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Dr. Dianna Lindsay's picture
After 43 years in my chosen profession, I remain excited, alive, and learning! From an active Twitter Account to blogging, from teaching Constitutional Law to Pre-AP English, from a national winner...
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Leading for Meaning, Change, and Promise

  • My role is unique in contemporary education: I teach and lead. It is as easy as birlingdown a raging river drinking hot tea! The role adds meaning to "walking and talking the talk". While there are a myriad of reasons to say that can't happen in my organization because we are too large, we are too small, we are too diverse, we are too international, or we are too specialized, the reality is that I have always been a teaching principal in schools as large and diverse as 3400 and as small and international as 150. It works; it is hard!
  • Lately, I am reading a great deal about the trends in leadership across business, industry and military circles. The message seems to resound similarly in education (public and independent). Leadership has trends to understand and tensions to manage.
  • 1. Change is here and is our constant guide. Making change understood in education is not easy. Teachers want to prepare lessons for the year, a course of a life-time, and a master schedule that meets adult needs. The reality is simple-that doesn't work! Commitment to change is a commitment to the ideal that organizations are dynamic; values are stable and remain the frame in which changes are featured.
  • 2. Change happens because we want our schools to be authentic for each learner. Therefore, change brings us as teachers a Renaissance each year. Seeking to understand geography through anthropology, art through mathematics, and history through food are real ways to re-examine our content and to help students make meaning in their work. Making the platform interactive and high touch adds reality to abstractions; if you can't make it real, frankly, you don't know it well enough to teach it!
  • 3. Change requires numerous conversations and bite-size portions. Change is unsettling! It erodes prior successes and makes adults uneasy; it also does the same to young people. Change is liking moving from a home in which you lived for ten years; you know it, why leave for a strange new land? Small discussions help move the change forward and assists in cultivating new hands to support the move!
  • 4. Change is central to personalization and customization. How can one-size fit all; as a woman, I know, one-size rarely fits anyone! Changing our delivery systems, lessons, applications, leadership, and durability is hard work while teaching or leading! But, change is a constant guide; it is a tension to be managed not a problem to be solved.
  • 5. Change is impacted by social media. It gives everyone a platform, vote, and voice. It has changed everything from nations to command-and-control environments. Try making any change without the social media platforms and you will soon understand you are wasting time, talent, and possibilities. The hierarchy is upside down; get use to it! Use high touch, personalization, and communications to teach for support; telling for support does not have the same impact.
  • Change is our new normal. Are you ready to act, explain, and guide your faculty to new places?