Principal - September/October 2019 - 13

whole-school transformation. Bass started
implementation with teacher retention levels at
just 76 percent, but it has improved to exceed
state and district levels at 89 percent.
Every day, Bass' teachers and students show
how a powerful "why" can transform outcomes.
Here are three ways in which savvy school
leaders can introduce the "why" behind a wholeschool transformation to personalized learning:
1. Bend the mindset. Whole-school transformation begins when you engage educators
to reconsider their own mindset around student potential. Principals-especially those
with students who enter below grade level
and have external barriers to success-
might believe that their school will descend
into chaos if they grant students more
autonomy in instruction, or they might
question whether students struggling to
meet standards are capable of higher-order
thinking. Similarly, educators might have a
tendency to teach the way they were taught,
and personalized learning challenges us to
upend years' worth of ingrained practices.
Shifting mindsets requires more than
simply examining and challenging old
ways of thinking, though. It asks that we
guide educators toward experiences that
reveal the necessity of change and enable
them to translate their own vision into a
set of implementable practices. Challenge
educators to imagine what their schools
would look like if every decision focused on
desired student outcomes. There are always
reasons not to change, but if you place students at the center of every decision, they
will show you what they're capable of.
2. Build buy-in. A whole-school redesign won't
succeed if you foist a set of mandates on educators. Before transformation can take hold,
the full community must reach a consensus
that every child deserves a tailored learning
environment that harnesses their talents and
addresses their unique needs and strengths.
Principals can help educators understand
the skills that personalization can foster,
raise expectations for student performance,
and trust students to exercise autonomy-
as well as establish a set of practices that
provide steps toward that guiding vision.
They can create consensus by acting as
aggregators of the community's wisdom,
conducting listening sessions, surveys,
and one-on-one interviews to understand
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teachers' pain points, students' needs, and
opportunities for growth.
This is where you should begin rigorous
data collection, because what doesn't get
measured often doesn't get done. This
might include reviews of student work
samples, assessments, grades, and attendance. Develop a deep understanding of
the student body; you have a bird's eye view
of your school and can spot patterns that
other individuals might miss.
3. Prioritize practice. Changing practice
starts with identifying the barriers standing
in the way of your school's target outcomes,
focusing on areas that help the school overcome those barriers, and setting a clear
path for teachers.
My belief is that personalized learning
must be individualized for teachers and for
students, and that practices should draw
on educators' strengths and backgrounds.
Teachers perform best when school leadership builds them safe spaces in which
to innovate, supports them as they try
new things, and provides them with the
resources and training that they need to get
the results they want.
Teachers should work with each student
to build a profile of his or her goals following in-depth conferencing or perhaps
an "empathy walk," in which they walk in
their students' footsteps for a day. Practice
can be informed by rigorous qualitative
and quantitative data collection examining
student attendance, engagement, interests,
and academic performance.
Then, working from a deeper understanding of each student's needs,
Principal Q September/October 2019

13


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Principal - September/October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Principal - September/October 2019

From the Editor
Snapshots
5 Things
Getting to Why
A Brighter Future for Personalized Learning
Models of Voice and Choice
When Rural Gets Personal
Research Roundup: The Personal Touch
New Sensation
The Language of Learning
Giving Back, Together
In the Spotlight
Practitioner’s Corner
Early Career
Raising the Bar
The Reflective Principal
Speaking Out
Parents & Schools
NAESP Partners & Advertiser Index
Principal - September/October 2019 - Cover1
Principal - September/October 2019 - Cover2
Principal - September/October 2019 - 1
Principal - September/October 2019 - 2
Principal - September/October 2019 - 3
Principal - September/October 2019 - From the Editor
Principal - September/October 2019 - 5
Principal - September/October 2019 - Snapshots
Principal - September/October 2019 - 7
Principal - September/October 2019 - 5 Things
Principal - September/October 2019 - 9
Principal - September/October 2019 - Getting to Why
Principal - September/October 2019 - 11
Principal - September/October 2019 - 12
Principal - September/October 2019 - 13
Principal - September/October 2019 - 14
Principal - September/October 2019 - 15
Principal - September/October 2019 - A Brighter Future for Personalized Learning
Principal - September/October 2019 - 17
Principal - September/October 2019 - 18
Principal - September/October 2019 - 19
Principal - September/October 2019 - Models of Voice and Choice
Principal - September/October 2019 - 21
Principal - September/October 2019 - 22
Principal - September/October 2019 - 23
Principal - September/October 2019 - When Rural Gets Personal
Principal - September/October 2019 - 25
Principal - September/October 2019 - 26
Principal - September/October 2019 - 27
Principal - September/October 2019 - Research Roundup: The Personal Touch
Principal - September/October 2019 - 29
Principal - September/October 2019 - New Sensation
Principal - September/October 2019 - 31
Principal - September/October 2019 - The Language of Learning
Principal - September/October 2019 - 33
Principal - September/October 2019 - 34
Principal - September/October 2019 - 35
Principal - September/October 2019 - Giving Back, Together
Principal - September/October 2019 - 37
Principal - September/October 2019 - 38
Principal - September/October 2019 - 39
Principal - September/October 2019 - In the Spotlight
Principal - September/October 2019 - 41
Principal - September/October 2019 - Practitioner’s Corner
Principal - September/October 2019 - 43
Principal - September/October 2019 - Early Career
Principal - September/October 2019 - 45
Principal - September/October 2019 - Raising the Bar
Principal - September/October 2019 - 47
Principal - September/October 2019 - The Reflective Principal
Principal - September/October 2019 - 49
Principal - September/October 2019 - 50
Principal - September/October 2019 - 51
Principal - September/October 2019 - Speaking Out
Principal - September/October 2019 - 53
Principal - September/October 2019 - Parents & Schools
Principal - September/October 2019 - NAESP Partners & Advertiser Index
Principal - September/October 2019 - 56
Principal - September/October 2019 - Cover3
Principal - September/October 2019 - Cover4
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