BONUS: SEEing to Lead: Seeing the whole staircase (with Dr. Karen Dudek-Brannan)

This week, I’m sharing an interview I did with another host on the BE podcast network because I think it’s something you’ll really enjoy. The episode is going live in the De Facto Leaders podcast feed. 

Dr. Chris Jones has been an educator in Massachusetts for 22 years. His experience in the classroom ranged from 8th - 11th grade working in an urban setting. A portion of this was spent opening a high school division for an expanding charter school. He has just finished his 14th year as a building administrator. Chris is also the Vice President of the Massachusetts State Administrators Association (MSAA). True to his "why" of improving the educational experience for as many people as possible, he is currently the Principal of Whitman-Hanson Regional High School in Whitman, Massachusetts.

He is the author of SEEing to Lead, a book that provides strategies for how modern leaders can and must support, engage, and empower their teachers to elevate student success. Chris vlogs weekly about continuous improvement and is also the host of the podcast SEEing to Lead as a way to amplify teachers’ voices in an effort to improve education as a whole.

In this interview, Dr. Chris Jones and I discuss how school leaders and subject matter experts can work together to support each other. 
There's a big emphasis on the idea that we need to embrace uncertainty to improve personally and professionally. While I agree with this, I think it's possible to take it too far.

In the K-12 world, I've seen many talented therapists or teachers continue old habits and patterns they know aren't effective.
Usually there's layers of shame and guilt because they know they could be doing something more, or at the very least doing something different.

Procrastination and not changing habits is often blamed on things like "mindset" or even character flaws, but many times it's simply a lack of clarity.

If you're wanting to solve a problem in a classroom, a therapy room, or a school, the steps can feel overwhelming and all-consuming. Sometimes the end goal and how to get there can feel fuzzy.

When you have a challenging task in front of you, some element of anxiety and uncertainty is normal and part of the process.
But if you have absolutely no clue where to start or where you're going, being able to "motivate" yourself to move forward or do the work to change your habits is going to be extremely difficult.

Imagine how you'd feel if you were stressed, frustrated, and nervous about something and you were told:

"This is going to be hard and uncomfortable. I have no idea how long it will take. I'm not sure where we're going and how we're going to get there."

Few people would be excited to jump in and get started in that scenario, especially if they knew they'd be left to figure it out alone.
This is where school leaders can step in and help teachers, therapists, and other staff to see the path forward or put the support in place to make sure they get help along the way.

Whether it be access to resources, trainings, establishing operating procedures for collaboration, or time to meet and connect. 
We might not need to see the whole staircase clearly, but we can at least get an idea of what lies ahead and make the first steps feel less intimidating.

You can connect with Dr. Jones on LinkedIn here, and on Twitter here, and on Instagram here.  You can learn more about his book and podcast at:

In this episode, I mention the School of Clinical Leadership, my program for related service providers who want to take a leadership role in implementing executive functioning support. You can learn more about the program here.

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BONUS: SEEing to Lead: Seeing the whole staircase (with Dr. Karen Dudek-Brannan)