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School Leadership Reimagined

Tired of school change efforts that stall, or worse, never get off the ground? If you’re a principal, assistant principal, or instructional coach who is ready have a transformative impact on the teachers you serve then School Leadership Reimagined is for you. Each week, Robyn Jackson will share counterintuitive strategies to help you dramatically improve instruction. You’ll discover how to motivate your teachers, help them be accountable, overcome toxic cultures, and transform your school. No more pulling teeth with resistant teachers. No more constantly fighting fires. No more running out of steam mid-year. Regain your time, Reignite your passion, and Rethink what’s possible. Stop settling for status quo. It’s time to reimagine school leadership. Visit SchoolLeadershipReimagined.com to download the free resources that come with each episode

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How to Support Your Teachers #LikeABuilder

When you think of supporting teachers what comes to mind? Maybe it’s filling a PD day, or doing a book study, or having the teacher work with an instructional coach, or even modeling the lesson for them.   Now let me ask you another question…   How’s that working for ya?   If you’re like most leaders, you weren’t really trained on how to help a struggling teacher become a master teacher. In fact, you may not even believe it’s possible.   But Builders know that it is not only possible, it’s necessary if you are going to reach your vision, mission, and core values for your school.    So how do you provide teachers with the kind of support that produces tangible results year over year? What 3 things should you consider as you are designing teacher support for the year? How can you turn a struggling teacher into a master teacher? How can you not only improve a teacher’s skill but improve their will as well?   This week, you’re going to learn the answer to these questions and more as we talk about how to support your teachers #LikeABuilder.


1 May 2019

Rank #1

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Why Settle for Good When You Could Be Great?

Ever since Jim Collins penned his seminal work Good to Great, many schools have made that their goal. And yet, why is it that so few of us have actually made the transition from a school that is merely good, to one that "delivers a superior performance and makes a distinctive impact over a long period of time." The answer is that "Good is the enemy of great." So in today's episode, we're going to explore why being a good school is no longer enough and how more of us can make the transformation from good to great #LikeABuilder.


18 Dec 2019

Rank #2

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How to Give Powerful Feedback #LikeABuilder

I hate to break it to you, but most of what you think you know about feedback is wrong. In fact, if you are giving feedback to teachers the way you were probably trained to do, you may be unintentionally shutting down real reflection, sparking defensiveness, and killing teachers' desire to improve.  That's because how we were taught to give feedback relies on checklists of "best practices," scripted questions, and post-observation conversations with hidden agendas instead of building teachers' capacity. All this results in push-back from teachers, or hurt feelings, or blank stares.  Builders use a different kind of feedback. They give feedback that 1. It points people to the ONE thing that is at the root of their practice. 2. It invites them to do things differently. 3. It shows them what will happen if they do it differently. In other words, you are inviting people into a better, more successful version of themselves. In this episode, learn 3 ways you may be unintentionally shutting down real reflection in your feedback conversations and discover 3 ways to make your feedback conversations more authentic, more meaningful, and more inspiring for teachers. 


24 Apr 2019

Rank #3

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How Well Does Your Master Schedule Reflect Your Core Values, Mission, and Vision

Most of us treat our master schedules like a necessary evil. Sure, we know it’s important but with all of the staffing equations and computer software and deadlines, it’s kind of a pain.   That’s the obstacle.    But here’s the opportunity. Your master schedule is one of the most powerful ways you have to realize your vision, live out your core values, and keep your school on mission.    So today, we’re going to talk about how you can transform your master scheduling process from a chore into a powerfully meaningful process that helps you live out your vision, mission, and core values, and that transform your school culture and keep everyone focused on your school goals.   By the time you’re finished with this episode, you’ll know exactly how to rock your master schedule #likeabuilder.


