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Cats and dogs

I remember working with a teacher whose class was fabulous for him … and only him.  He was a talented classroom operator with a highly unique and somewhat unorthodox way of teaching that’s hard, even now, to describe.

He could make breakthroughs with tough kids too.  They loved him.

He commented to me one day that “You know what, Adam?  I reckon kids are like dogs sometimes.  They’re loyal to one master.”

I countered that this wasn’t what I was seeing with “I actually reckon they’re more like cats.  They kill in your honour and spit the carcass onto the doormat for you to admire.”

And this is genuinely what these students did.

If this teacher was ever away, his students tore relief teachers to pieces.  If they were split to another class, they were diabolical and they were nightmarish for the school’s specialist teachers.

I’m also quite sure that there are talented teachers around the country, perhaps in your school, doing a great job but making it harder for the other teachers in their school.

This is why an explicit practice framework for your school is so important.  How would you know your approach is explicit?:

  1. You’d be clear on the language, conduct and mindsets that influence our collective practice … all of us.
  2. Talent is rewarded and recognised less than the deployment of the framework.
  3. You have words to describe your school’s practice. There’s little point to the ambition of “getting everyone on the same page” if you aren’t going to bother to write that page.
  4. Your framework is geared around agreed processes and less around hopeful outcomes.

Is it time your school stopped relying on talent and established clarity around the way you teach and treat people?

Keep fighting that good fight,

I have a few PS messages for you today:

PS1. Come to a FREE webinar on “Leading Whole School Behaviour Improvement” on Wednesday 9th November at 2pm AEDT by registering at this link.

PS2. Are you a Principal contemplating a career change?  Come along to an online Role Briefing on Monday 7th November at 7pm AEDT about what it takes to be our next Real Schools Expert Facilitator by clicking here

PS3. Places in The Inner Circle for 2023 are filling rather quickly.  If you’d like to grab a seat at the table, you’d better hurry. Click here for info and enrolment

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