The Other 21st Century Skills: Educator Self-Assessment

User Generated Education

I’ve posted about The Other 21st Skills and Attributes.  This post provides links and resources about these skills as well as an educator self-assessment.  This assessment contains questions to assist the educator in evaluating if and how s/he is facilitating these skills and attributes in the learning environment. skills

21st century skills

Related Resources:

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The Power of Learning By Modeling


So much of the learning that has accompanied my education has had nothing to do with a classroom. I have personally benefited by being surrounded by people who have modeled intelligence and character. These people became my models, my heroes. Why do we love heroes so much? They give us something to aspire to, a hope of what we can become ourselves. Today, for example we stop to recognize the leadership and sacrifice of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Our country is still feeling the effect of his efforts to educate and promote peace through reconciliation between people. I am profoundly reminded in a world filled with much social conflict, that we have come far in many areas, but yet have so far to go. The future will require leaders who can handle some huge questions. We consistently need to raise up in our community and schools, leaders who aren’t afraid to question, think, and demonstrate deep character. 

We talk a lot about the need for societal change,  but truthfully that is a macro level issue that will only be solved with a micro level solution – me. For real change to occur I need to exhibit it, by bringing real ideas and exemplary character to the table. In my life I have had some fantastic examples of leadership through my grandmother, parents, and other men who invested in me. All of these people have taught me through their example the power of relationship and how it impacts change.

My grandmother was in the banking industry for over 30 years and would tell me story after story about how she dealt with difficult people and different types of people of all colors and classes.  I learned more often by sitting at her feet than in a classroom. Those skills she imparted I carry with me today as I see the world as my classroom. However, at a much more concrete level I understand that my greatest influence currently is the school building where I serve as an administrator.

When I walk through those school doors each day I’m reminded that my most powerful teaching happens through my example. 

Some Helpful questions as I Model Learning

  1. How can I affect the culture of my school today through relationship building, trust giving, and empowering personal ownership of learning whether social or intellectual?
  2. What do I want students and staff to understand about their value as learners? What does that look like?
  3. Is there one person in particular I could be mentoring and building capacity, whether a student or staff team member? This extends beyond your core leadership team.
  4. Am I leading the way by modeling being an active, engaged, & life long learner? Am I challenging myself to grow as much as I am my team?
  5. Are all decisions being made with the highest ethics and integrity possible?

There is a laundry list of areas in life I have not figured out but this is one I am working on daily. Let us not be so short sighted to believe that the best learning is from a book or a standardized skill, but instead through the power of a person’s model.

Grow. Lead. Serve. -Jeff

Setting Boundaries: 7 Ways Good Managers Get It Wrong

There are some great points raised here. In education the role of manager at the campus level is the administration. Lately I have been contemplating the supervisory aspect of myself as an admin. We must always keep before ourselves that we our goal is to improvement people (teachers) so that we may grow the potential for student learning in the classroom. We win most when we operate from a place of being no directive, when teachers are so vested they seek improvement. We then come alongside to provide support to help them realize their goals of improvement.
Occasions will arise when a clear directive must be implemented and given but the majority of the time we can often reach a positive outcome utilizing the power of relationship.

Blanchard LeaderChat

Sneakers From Above.Employees know when they have a “nice” manager who isn’t really in charge—and in the end, it makes them feel unsafe. Dr. Henry Cloud literally wrote the book on this topic, but I wanted to share a cast of characters to help represent some of the boundary-challenging habits I’ve seen that can undermine the good manager.

Please don’t be too alarmed if you see yourself in one of these descriptions—that was one of my intentions. I wanted to make it easy for you to identify yourself. After all, you can’t craft a solution until you identify the real nature of the problem. My intention in using the labels is to keep things fun and light, but also to be clear.  Okay, here goes:

The In-Director. You believe people don’t like to be bossed around, and you don’t want people to think you’re bossy.  So you don’t give super…

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My #Oneword for 2015

I’m not very good at resolutions. In fact, I don’t like to write things down. This is all very interesting to consider knowing that I am called “organized” by those who know me.  My brain just doesn’t think in these linear ways of lists and so on. However, surely I can commit to at least one word for 2015. The challenge created in my #Sunchat PLC Twitter chat this morning was to identify that one word that you could stick with this year, that could sum it all up for you. Now being an educator, words are easy. In fact, I hate that I even have to be nailed down by one word, I am very wordy after all. However, the brevity is refreshing and forces focus.

So the word – Tenacity. This next year I want to be committed to dogged determination, to hold a firm grip in all areas of my life.

As an administrator this year I want to be tenacious about…

Student success

Giving students a reason for “Why School” 

Teacher growth

Problem solving/exploration 

Creativity and Innovation

Cultivating a strong school culture

Personally learning and growing because people count on me

Holding my wife and kids closer literally and emotionally (most important!) 

Laughing more 

Praying more intentionally 

Serving all 

The list doesn’t end because each day I will add something to it. Will I have off days, you bet. However, I am writing tonight on my bathroom mirror (hope you are cool with that babe) in dry erase marker TENACITY, a great visual reminder each day to be committed to what I am committed to. 

“Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal: my strength lies solely in my tenacity. – Louis Pasteur

Grow. Lead. Serve. -Jeff

Full Scale vs. Small Scale: What’s Our Way Forward?

The time we invest experimenting or another way to put it, piloting a concept or program at the campus level will have a much higher rate of return eventually. The patience and diligence in time will allow a full scale roll out, in our haste to innovate we might lack necessary structures that given time can be supported. -Jeff


“Innovation isn’t a managerial seminar or analytic exercise.  Innovators act.  They do.  They test.  They respect results.” -Michael Schrage ‘The Innovator’s Hypothesis: How Cheap Experiments Are Worth More Than Good Ideas’

Running an educational institution such as a school or district is not the same as running a business, and vice versa.  But there is a lot that they can learn from each other.  Especially in this new age of high-paced change and disruptive thinking and innovation.  Whether in business or education, you have to be able to multitask your thinking, in regards to keeping focused in the present while having your sights set on the future.  It is necessary, if we are to sustain any type of creative and innovative effectiveness and relevance as we move forward.

It is this kind of thinking that we have seen from such creative and innovative companies such as Google, Intuit, Amazon, Apple…

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