19 Dec 2018

Rank #4

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How to Handle Teacher Complaints #LikeABuilder

A listener asks, “What do you do about a staff that is never satisfied. They complain about something and I fix it but it’s still not enough. I’ve done everything for my staff and they STILL aren’t satisfied..” It’s a pretty common issue unfortunately. You want to move your staff forward but they complain about some obstacle that’s in their way. So you bend over backwards to try to support teachers and they still aren’t satisfied.   Well, it may not be your fault. You see, the way that we’ve been trained as leaders is to identify the challenge people are facing and remove it. Leaders afterall, are problem solvers. The problem is, a lot of times when we go out of our way to make things easier for teachers, things still don’t change.   So we blame ourselves and work harder and harder trying to win them over. Or we blame them and accuse them of being lazy, ungrateful, or whiners.   But there’s something else going on underneath the surface that, if we understood it, would help us meet teachers’ needs in a way that keeps them motivated and empowered to do the work we ask of them.    That’s what Builders understand from the very beginning and that’s why Builders don’t waste time bending over backwards trying to meet the demands of teachers and students and parents only to be met with an immediate lack of appreciation and more complaints down the line.    So today, we’re going to talk about how to handle teacher complaints #LikeABuilder.


13 Mar 2019

Rank #5

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If you want everyone doing the right thing the right way, don't skip this step

Does your school have "pockets of excellence" while other teachers are "phoning it in" each day? Do you struggle to get all of your teachers implementing a new initiative "with fidelity?" If so, then you don't want to miss today's episode where you'll learn how to use evaluation to get every teacher in your building doing the right thing, the right way (without being the "bad guy" in the process. You don't have to settle with spotty implementation. You can get every teacher moving closer and closer to excellence when you leverage the Evaluation Stage #LikeABuilder.


30 Oct 2019

Rank #6

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Turn Your Biggest Obstacles into Your Biggest Opportunities

Welcome back to season 2 of the School Leadership Reimagined Podcast! This season we're going to tackle some of the biggest obstacles you face and show you how to turn them into some of your biggest opportunities this year. This week, we're talking about how Builder’s turn their biggest obstacles into your biggest opportunities. It sounds a little bit like a platitude or a cliche doesn’t it?   I mean really, it’s a nice thought but they call an obstacle and obstacle for a reason. It’s something that’s in the way of your success.   I mean let’s think of some of the obstacles you might be facing right now -- students who aren’t coming to school, parents who aren’t being supportive, students who are reading 2 and 3 grades below grade level, a lack of funding to support your educational program, teachers who are ineffective and resistant to change, central office mandates that create more work and keep you from focusing on the work you need to be doing, no time to get into classrooms because you are constantly putting out fires, and I could go on and on and on.   How can you take these very real obstacles and create opportunities from them?   That’s what we’re going to talk about on today’s episode.


3 Oct 2018

Rank #7

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Are there some teachers who should just be fired?

Today we’re talking about something pretty controversial: What do you do about a teacher who just needs to go?   I get this question all the time. I do a lot of workshops showing school leaders how to achieve their goals WITH the people they have, only for someone to inevitably raise their hand and ask, “What if a teacher can’t improve and just needs to be fired?”   I know it can be frustrating to feel as if the work that you know you need to do for your school and the goals you know you need to accomplish seem to be held hostage by that one teacher who is resisting your efforts to the point of ruining your culture or that one teacher who is so ineffective in the classroom that it’s feels impossible that she can ever improve.   Full disclosure here. I believe that ANY teacher can become a master teacher with the right kind of support and practice. But is that REALLY true? Can ANY teacher become a master teacher? Or, are there some teachers who just need to be fired.   Well, we’re going to dive into the controversy today and talk about how you can improve your school and reach your school goals with the people you currently have (even the resistant or ineffective ones) and you’re going to learn how to do it, #likeabuilder.


12 Dec 2018

Rank #8

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How to get everyone off the sidelines and actively engaged in transformation

Wanna know the most frustrating part of any transformation process? It's when you are ready to stop talking about transformation and actually implement the changes you're looking to make. Do this wrong, and you get spotty implementation with some teachers actively engaged and others sitting things out on the sidelines. But, if you've properly laid the groundwork during the first 3 stages of the Transformation Process, you can get everyone implementing the changes you want to see consistently and pervasively (and without a whole lot of drama!) So, on today's episode discover the 3 steps you can take to overcome inertia and foot-dragging and get everyone actively engaged in the transformation. 


