader, astute at harnessing the power of digital media to build community, learning networks, disseminate information and create authentic learning experiences. In addition to being the founder of Peoplegogy.com, Will is also a guest blogger for myPathfinder Career Blog and has been featured at Jobs.aol.comCurrently, Will is working on his dissertation. The topic: Using social media to individualize professional development for teachers. In the future, Will hopes to become a university professor where he plans to lead the discussions about the social, cultural, technological, and educational issues of our time. He is fueled by engagement and collaboration, and he wants to be a part of an institution that fervently believes in the power of ideas to change how people think and live their lives.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Race and the Missing Ed Reform Agenda

By Will Deyamport, III, Ed.D. Candidate

Everyone from politicians to corporate big wigs to media personalities and pundits has weighed in on public education. With some blaming teachers and teachers’ unions and some blaming the government and the government’s role in public education, there are others who seek to privatize public education and those who huff and puff about the need to burn the whole system down. Those battles aside, the one discussion that is missing in reforming public education is nearly universal: race.
Normally the discussion of race centers on poverty and the lack of choice for kids of color. After which the conversation moves towards the parental guidance the students have or don’t have and the kinds of communities kids of color come from.  Not only is this conversation short-sighted, but it fails to address the real problems with race in public education.
To read the rest, please click here to go the Ecology of Ed.

StrengthsTalk Minisode 3

Today's minisode was with Margaret Buj http://www.interview-coach.co.uk/ who is an interview coach and senior recruiter. We talk about how to prepare for and make a winning impression in an interview. 

To take Margaret's free video course 'Get Hired!', click this link.http://www.YouAreHiredVideoCourse.com

You can find Margaret on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MargaretBuj

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Social Media and the 21st Century Educator - MAGC 2012 Presentation

For the first time I conducted a presentation with my wife, Elvira Deyamport, Ed.S., who is an elementary gifted education teacher. We covered the 3 social networking sites we believe every educator should join.

Svetlana Lucas MAGC 2012 Presentation

Svetlana Lucas is a middle school gifted education teacher, parent advocate for gifted children, and adjunct professor. Her presentation focused on how parents of gifted children can advocate for their children within the public school system.