Hello everyone! My name is Dr. Joanna Lein @JoMabeeLein representing the Teaching and Leading Initiative of Oklahoma. We train and coach novice teachers in partnership with school districts (shout out to @BASchools and @clevelandtigers ). YOS 12. #oklaed
A1: In October, I was blasted on FB by a person I have never met nor heard of. I had to even google him to find out he is a professor of ethics at a local university. He attacked my character & me as a professional. I had to ask myself what story was I making up. #oklaed
A1: I'm working toward National Board Certification and have to redo Component 3 (videos). I've rumbled and grumbled, but now I'm ready to get it done so next year at this time I can celebrate! #oklaed
A2: Recently I have had to lean into vulnerability bc I have had to be willing to some days off and rejunvenate. Rumbling is a daily practice w my team. About really rumble w some Admin this week, Ts soon on a district advisory team I am starting. #oklaed
A1) This year I've been assessing the current state of the school. Expectations within SpEd and IEPs have been an area where discussions have grown into commitments to do what is best for Ss. Not always easy. #oklaed
A1 - I’ve taken a lot more risks professionally this year - which also means I’ve failed a lot more professionally this year. I’m learning a lot about myself, my passion, my vision for my career. It’s been humbling & rewarding. #oklaed
A1: I lean into vulnerability every time I own a mistake. Every time I don’t have the answers. Every time I admit imperfection. I embrace that feeling although uncomfortable, it’s when I grow and I can be seen as human by my students. #oklaed
A1) Coaching teachers is difficult because it makes you relive the struggles of year 1. Also, we are in pilot year and our partner districts have been so gracious to give us feedback and adjust with us as we figure out our organizational strategy. #oklaed
A1 #oklaed I feel like I'm always leaning into vulnerability. This year it's challenging the status quo with my district, my leaders, and yes - even with myself. A lot of tough conversations and decisions coming.
A1: 1st teaching statistics I didn't want to just lecture out of the book, I wanted them (seniors) 2 read on their own and come prepared to apply what they read. They all revolted. I have had ask myself is this really going to work? #oklaed
A1-I Rumble with vulnerability often as I share my many failures and learning experiences in meetings or emails that relate to struggles teachers are currently working through. People can tell if that empathy is real or not. #oklaed
Op-ed of the Week: In prep for a family trip to the Capitol in April to support the teacher walkout, my then 9 y/o told me about the sign she wanted to make: “I want to tell the lawmakers that I deserve the same opportunities that kids get in other states” https://t.co/eKKt8oHjy5
A1: Leaning in this year has been difficult. We have tried a lot of new things and have then stepped back to see what's working and what has been a struggle, where we need to shift or move on. Always keeping in mind what is best for kids #oklaed
A1: Many situations come to mind, more of when I am speaking with S’s and T’s during disciplinary situations. I tend to approach situations w/ seeking to understand before being understood. Kids typically realize what is expected of them better. 🤷🏾♂️ #OklaEd#beingvulnerable
A1b) I've also sent out a mid-year climate survey. Coming into the district after a longtime principal is a tough place to be. I wanted honest reflections from Ss, Ts, and Ps. It's been interesting to read the feedback and reflect on the comments. #oklaed
There has never been a better time for teachers to be looking for jobs. It's your market. Be yourself. Present yourself authentically. You will have plenty of offers and get to choose the job that's a great fit for you!
Oh, and we're hiring! #MDPurpose#oklaed
I have had a new job and district every year of my career. This time, I had found myself reluctant to open up to coworkers. My first job was horrible and my second job was amazing. I was nervous about what the future held at this new place. I’m opening up but it’s hard #OklaEd
I've been teaching AP Bio for awhile. Some years they revolt some years they comply. Each time I have to find value for them in the reading. They will do it if they believe it will help them. Hang in there! #oklaed
A1. Spotlight. It's difficult to market due to being the "humbled teacher" in the public. I'm working through it. I don't want/care for the spotlight. However, being an independent ed. consultant, I've got to step into the spotlight (for the work) to get noticed.
This was tough on me though because we’ve always had a way of doing things, but when I thought we needed a boost, I became vulnerable to trying a different way. It was the best thing we’ve done! #oklaed
You can make it feel less like journal writing by having them always write about their struggles with the previous day's material. But if you write personal responses where they make sense, I think you'll find they start writing TO YOU specifically. #oklaed
It’s easy to see failing as losing. I hate losing! Once I changed my perspective as failing being an opportunity to learn/grow, I became more willing to take those risks. Keep growing....thanks for sharing! #oklaed
I wonder at times too. Then a student said I am the best teacher bc students can sit where they want, I make sure they have a snack every day, and I dance and have lunch with them. Love that it had nothing to do with my teaching, and all to do with how I treat them. #oklaed
Same here. The first time I tell them I don't care about their opinion, some are crushed. But when I explain I'd love to read about their research and what they've come to believe, they begin to understand. #oklaed
A3: I believed it was AFTER Trust was built. However, we learn that it is a give and take and part of bldg Trust! As a leader we are always balancing a certain amt of vulnerability w those we lead and our communities. #oklaed
A!?) I take this to heart because as a kid I never felt I had that adult to get my weird. I rarely ever spoke in school ... only to my bestie. My mission is to seek to understand kids and if I can’t ... I have a team who helps and together we can. #oklaed
A1 - I’ve taken a lot more risks professionally this year - which also means I’ve failed a lot more professionally this year. I’m learning a lot about myself, my passion, my vision for my career. It’s been humbling & rewarding. #oklaed
A3: I'm not sure that I have every thought about that. As an adult (which I'm sure this has something to do with my upbringing), it takes a lot of trust and time with me first which can lead to me being perceived as stand-offish and not friendly. #oklaed
A1. Anything related to true equity in education & its origins. It's a difficult conversation to have & takes time for paradigms to shift. But the conversations must (continue to) happen, even when people want to run from the conversations like this...
A3: a very uncomfortable feeling. A feeling of not being in control. Later I learned it’s all of that and so much more. It’s opportunity for growth, reflection, and to really impress yourself with what you can do. #oklaed
I love this. Reminds me of the idea that when a fence is around a playground Ss will explore the whole area and play everywhere, but in an open play area they tend to play more centralized. Ss want a safe place to explore knowing where the limits are. #oklaed
A3- Growing up, I was taught that vulnerability was taking a chance, admitting failure, or not knowing. This was not fostered at my house. It took many years in education and lots of humbling failures to soften me up from my tough up bringing. #oklaed
A4 Vulnerability is a willingness to open up, share shortcomings/failures and have conversations about them to facilitate growth in yourself and maybe keep others from following the same path you did #oklaed
A4: Now I know being vulnerable is putting yourself out there, sharing who and what you are and taking the risk that effort can mean. I am finding I'm getting better at it and the feedback and response has been so much better than I expected! #oklaED
A4 - I am learning more and more it is strength. I have tried to open myself up so much more this year. I want future Ts to experience the honesty in my struggle. I want my Ss to see it as well (they keep telling me no one taught them coping skills). #oklaed
A3) Growing up I believed vulnerability was a sign of weakness. I had a need to do things perfectly and put a lot of pressure on myself. Now, I've learned better and try to show my weaknesses and admit failures to keep me in check and to demonstrate the freedom it brings. #oklaed
A4: oops I kinda said this in my last answer. As an Adult I learned vulnerability is allowing yourself to feel exposed, and trusting others to accept you and not judge it. It’s letting people in to see your authentic self. Not easy, but worth it! #oklaed
A4: ....being brave enough to admit when you’re wrong & say I’m sorry when needed no matter your position and really mean it. .....being brave enough to ask for help and admit you don’t know everything. ...the desire to get out of comfort zone #oklaed
A5: Having a culture of trust is important in situations like this, Ts need to feel comfortable/safe in the realization that they will not always be the best adult for every child in every situation and they need to walk away #oklaed
Q1: Tough year so I don't know where have we not had vulnerability and rumbling this year...our district has a leadership team that rumbles often and we are all leaning on each other to overcome and get better everyday! #oklaed
A4: As an adult, now I believe vulnerability is being open to experiencing deeper kinds of emotions that allow you to connect with yourself and others. It’s a way to become more empathetic to people we are called to serve. #oklaed
A3. Weakness. It wasn't modeled so the cycle continued. I'm grateful for having leaders share their vulnerable moments to model how we are better together (like the Avengers) vs alone.
It takes leadership modeling and creating a safe space for those moments.
A5: Every member within the academic community has the ability to influence the culture/learning environment for our students.
We have a responsibility to ensure the fabric of our inclusive and supportive culture stays strong.
Take action! #oklaed#oklaEd
A5: This is not okay. I will assess the situation and depending on the threat, I will intervene in the conversation suggesting the people to think about why we are in education in the first place. #oklaed
A5: That's a tough one! I do not get involved unless I feel something unethical is happening. I need the context of the situation before I take action. Everyone has a different method of disciplining students. #oklaed
A5: I'm a believer in never undermining another authority in front of student, teachers, etc. But having said that I also believe that often the tone, or behavior is unintentional. I think a one on one conversation with the belittler is an absolute necessity. #oklaED
A4) a sign of strength, the ability to be authentic with yourself and with others. Social media puts out fake images constantly. Vulnerability and authenticity is refreshing, but some are scared/intimidated by it. #oklaed
A5) Treat the janitor with the same respect as the CEO was a mantra of my hero and role model, my grandfather who dropped out of school after 2nd grade. I saw a teacher belittle a custodian once. Once. My reaction wasn't pretty. #oklaed
Q2: We are never going to have 100% of people happy which makes us all vulnerable. It is so important to have a person to vent to that you can trust. The support they give can help us through the negative just as your boss and husband did! #WayToGoHubby#oklaed
A4.... Is earned through TRUST! (Insert groups of people) won't care what you know until they know that you care. They won't be vulnerable until they see you're just as normal as they are and need support.
A5: this is so rare at my school. That is one of the things I love most about my school is the culture. Every kid belongs to everyone. One family. If I were to hear it I would offer a new perspective (kids POV). Sometimes that’s all it takes. #oklaed
A5: I have try to spread the idea of assuming innocence in our Ss Assuming they are innocent when they dont meet expectations allows us 2 choose a productive response Assuming they know better forces us to respond in a punitive way which is not always the best. #oklaed
A6) I have realized that education is a calling and it is about the relationship. If you don’t build them, then you are on sand the entire time. Kids, adults, us as a human race ... we ALL need that human connection. #oklaed
A5: Well, I’m almost 50 years old, so I’m not afraid to speak my mind like I was 30 years ago. I would investigate first and then do something about it. We need to work together, not tear each other down. #oklaed
A6 #oklaed They go hand in hand. The people who are unproductive/ineffective at their work have the most to fear. Our work is too important to let those behaviors continue though. Our students deserve adults willing to have tough conversations.
Shaming is contagious. I have had to put my foot down on some neg. culture builders this year, though some people don't see it as neg. No one is perfect and shaming someone will not change their behavior (for the better). If we want someone to grow we need to show grace. #oklaed
A6: There are days when I feel that I spend more time managing behavior, but then there are days when I feel I have continued to build my rapport with my students. I prefer to manage behavior first before I do anything else. #oklaed
A6 - As a T, I have to promote/create an environment where Ss feel safe - safe to be, safe to explore, safe to share or not - this means I don’t jump into curriculum right away, but I am intentional w/creating this space. #oklaed
A5: I like what DHS’ training for foster and adoptive parents has as a resource for resource parents on trauma, crisis, and discipline. The material can be adopted for PD for school leaders and teachers. #oklaed
A6: I've been working very hard as Science Dept Chair to build relationships, trust and true friendship within my dept. We are building a culture of family, we address problems and celebrate successes and this is the best dept I've ever worked in. My science peeps ROCK #oklaED
A5. I'll never embarrass someone publicly. If I see it happening, I'll ask if they need support so they know I'm there. I'll follow up & investigate their "why." I'll share alternatives. If it's flat out wrong/illegal, I'll ALWAYS protect the Ss first. #oklaed
A6: People’s feelings are so important—Ss and co-workers. Some of you are going to be so shocked to hear how much I hate dealing w/pple’s feelings. I’ve learned to do it but I still don’t like it. #oklaED
I think it’s important to show empathy to both parties. Then I would try to diffuse the situation and see if we could meet behind closed doors once everybody has a chance to sit back and think more clearly. #oklaed
This doesn’t happen enough.....Sadly, all too often, school is a place associated with suffocating failure. Too many people besides the students have the control, and this is never productive. #LetThemBeKids#oklaed
A6) We are in the process of writing a book on #mindsetcoaching. In this, we discuss two processes for change in teacher practice. Change --> belief or Belief-->change. You must address mindsets to change behavior for the long-term. #oklaed
A6) I remind staff continually of how well-behaved our Ss are so they hopefully don't get bogged down in the minors. Focus on the majors - show love, grace, and kindness and educate with expectations for perseverance and growth. #oklaed#betterthanyesterday
When hearing the rumblings of a worry, fears or feelings I believe it is effective to face it head on as much as possible. Depending on the topic that may mean a face to face meeting, an email, personal visit, etc. They want to be informed. #oklaed
Im kind of the same way. Look its time for math. If you are here you need to do math. If theres something more important than math for you right now then you need to go talk to the counselor. Im less blunt in person but thats the idea #oklaed
A6) I always fall back on the old standby, "kids don't care what you know until they know that you care", goes for all people in my opinion. Real relationships with the people I work with is a top priority. #oklaed
A6: Instilling a great culture and climate in your building is a never ending process! I would much rather put time and energy into creating the culture I am seeking than always cleaning up the effects of a poor culture. Culture is contagious and should be top priority! #oklaed
Yes! So our Ss at my school are state-level competitors in extra-curricular and academics. Can you imagine the pressure they face to maintain that level of expectation?!?! Or the pressure if they don't fit that bill? The pressure is real. #oklaed
A8) Oh geez. My whole life?! Now I see my worth and feel as if I am able to champion for others. Life is tough. I feel like I’m able to have real conversations and I’m thankful for this journey that is mine. #oklaed
A8: Living up to the bar I have set for myself and the expectation of myself to make a difference for Ss and the community I serve as well as give back on the broader level. Sometimes I get tired and hope I have enough fuel in the tank. :) #oklaed
A7: I’ve been in-a-many schools nationwide. This part of school leadership is draining and can thwart student achievement and culture if not addressed. My favorite phrase is whatever isn’t THE VISION is DIVISION. #oklaed
A8 - Total transparency - I have felt incredibly inadequate as a T this yr. It feels like I haven’t connected w/Ss as easily as in the past & I just haven’t felt very good at my job. I have had to push back on a lot of feelings of shame this yr, but I’m getting there! #oklaed
A8 I think everyone deals with those areas of insecurity related to previous events. Some of us use that to grow while others get high centered because of it. I think it is fine to have those insecurities as long as they provide a healthy motivation for you #oklaed
A8: honestly I hustle to not die and leave any legacy behind. I try so hard to live on purpose. To leave the world better than I found it. Hence foster parenting. I couldn’t stand the thought of leaving this world and not having changed it. Even if only for a few. #oklaed
A9 The easiest way is to blame shift. If we can find someone else to associate with the problem we can completely avoid taking responsibility for our actions or shortcomings and give ourselves an excuse not to grow. #oklaed
I am mixed with tears and hope from their stories. I get the book Grit but my Ss have grit. They just need opportunities to use all what they know how to do as a result of the worst circumstances ever. #oklaED
I have a folder of rejection letters. I haven't opened it in years, but it's there to remind me that I haven't always been what someone else was looking for. If I looked through it, I'd probably see how fortunate I was not to get some of those jobs. #oklaed
A8: Respect-If there is a culture where everything is micromanaged, then that feeling of respect is lost. To do have college degrees, have classroom experience, & have ideas about education. We need to take the time to listen. #oklaed
Every day is a new chance to learn and find ways to inspire; to become a student of others if even for just a short time. I don't often respond but I have been inspired by all of these conversations. #oklaEd 🍎
A8) I am the first to admit that I have some white guilt. I grew up with a tremendous amount of privilege. But the "savior complex" is part of the problem in education. Kids and families don't need saving. They need empowering #oklaed
I do as well! And I internalize it more when I am not able to debrief, reflect w/ others about it, or SWOT it (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) with a group. I’ve gotta do better about taking it personal, addressing the need instead. #OklaEd
This is so sickening. Look at his eyes. He’s clearly in way over his head, and in need of help.
This kind of behavior is being encouraged right here in #OklahomaCity, where “Drag Queen Story Hour” is regularly held in restaurants and bars.
We need to come together to stop this.
A9: Tough question. I will have to ponder this one more. But I numb myself and keep pushing forward sometimes even when I feel completely drained and know I need to reset, rejuvenate and rest. There may be more but I am going to need to reflect. #oklaed
A8) New to the community...trying to "fit in" and connect with people. I'm a leader, but also an introvert. Most don't see that, because I work to talk. But I go home exhausted and often feel I haven't done enough to connect. #oklaed
A9) I have found it’s best to just get it over with and face reality. So I vent to my best friend, my husband, I run with my other BFF ... my middle school bestie, and I surround myself with amazing people. #oklaed
A6. The students, who trusted me enough to bring me into their real world, were ambassadors/leaders for others. The culture caring was/is strong! I'm social media friends with a lot of them and have continued celebrating their lives as they're adulting. #oklaed
A9 part 1. I would love to find a way of doing this publically for my students to see. They feel so much more vulnerability now than I could possibly imagine. For many of my students going up to the board is a traumatic. #oklaed
A9: I read my first group of students' exit tickets. I still have them. They remind me why I chose to stay in Oklahoma when I could have gone somewhere else. Sometimes, being vulnerable in a positive manner can negate the negative vulnerability that I feel. #oklaed
A8: 1st gen college student. I applied to 5 doctoral programs & was rejected by 4 before @TTUEducation accepted me.
I devote myself everyday to become a better scholar and academic leader. I know my worth but work hard to reinforce it to myself everyday. #oklaEd
A10: I think ultimately my biggest struggle is reminding myself that I'm still growing as a person, I also don't think I want to ever stop but it can be hard to realize that you can't be everything in all situations for the people that you care about. #oklaed
A8: Oh, lord. Now I have something else to pray for. I feel shame about everything. I do something bad everyday and feel the guilt a few days later which makes me in a constant state of shame. Anybody got any suggestions on how to kick it? #oklaed
A9: For those that know me they might find this unbelievable, but I'm really an isolationist. I will draw into my corner of the building and shut the world out and it takes some serious effort to come back out. I guess I just like my own company #oklaED
A8: I think I sometimes devote to much time thinking I’m only validated by a win or loss total instead of looking at all the “hidddn wins”. In education, there are so many ways to positively effect lives.. that’s real winning! #oklaed
A new student moved into our school, and I have really been struggling with how to best serve him. He has ran away & torn up my room. Honestly it made me cry. I felt inadequate. How can I have a SPED degree and be so clueless?
I shouldn’t feel shame when asking for help! #OklaEd
A8: I am hustling for all of my worth these days. 😂 More honestly, I am moved from a space of fear and what if I don't get things right, or let people down who have put their faith in me? Huge leaps one day at a time. #oklaed
A9: I don’t avoid often but there have been times I have been on plan or lunch and turned my light off in my classroom and shut my door. Didn’t want to be found, talked to, or hear my name. Just needed silence. #oklaed
It reminds me of a quote "Better to be silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."
It also reminds me that often when we toot our own horn we are often out of tune. #oklaed