I had to really think about captivating hearts and attempted to make all of these crazy ideas in my head make sense.  The head won’t go where the heart hasn’t traveled.

Why…

I believe that we can increase student interest in our Career and Technology Education Department by offering a blended learning environment on our campus.   I believe this model will inspire and foster creativity in our students at JHS.

What…

Our students will use the blended method of learning to enhance the learning process by becoming life-long learners.  Our students will be creating projects and assignments that are engaging, challenging, and rewarding.  Students will be engaging in challenging and creative projects that can be stored and showcased electronically for future use in college and the workforce.

How…

Students will provide at least three examples of producing quality results through projects, online assessment tests, checking for understanding, redirection through collaborative feedback and constructive criticism that will lead a positive, thought-provoking process that will create an end result of pride in student work and create a chain reaction of excitement throughout the district.

My goal is to help other faculty members overcome their fears of change in education while increasing test scores by using technology effectively in the classroom.   By using Blackboard in the classroom, students will be able to do basic assignments online, teachers will be able to collaborate with students easier and will be able to provide feedback more quickly and easily.  This process will allow students to take ownership of their education and the district can look at a lower cost of offering more course options.

Self-Differentiated Leader…

Becoming a self-differentiated leader will help me face the anxieties within myself and throughout my campus while implementing a new “change” that will be beneficial to all connected with the project.   I must start with me to promote responsibility and accountability.  Change is difficult and will present challenges throughout the plan.  It is extremely important to stick to our WIG (wildly important goal), weekly meetings, scoreboard, rewards, and habits that will provide success for the program and success for the students.

I believe the most important concept I learned from reading A Failure of Nerve by Edwin H. Friedman is the “Take Five” concept.

  • A capacity to get outside the emotional climate of the day – my whirlwind each day.
  • A willingness to be exposed and vulnerable – taking total responsibility for my own reactions.
  • Persistence in the face of resistance and downright rejection – I must be able to ignore the voices in my head.
  • Stamina in the face of sabotage along the way – I will not lose my nerve and I will maintain a level of enthusiasm to keep other team members heading in the right direction.
  • Being “headstrong” and “ruthless” – keep the goal the main focus.

influencer-model-image

Team members need to feel safe when bringing constructive criticism to the team.  As the team leader, the following vital behaviors need to be addressed:

Personal Motivation – Use the blended learning method to excite students and teachers about learning and make it contagious.  Always remember that my “Guinea worm” is to make learning more meaningful, rewarding, and exciting.  Never forget that “aha” moment in class when a student’s eyes shine brightly and are ready to come to class to share more “aha” moments.  Finally, find those crucial moments where the teachers can learn from the students.  Those moments are truly priceless.

Personal Ability – Team members will need training on how to utilize the software and lessons in the classroom.  This is where I will look for the behaviors and skills in team members and encourage collaboration by using the abilities that we already possess.  Team members will share technical knowledge with each other to keep the momentum rolling.

Social Motivation – Personally, I think this stage is the biggest obstacle in the process.  My first suggestion to the other team members would be to watch a lesson that I’ve already created and view student projects.  I would encourage them to ask questions, observe my class personally, visit my website, and ask my students about how the lessons were created and completed.  My second suggestion would be to find a lesson that is already developed and try it out before giving up.  Finally, I would encourage reluctant team members to let me help them design a lesson to use as an ice breaker.  As the team leader, I will offer praise but still hold each team member accountable.

Social Ability – This is the stage where we enlist the help of our co-workers.  The scoreboard will be updated weekly and through weekly meetings, we can find out which specific goals were met and which ones need a little push.  Communication is crucial at this point and the path needs to be followed or adjusted for the achievement of goals.  One possible suggestion would be to have a buddy or mentor to help each team member stay motivated, focused, and accountable.

Structural Motivation – Although some team members may be motivated by intrinsic rewards, others may want to earn additional technology for their classroom or earn blue jean passes or duty-free pass days.  As the team leader, I must find which motivator works best for each team member.  The scoreboard will also be a motivator for some team members not because they want to win, but because they don’t want to lose.  If only each team member finds a way to provide the same instruction that is already provided but using the digital resources that will make our jobs more rewarding.  The whirlwind will definitely be around most of the time, but if we can see our way through the debris and create interesting and engaging lessons, I believe the innovation plan will thrive.  We have to create lessons anyway, why not make them easy to update, find new pools of information, and send our students into the digital world one step ahead of the game.

Structural Ability – Tools, funding, and equipment are just a few of the resources needed for this stage.  As the team leader, I am looking for funding through local grants and through our district technology program called Special Request Form.  Locally, I have access to apply for two grants per year.  I also have a small amount of federal funding that can be used for my computer lab.  Finally, I will solicit donations from the community to supplement the purchase of software, hardware, rewards, etc.  There’s always that good old-fashioned fund raising to add additional resources, too.

4DX – the characteristics for stamina to push through the resistors!

Influencer Strategy

As I submit this final assignment, I know that I have learned many things over the last five weeks.  Technology is disruptive, there will be “life happenings” in all areas of my life, Spring is coming, seniors are ready to graduate, and the whirlwind exists daily.  But at the end of the day, my students deserve a true commitment and effort on my part in order to ensure success on their part.  Alas, words of wisdom from my daddy…

You have two ears and one mouth for a reason…Charles Lewis”

 

References

Grenny, J., Patterson, K., Maxfield, D., McMillan, R., & Switzler, A. (2013).  Influencer:  The new science of leading change:  2nd ed.  New York, NY:  McGraw-Hill Education.

Friedman, E. (2007).  A failure of nerve:  Leadership in the age of the quick fix.  New York, NY:  Church Publishing, Inc.

McChesey, C., Covey, S., & Huling, J. (2016).  The 4 disciplines of execution:  Achieving your wildly important goals. New York, NY:  Free Press.

Big Blended Learning Guide [Digital image]. (n.d.). Retrieved February 21, 2017, from https://d3e7x39d4i7wbe.cloudfront.net/uploads/package/image/32/big_Blended_Learning_Guide-1444071151.jpg.

Influencer Model [Digital image]. (n.d.). Retrieved February 21, 2017, from https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/b8/58/1c/b8581c8583d128e4e4a292da933fe6d2.jpg.