Monday, March 17, 2014

#ASCD14 Culture Shock: Transitioning to a Better School Culture

A couple of weeks ago I purchased  Digital Leadership: Changing Paradigms for Changing Times on twitter. The new book by Eric Sheninger  talks about the role of leadership in changing the culture of a school utilizing digital tools.

As I began reading the book I realized this was a book every principal should read.  So, my advice to all principals, read the book. You may not agree with everything but you will be challenged to re-evaluate your role as a technology leader for your school.   

I was excited to see his name on the presenter list at ASCD.  The session were highlights of a lot of the material he covered in the book.  Overall it was a good session.  

Sheninger shared his story of how his school was transformed from a culture that did not embrace technology tools to a school that not only embraces technology, they are now a school people turn to for ideas.  The driving force behind all of this is Sheninger.  The big take away for me was the reinforcement of the idea that for change and transformation to happen in schools, the principal is THE key to the success of any initiative.  The school leader has to be able to share the vision with the teachers and staff of the school.  Sharing the vision:  that's the easy part.  Once shared the principal becomes the driving force behind getting the rest of the school to embrace the vision.  What Sheninger does best is he models what he would like to see his teachers do in their classes.  He doesn't just talk the vision, he lives the vision.  When teachers see their leaders embrace and live the vision it becomes much easier for them to get on board.  

Some of his comments:

We try to create a school that works for our kids and not just for us.

Learning is impacted by so many factors. Emotions, climate, teachers

Change is not easy.

His challaenge to the audience:  
What do you want to change?
Why is the change needed:
How are you going to make sure the change becomes and embedded component of your school culture?
Develop a plan

The link for his resources. Tinyurl.Com/cultureshock14


  1. As a special ed teacher of many years, I have found what you have stated to be so very true! I have struggled and still do to find a leader that thinks this way and supports their teachers.

    1. Sharon, Hopefully as changes continue to happen in schools more principals will become real learning leaders and advocates for their students.