Saturday, January 28, 2012

15 things successful CEOs want TEACHERS to know

original article posted by Peter Corbett at 15 things successful CEOs want you to know

I love this article.  It isn't the kind of thing I usually post
but I am about to teachify it.

1.  Figure out what the five most important stuff is, focus relentlessly on that and keep iterating.  Less is more.
Select 5 focuses, regardless of whether the school wide culture is pushing for more.
My five are:
  1. Know each child personally and make them feel special, be kinder than is necessary.
  2. Intentionally build a rapport with parents.
  3. Know the curriculum.
  4. Learn and try at least 1 new tool a month (sometimes it's tech, sometimes math, art, a teaching strategy, grow, grow, grow).
  5. Share.
2.  Don’t let people tell you your ideas won’t work. If you have a hunch that something will work, go build it. Ignore the haters.
Oh the haters.  Why are there haters?  Do you ever feel like a dork for putting yourself out there?  I do.  I will lie in bed awake thinking, I shouldn't have sent that e-mail, why am I sending people stuff I think they might use/benefit from?  They don't have time for my needless e-mails.  Refer to 5 on my list.

3.  Just do it. Get it out there, absorb the feedback, adjust accordingly, hustle like hell, persevere and never lose your swagger.
Adjusting is not easy but yes, adjust.  Lessons don't work.  The students don't get it.  I missed the teachable moment  The final product wasn't what I expected.  The tech had glitches.  Who cares.  Get over it.  Try again tomorrow.  (I don't typically swagger but for what it's worth I do walk more confidently in a great wedge.) 

4.  Follow your gut, it may be wrong, but you won’t regret it if you fail. You’ll regret it if you ignore your gut and fail.
My gut is helpful when it comes to young people.  I need to slow down in the classroom to feel it.  How do the students look?  Are they happy?  Is something bothering them?  Look closely, listen quietly, they are the first priority.

5.  Treat people like you want to be treated. Apply to customer service.
Treat people like you want to be treated.  Apply to parents.  Apply to students.  Imagine your administrator correcting your behaviour the way you just corrected you-know-who who is sprawling under her desk with marker on her face.  Now imagine that her parents heard you.

6.  Do work for your customers, not for press or VCs. The end user is what matters long term.
Do work for your students, not for administration (although with good admin, this will naturally follow) or to please colleagues or sometimes parents.  The students are who matter in the long term.

7.  Only reinvent the wheels you need to get rolling.
This goes back to 5 on my list.  SHARE!  And if it's already done, use it!  Don't redo it to make it prettier now, you can do that later, when you have time.  For now it is good enough. Will the time I spend making/improving this today significantly impact the learning of my students tomorrow?  If it won't stop working and go watch Glee.

8.  Pick one thing and do that one thing — and only that one thing — better than anyone else ever could.
In your first 5 years don't go there (yes give yourself 5), just make teaching your one and only thing.  But once you get the hang of it, if you are particularly good at something, do it.  But then don't do other stuff.  If you can plan the best Terry Fox run ever take that on - but not everything else too.  I'm good at making nice French stuff on my computer, just sayin'.

9.  Make something people want. Then give more damns than anyone else about it and you’ll make something they love.
Hopefully what people want is a good education for their children.  Then, when you give more damns than anyone else that education becomes a beautiful, caring, inspiring and challenging place for children to come and learn with you every single day.

10.  Buy @ericries's book.  Beyond that?  Build a platform.  This is the big year.
I think he said read.

11.  Startup wisdom: The number one job of a CEO is to not run out of money.
Ha!  I'll bet not run out of money!  That's just funny in public education isn't it?  Let's go with be hesitant to spend your own cash.   Will the money I spend today significantly impact the learning of my students tomorrow?  If it won't stop spending and go watch Glee.

12.  Always be learning from others. Whenever you meet someone, you don’t want something from them, you want to learn from them.
I love people.  I collect people as prolifically as my boys collect Pokémon cards.  I didn't know why until I realized that they are my real life bookshelf for learning how to be, act, live and how not to be, act, live.

13.  Sometimes it's easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission.
I disagree.  What can I say, I'm a rule abider.  I did use the office copy code once though when I ran out . . . 

14.  Give away the wins, own the losses. Your job is to curate greatness.
Give away the wins to your students.  Don't do for them what they can do for themselves and they will be able to take credit for every single success big and small.  And then tell their parents about it.

15.  Users and employees are key predictive indicators of a company’s success; press and investors are generally months behind.
Students and parents are key predictive indicators of a teacher's success; if you're not constantly growing and learning and improving and searching and sharing and collaborating with great educators you admire YOU  and your teaching are generally YEARS behind.

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