Leaders become weak when they allow their emotions to overtake them and neglect to improve their skills, writes career coach John O'Connor. "To push yourself beyond your capabilities and to prevent leadership kryptonite, use self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy and social skills," he writes.
Oklahoma teacher education leaders gathered recently for a summit to suggest a myriad of solutions to the state's teacher shortage for lawmakers to consider, including student loan forgiveness programs, signing bonuses and state-funded paid internships. Deputy State Superintendent Robyn Miller also suggested providing more support for new teachers to increase retention.
The Sealaska Heritage Institute recently invited middle- and high-school teachers to a weeklong seminar in Juneau, Alaska, to learn how to integrate traditional Northwest Coast handicrafts, such as basket-weaving, into math lessons. Weaving instructor Ilskyaalas Delores Churchill said the process helps teach respect for the environment, and ethnomathematician Swapna Mukhopadhyay noted that basket-weaving can illustrate concepts such as geometry and measurement in engaging ways.
Teachers and staff at Belmonte Middle School in Saugus, Mass., created a transition program for incoming students with autism spectrum disorder. The program, which began in July, emphasizes color-coded "zones of regulation" to help students identify their emotions, and features activities that teach self-regulation and coping skills.
Seventh- and eighth-grade students in one Illinois middle school this year will be taught math by a virtual program livestreamed into the classroom after the open in-person position went unfilled. School board officials say it's a short-term solution until a qualified teacher is hired.
Help employees contribute by setting up simple processes that can be used to communicate and evaluate ideas on an ongoing basis, write Kate Isaacs and Deborah Ancona of the MIT Leadership Center. "If the idea gains support, the champion schedules regular peer review sessions with people from manufacturing, R&D, sales & marketing, and other areas of expertise who are in a good position to judge and refine the idea," they write.
College and university board chairs and other leaders should prepare ahead of time to handle a crisis by being aware of potential problems, understand their role and responsibilities and be ready to support administrators, writes Margaret Dunning, a managing partner of Finn Partners. After a crisis, the board should be fully briefed on what strategies worked and what needs improvement, she notes in this commentary.
The University of Minnesota's first female president, Joan Gabel, says women should support one another on their path to success and not allow others to define what that path looks like. "We should all be sailing over the bar, but there's more than one bar," she said.
High-school English teacher Melinda Buchanan surveys eighth-graders about their reading preferences and uses the results to select books for her students and the classroom library as a means of opening dialogue. When freshmen arrive in her classroom, they're more likely to find relevant books and want to read for fun, Buchanan says.
New Iowa school district superintendent Robert Kobylski says he brings "a fresh set of eyes" to the area from his last job in Wisconsin that will help him clearly see opportunities and challenges. Kobylski says he'll focus on closing the achievement gap in the district and finding ways to better engage parents.