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  • Common Core State Standards, Factors Influencing Student Achievement, Responsive Coaching, Teacher Evaluation, Autism

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10 WAYS TO DEAL WITH DISTRACTING TEAMMATES

I wrote a post about standing out.

Fitting in makes you irrelevant.

Doug responded by leaving a comment explaining a team member who stands out in a disruptive way.

Doug wrote, “The problem now is the ideas and actions are so far off the basic needs of the organization they are not productive and are a distraction at almost every meeting… Any suggestions?”.

 

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Experts Advise, Leaders Decide

I’ll offer some advice on asking for, receiving, and acting on advice from my experiences in large organizations over the years.  These are some of the common mistakes by senior leaders that I’ve encountered:

  •  Deferring to the judgment of the subject matter expert (SME) rather than absorbing the knowledge and applying it to a decision in the context of the greater organizational benefit.  Most SMEs have a relatively narrow view of the greater good and tend to be very risk averse.  They will almost always suggest the path that has zero risk (and zero chance of reward).
  • Not asking the tough questions, relying unconditionally on the expert’s view, not challenging the premise or history, not truly understanding the details and root causes within the issues.
  • Looking for an accomplice instead of solid advice, trying to confirm one’s own pre-conceived path instead of getting a deep understanding that leads to the best course of action.
  • Avoiding risk, seeking the outcome with little or no exposure to misfortune or external scrutiny.  This is especially true in government organizations of all kinds.

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7 Classroom Resources for Pi Day

Pi Day is coming on March 14, and the annual celebration offers a great opportunity for students to explore pi and math-related concepts! (Pi Day 2015 is extra special too, thanks to the aligning of the calendar.) Of course, there are plenty of great teaching resources online to help your class celebrate Pi Day, so we thought we'd help you sort through them all.

Here are a few of our favorites from around the web, starting first with an interesting music-related pi lesson, "What Pi Sounds Like," which was produced by musician Michael Blake. This video is a fun resource that can help students of all ages get excited about pi. Happy Pi Day!

 

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Research: Active Learning More Important than Flipping the Classroom

Active learning produces the same student learning outcomes in both flipped and nonflipped classrooms, according to new research from Brigham Young University (BYU).

In the flipped classroom model, students watch video lectures outside of class time and participate in active learning activities during class time. The approach has been growing in popularity, so researchers at BYU decided to test its effectiveness.

 

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Three Ways to Coach the Person, Not the Problem

Back when we were co-teaching The Flow of Coaching module at theGeorgetown Leadership Coaching Program, my good friend, hero and fellow Davidson College alum Frank Ball used to do a funny bit with a bottle of water. To make the point that coaches and leaders should coach people and not problems, Frank would put a bottle of water on the table in the front of the room and say, “This bottle of water represents the problem.” Then he would start coaching the bottle of water. Needless to say, he never got very far. The bottle just didn’t have that many insights on what to change or how to change it.

That’s the thing. People have insights, problems don’t. If you’re a leader who cares about growing and developing your people, you have to coach them, not their problems.

That’s counterintuitive for a lot of leaders and even a lot of professional coaches. The solution to the problem is so obvious (to you) that you just want to jump in there and solve it for them.  That’s not coaching; that’s providing the answer. There’s not much growth in that approach. In fact, you might set growth back by creating a dependency that locks both of you into doing what you’ve always done. And of course when you do that, you’re going to get what you’ve always gotten.

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