Skip to content

Training Day 2

November 29, 2018

Longer day today. I left at 8am, didn’t get back in the room until 8pm-ish.

The first session was the one with presenters from our school district. On the presenters stand were Superintendent Kris Corey, Assistant Superintendent Sheila McCabe, Board Member Bethany Smith and Fairfield-Suisun Chamber of Commerce President Debi Tavey. (Helping pass the microphone to audience members was Executive Director of Administrative Services and Community Engagement Tim Goree.) I was proud to learn what our district has done with its community partnerships, which they’ve named the Inspire program (here’s a link to some information and a video.) But the value isn’t only what the students experience; it’s also the collaborative relationships they’ve built with employers large and small around Solano County. The program is spreading to neighboring communities, and I noticed keen interest from many of the 100-plus districts in the room (from all over California). I learned Board Member Smith helped create the program several years ago, which is now a model for other communities who want to replicate it.

The second session was on collaborative relationships between districts and their unions. The presenters, which included a superintendent and the teachers union bargaining chair,  talked about building trust and pursuing shared interests, even if it means creating novel solutions. Two books they praised are “The Thin Book of Trust; An Essential Primer for Building Trust at Work” and “Having Hard Conversations.” I carefully put those in my wish list.

At lunch I ran into and visited with Board Member Joan Gaut (while we lunched at Chipotles). We talked about advocating in behalf of students and the fundamental roles of school board members.

The next session (a general session, with probably more than a thousand attendees) was by nationally known author Charles Duhigg, author of the book “Smarter Faster Better: The Transformative Power of Real Productivity.” I was stimulated by his talk, and enjoyed the stories he used to illustrate his ideas (including one about the original stage play of West Side Story).

Afterwards I visited with Board Member Jonathan Richardson. I appreciated getting to know him, and he shared ideas about how to act as a board member and the annual goal-setting process. I told him of one of my long-term goals of “improving ways that the district tells its stories.” (As a substitute teacher, I frequently learn of notable positive things happening throughout the district, little of which receives public attention. I’d like to find an effective way to share those things, so community confidence in its schools will increase.)

I then spent an hour on the convention floor, visiting exhibits and learning things. (I also bought a book.)

Lastly, I joined a small group (including my wife, Gayla) for an evening reception with dozens of other school districts.

I can only hope tomorrow’s sessions will be as engaging for me as today’s.

#informal #training

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: