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Season 2, Ep. 20

Episode 20: The Future of Schools as Desirable Workplaces


We often focus on the student experience in our schools, which is a critical issue needing constant attention. But our school communities also include adults—the faculty and staff who work to make the student experience worthwhile. With the post-pandemic workforce shifting dramatically in all sectors, what can school leaders learn about transforming systems and practices to retain excellent teachers? How can we model leadership that supports and centers the well-being of faculty and staff? And how can we ensure that our schools are desirable workplaces where professionals can thrive and feel valued?


Guests: Crissy Caceres, Brett Jacobsen, Doreen Kelly

Resources and Expanded Show Notes

Full Transcript


In This Episode:


  • “I think it will force our industry to create great clarity around our why. We're not able to be all things to all people. And I think the clearer we are with our missions, we'll have great clarity about who chooses to work in our environment, who chooses to study in our environment.” (10:19)
  • “So rather than have an assumptive stance of what we believe to be true, I think that our leadership has to center ourselves with humility, to understand that we haven't had all of the right answers. And that perhaps, by the continuation of existing practices and systems, we have actually enabled a culture that hasn't optimized what healthy and whole existence in our schools look like. But our colleagues know the answers. And so I believe that this is a matter of connectivity. An honest reflection about not just what we've done well, but quite critically, what we have not.” (12:32)
  • “We say we honor the worth and integrity of every individual in a variety of phrases in our mission. And so this moment that we're facing now is about going beyond our aspiration and acting upon the very things that cause families to invest resources and time into partnering in the world of parenting with their children and our schools. And so it's time to face the commitment that we have made all along and consider the ways in which we have to rethink the way that we've acted upon those missions.” (27:35)
  • “The students are watching. All of the time. What a worthy call as leaders to care deeply about the people who…are truly at mission central, focused in on the kid. It is gifted work to be focused in on the people who are focusing on the kids as well.” (27:41)
  • “You don't rise to your goals. You fall to your systems, whether those systems be good or bad, you're going to fall to those systems. And so what systems are we falling to? And that part of that is how healthy is your team and how aligned is your team.” (31:09)
  • “Bridges have been essential to the modern world. They have helped define us. Bridges are connectors. They deal with proximity, where we become more proximate to each other because the bridge has been built. … What voices are we not hearing from? Bridges allow us to do that. And yet bridges have guard rails. Because they protect us. They help us make hopefully wiser decisions…we need more bridge builders.” (48:18)


More Episodes

9/20/2022

Wendy Fischman

Season 3, Ep. 22
Episode 22: The Purpose and Nature of Higher Education Since the beginning of the New View EDU podcast, we’ve been asking guests to help us answer the question: “What is the purpose of education?” Now we’re expanding our search for answers into the realm of higher education. What’s the purpose of college? Is it just to get a foot in the door of a competitive job market, or is there something greater to be gained from higher ed? Guest: Wendy FischmanResources and Expanded Show NotesFull TranscriptIn This Episode:“We devised a concept, a new concept, called higher education capital. And as you said, this is what we believe should be the goal of college for students, is to build and amplify higher education capital. Briefly, higher education capital is the ability to attend, analyze, reflect, connect, and communicate on important issues. So it's what you used in planning for and facilitating this podcast. It's what I used in preparing for the questions that I thought you were going to ask me…that’s what we call higher education capital.” (6:47)“We hope and expect that students who go to college will have the opportunity to develop and increase their own HED cap. And actually, students and parents should demand it. That's what they should be choosing colleges on. That's what they should be asking about. Rather than tout dining halls and schools' private islands, we wish that schools would promote their ability to increase HED cap.” (10:17)“Just a word about mental health on the college campus. While some students did talk about severe issues, including bipolar disorder or suicide or major depression, the majority of students talked about mental health issues as they relate to performing well, doing well, getting A's, and the anxiety about not performing and compiling the best possible profile when they graduate in order to get the job.” (24:26)“Today high school has become more of an exercise about preparing students to get into college, rather than preparing them for the college experience…We need to find ways in the high school experience and even maybe earlier, to incorporate these kinds of essential questions in our conversations with students, and also in our college counseling, so that they don't just form this very transactional view about college.” (31:13)“I think at early stages, we should be helping students to understand that their goal is not about getting into the most selective college, because sometimes it may not make a difference. It's about finding the college that speaks to the student's goals, what they wanna get out of it.” (34:26)
9/13/2022

Josh Dahn

Season 3, Ep. 21
Episode 21: How to Create a Generation of Super CollaboratorsWhat if Elon Musk approached you one day and asked you to create a school? How would you approach the design of a radically different educational environment founded in the shadow of SpaceX and intended to provide deeper learning for the children of some of the most innovative thinkers in the world? That was the starting point for Josh Dahn.Guest: Josh DahnResources and Expanded Show NotesFull TranscriptIn This Episode:“Kindness is actually the word that we lead with. Like, we are always looking for just kind kids…We really wanna ground it in, in kindness and your ability to work well with others. I mean, the phrase we use in Synthesis is super collaborators. That's really the thing that we've always been looking for. Someone who is, yeah, there's your own individual path, but you make other people better and are, are interested in other people and wanna bring out their voices, not just your own.” (11:03)“I have to say, I'm not always disciplined on this message because sometimes I get carried away when you start thinking about, really, a bad time that a lot of kids have in school in the name of things that frankly, I don't think in the light of day, you can justify. Like how we spend time with kids. I think there are some things that are absolutely unacceptable.” (28:43)“The north star is how does this help us create a generation or cultivate a generation of super collaborators? Like how can we imbue in these kids something that we ourselves did not get and probably still now do not have, which is the ability to sort of surrender yourself to a team and to be authentic in who you are, and vulnerable, but also strong and in like what you believe? And I think part of that is through reflection and it's a really hard thing to do.” (34:26)“When it comes to education, I think a lot of people tend to want the same thing. I, I don't think that many people going, you know, thinking about their education that they went through are like, I want a carbon copy of that thing. What, you know, whether that's the horrors of middle school or the, you know, long days of geometry or whatever that is. I think that we all are, are sort of predisposed to openness, to something a bit different…I mean, we've done a class at Astra Nova over the years in magic. Oh, not because I think this is Hogwarts, but because I think it's interesting to question the assumption that because a class is called, I don't know, chemistry, that therefore, that thing is inherently more valuable than some other experience for the development of a child.” (39:10)