23 Oct 2019

Rank #9

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Makeover Show: The Vision and Mission Statement Edition

We make over a lot of vision and mission statements here at Mindsteps and today, I want to let you in on 2 of the biggest mistakes I see school leaders make when it comes to their vision and mission statements. I'll also share a few examples of these mistakes and show you how to quickly correct them so that you have a vision and mission statement you can actually use to drive the work of your school. If you think vision and mission statements are boring, then you're probably making these same mistakes yourself. Tune in to find out how to transform your vision and mission statements and unleash their hidden power to ignite passion, give focus and meaning to your work, and ultimately help you achieve more for your school than you've ever imagined. All this happens when you make over your vision and mission statements #LikeABuilder.


27 Nov 2019

Rank #10

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Makeover Show: The Core Values Edition

If you're working on developing real core values for your school, then you need to listen to today's episode! Discover 3 of the biggest mistakes people make when creating school core values and learn how some very simple tweaks can take your core values from "meh" to "yeah!" When you're done, you'll be able to make over your own core values #LikeABuilder.


20 Nov 2019

Rank #11

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Multiply your ability to influence teacher behavior with this one simple tweak

Sometimes when you are working to help teachers improve, it can feel like for every step you take forward, you take two steps back. You try to give teachers good feedback, you provide great professional development and coaching, but sometimes, teachers still don’t improve. When teachers aren’t performing, leaders resort to writing the teacher up, putting the teacher on a performance plan, or proving an avalanche of feedback and support. However, Builder’s know that those tools don’t work. In fact, Builders know that there are only four things you can do to actually impact teacher behavior and performance. I call these four things, the Four Disciplines of Buildership. Chances are, you’re probably already practicing some or all of these four disciplines already, but on today’s episode, you’ll discover a simple tweak you can make that will exponentially magnify your effectiveness. Tune in to this episode find out how to multiply your effectiveness with teachers #LikeABuilder.


4 Sep 2019

Rank #12

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How to use data #LikeABuilder

Have you ever gone to a district meeting and been presented with your data and been told to fix it?   Or has your supervisor come to your school and beat you up over your data?   Unfortunately, data is often used as a sort of blunt instrument to bludgeon people into action and demand new results.   Or, maybe you’re in a school where ALL you talk about is data. You have data walls, and spreadsheets, and charts and graphs that tell them to the minutest detail how every student is doing on every single standard and substandard and they constantly track that data daily.    But do you ever feel like you look at data so much that you are losing sight of your students. Are you so invested in moving the data that that becomes the goal instead of true learning.    Builders don’t run from data or beat people up with the data but they don’t become so data-driven that they lose sight of students. They use a few simple principles to make data WAY more meaningful and efficient in helping you serve your students.   When used the right way, data can be a powerful tool.But, it’s what we do with data that makes it powerful. So today, we’re talking about 3 ways that Builders look at data differently from Leaders or even Bosses and how you can leverage your data to make serious gains this school year #LikeABuilder.


27 Mar 2019

Rank #13

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Bonus Episode: How Kurt got his entire district to adopt and embrace a 100% vision for all students

When you hear that your vision should include 100% of your students, do you cringe a little inside? I mean, sure, we all know that our work should benefit ALL children, but reality says that not EVERY child will be successful. So, should you cast a vision that says 100% of our students will...? A year ago, Kurt was asking himself the very same question. But, he took the leap and cast a 100% vision _for his ENTIRE school district_! In this bonus episode, find out how Kurt got his entire school district to embrace a bold, 100% vision for their students. Plus, hear some of the challenges he faced and how they were able to overcome them to transform the culture of their school district.


2 Aug 2019

Rank #14