Leading With a Learner Mindset

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

Continuous Learning is one of my favorite ATC values. I think about the value in two ways. As a coach, and a facilitator of professional development for the program, I think about the consistent growth we want to see teachers make year to year. We want to make sure each PD session results in meaningful learning and follows a consistent and continuous progression. I also think about continuous learning as a way of being and what it means to engage with the world around us with a learner mindset. What is the value in being a person that seeks to understand others, that questions their own motivations, and that views every challenge as an opportunity for learning.

Last week during our full-team meeting, the ATC staff took some time to unpack the Fall Culture Survey data together. (Thank you to everyone who took the time to provide us with that feedback). There was a lot to celebrate in terms of program growth from last year to this one and there was a lot of constructive criticism and feedback on how to continue to improve. I was really moved by how we oriented to both as a team. Before making assumptions about fellow meaning and intent, or even our own success and failure, we asked questions. We broke down the data and considered it from multiple viewpoints and fellow experiences. We determinately pushed ourselves to think beyond the easy and surface level responses to our questions, and we made time and opportunity for follow up where there is still more learning to do.

I think the humility and perspective with which we were able to approach our task connects directly to this ATC value of Continuous Learning. We know that even as people who have been in this work for a while, we have room to grow. We know that even as educators with insights into a variety of classrooms we are not teaching in classrooms at this time. We know that with every lesson we may be able to offer for fellows, there will be a lesson in the experience for us as well. And all of that influences how we orient as a staff to program feedback.

This, of course, is just one example. There are so many opportunities for each of us to engage with our work through the lens of Continuous Learning each day and I hope you challenge yourself to do so. In your PD, coaching debriefs, time with students, and even just lunch conversations with peers, I hope you are able to create new meaning and obtain new perspectives that energize you and fuel your work.

Thank you for all you do – including continuously teaching me,