December 4, 2018
Growing In The Middle
Carmen Maring, MEMSPA Middle Level Chair
Welcome to December friends! With the change in season comes a final push to the end of 2018. Often times this last month can get crazy and we can lose sight of our purpose in the culture of more, more, more. I listened to a podcast recently (Happier by Gretchen Rubin) that recommended choosing a holiday motto to keep you focused during this crazy busy time. The idea resonated with me and reminded me that we need to take time to identify our priorities so the holidays don’t just happen to us but rather we can be intentional about how we spend our time, who we spend our time with, and why we do what we’re doing. This comes at a critical time as I’m preparing to take off for Traverse City and the MEMSPA annual conference.

A friend reminded me yesterday that we are doing critical work that matters. Principals have a unique platform of impact on an entire building. Remember that your attitude and calm in the midst of the whirlwind has impact on teachers and students. I am looking forward to the MEMSPA annual conference as an opportunity to regroup with my priorities and my mission as well as to reconnect with friends and colleagues who are in the same boat as I am. Whether you’re attending the conference or not, I hope that you’ll take a moment, breathe, and regroup with your mission so you can approach this last month with intention. It matters. YOU matter.

What is your TRUE NORTH as a School Leader?
Molly Funk, Ed.S. and Dr. Pam R. Rosa
When John Hattie, Professor of Education and Director of the Melbourne Education Visible Learning Research Institute at the University of Melbourne, Australia asked over 3000 school leaders what skills they thought they needed to improve, six features arose…how to handle accountability, how to “keep getting better”, how to cope with personal challenges such as “wearing many hats,” how to be an “effective” administrator, and how to better use the infrastructure in their school (J. Smith & R. Smith, 2015, pp. vii). What was surprising to Hattie and the Visible Learning researchers was that there was almost NO reference to enhancing instructional impact or building collective efficacy among staff to deeply know and grow their instructional impact in regards to student learning. 

Hattie and his researchers acknowledge that while “yes” school leaders need to be good at people management and ensuring an orderly flow and sense of fairness in the school, research studies share that these baseline school leadership skills are focused ONLY on running a school but NOT on leading a school. What research would instead have school leaders focus on as their “true north” is to create and sustain pathways for collective collaboration among all adults in the school, to have an agreed understanding of what student learning impact means in their school, agreed understanding of the sources of evidence about the magnitude of this impact, and an equity focus on ensuring all student share in this impact.

Preparing Your Candidacy for Superintendency
   February 16, 2019 or April 27, 2019 | 8:30am – 4:00pm
MASB Offices, 1001 Centennial Way, Suite 400 • Lansing, Michigan 48917
Candidates seeking assistance with  resume and interview preparation  will benefit greatly from this day-long workshop. Veteran search consultants will discuss  strategies for job hunting  and highlight the qualities of winning resumes and interviews. Participants will receive feedback on their own resumes and participate in mock interviews. If you plan to apply for a superintendency this season, you’ll want to take advantage of this unique opportunity! Details and registration information are available  here  for February and  here  for April. 
Partner Spotlight
Equitable Literacy Education: The Transformative Impact of Building Teacher Capacity and Confidence

ESSA requires that all students receive an equitable education, meaning each student receives the specific resources and supports that they need. While having a law in place will help hold schools accountable, equitable education is not possible if the classroom teacher is not properly supported.

Read this white paper  by Dr. Suzanne Carreker, Lexia’s Principal Educational Lead, to learn about 3 ways educators can support equitable literacy education to give every student the opportunities they deserve.