Summer 2015 got off to an amazing start with the Galileo Leadership Academy retreat at Yarrow Conference Resort, located in West Michigan. The beautiful setting was just far enough away from civilization to enable us to really focus on learning about leadership and the people who will travel with us on this two year journey.
One of the primary goals of the Galileo Leadership Academy is to develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of teacher leaders which include servant leadership, collaboration, facilitation, best practices, action research, and systems thinking. During the three day retreat we were given many opportunities to explore ourselves and our impact on others, primarily by examining Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. With passionate and dynamic facilitation by Joyce, Meghan and Mary we were able to see how Covey’s habits can unlock the door to increased productivity both personally and professionally and we were inspired to become more compassionate, effective teacher leaders.
We considered best practice by reviewing and discussing Marzano’s Classroom Instruction That Works and Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximizing Impact on Learning by John Hattie. We launched our study of the impact of a growth mindset by reading The Perils and Promises of Praise by Carol Dweck. We gained a deeper understanding of mindset and the value of “choosing” to adopt a growth mindset in order to be more successful. We learned about language we can use with students to help them remain persistent, resilient and focused on the process of learning. We learned about language frames we can use to provide effective feedback to students that enable them to see their own progress and results.
Leadership is about influence and much of our training at Yarrow emphasized the power of collaboration. We were constantly engaged in team activities designed to build trust, communication, flexible thinking and adaptability. We used the Compass Points Exercise to reflect upon our own behaviors and preferences in group work and to determine how to play to the strengths of a group. We looked at the phases of team formation and gained knowledge about how to help a team become effective quickly. In just three short days we laid the foundation to become a vibrant and exciting learning community.
FOLLOW THE YARROW BRICK ROAD
As summer comes to and end and the start of a new school year looms we need to take time to ponder and reflect on how we will take our learning from Yarrow back to our classrooms and colleagues. What was your greatest “Aha!” moment? What strategies will you commit to using in the classroom? How do you plan to share your learning with others?
We hope to continue learning and sharing with you all and we now have a Google Community posted for Galileo members here: https://plus.google.com/u/1/communities/116984872142119226589 .
This community is private to Galileo Leadership Academy members both past and present, so please open a free Google+ account and request membership. Feel free to post resources, articles, ideas, comments, discussion topics, etc.
As we prepare to head back to school we’d like to start a conversation around our learning about growth mindset. We have posted articles and links in the Google forum and would like you to consider the following question:
What are the barriers to developing a growth mindset in our students, colleagues and parents?
We look forward to hearing your responses in the Google forum and on Twitter #Galileo15.