Here’s how a network works.

Our Teaching-Learning-Innovation team is in its second year of learning with the WASA ILN. Lots of letters there. Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA). Instructional Leadership Network (ILN). We are learning with and from leaders around our state. Our two primary learning leaders are Dr. Jenni Donohoo and Dr. Peter DeWitt. Learning leaders is a good way to describe their work with us. So is learning challengers. Here’s a challenge from Peter DeWitt that sticks with me:


In our own shop, we are working with our principals and assistant principals. Our work is centered on Leading Collective Efficacy and our source material is Leading Collective Efficacy by Jenni Donohoo and Stefani Arzonetti Hite. We next meet again with our building leaders in early November. Peter’s challenge has me pondering.

I’m pondering the exact questions Peter posed. Do we all know why we’re learning about CTE? Is there a problem? What is the problem we’re addressing? Do we have the skills to address the problem? And are we, as the PL people, providing what is needed to address the problem?

This is the power of a professional network. Smart, experienced people ask other smart, experienced people questions. Pose challenges, in the context of the focus. And then smart, experienced people reflect, to make sure that the thing is indeed the thing. I think the thing is the thing, but who am I? I need to find out of others see the thing as the thing. The thing, in my opinion, is the loss of a sense of efficacy by some, or a lot, of teachers. That what they do, when they do it, produces the outcome they seek. The past 3 years have provided a fertile environment for efficacy to be diminished. Putting it mildly.

So when we gather to learn together next, with our smart, experienced building leader people, we’re going to lean into Peter’s challenging questions. And we are having that important and powerful conversation because of our work in a professional learning network.

Thanks to WASA, Mike, Chris, Jenni, and Peter!

Author: Jeff Nelson

Jeff Nelson Fife School District Assistant Superintendent:Teaching-Learning-Innovation 39 years as an educator. 16 years teacher 3 years assistant principal 12 years principal 8 years Assistant Superintendent BA, Washington State University MAEd, Washington State University Previous member of AWSP Legislative Committee Previous member of UW Tacoma PEAB, Administrative Certification Established and maintained Fife’s first website for 7 years Present work includes establishing the first Teaching/Learning/Innovation department in the Fife School District. Examples of responsibilities include: teacher/administrator professional development, assessment, TPEP, curriculum/materials review, 24 credit requirement, technology levy leadership, teacher/administrator bargaining. Initiatives underway in Fife, as a result of new TLI Department: AVID, OER, Curriculum and Materials reviews, Student Perception Pilot with CSTP, Google Expedition Cofounder of Educational Internet Communications, LLC. Marketed and sold one of the first online grade checking programs in the US. Consulted with Seattle Educational Internet Company for 2 years. jnelson@fifeschools.com twitter.com/jeffnelsonTLI

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