PFT Rep & Principal Meeting

- 3rd Annual PFT Rep and Principal Meeting -


PFT Reps and their principals met December 11th for an all day workshop on collaboration. PFT Executive Board, Superintendent’s Cabinet, LSS and Andy Patapow, PUSD Board member also attended the workshop. The intended outcome for the day was to build stronger and more collaborative relationships, provide tools for decision-making processes, and time for teachers and principals to work together.

Candy and John introduced the day’s work with a conversation about their experiences and beliefs around shared ownership and responsibility at the district/union leadership level and their interests in supporting the same type of collaborative relationships and work at the site level. As quoted during the meeting, “If you’re not at the table (for the discussion and decision-making) you’ll be on the table.” (Adam Urbanski, Director of TURN).

Dr. Pat Dolan presented the foundation for the day’s work via video. Dr. Dolan has more than 40 years of experience working with unions and management building joint collaborative structures and systems in industry and public education. Dr. Dolan presented on the following topics:

Part I The BIG picture - including federal and state level waves of school reform

Part II Building systemic collaborative relationships, structures and systems in the organization

Part III Leadership and the concept of, “giving it away”

A significant learning for all of us from Dr. Dolan’s presentation is the charge to identify the common sense from the nonsense of what’s happening to “us” (imposed) in education by outside forces. For example, the federal government has put into place repercussions for school sites/districts not meeting NCLB expectations (all students 100% proficient by 2014). The feds offer states a waiver but only to those states willing to include student test scores in their teacher evaluation tool. The PFT and District see this as an opportunity to build our own teacher evaluation tool, based on what we will hold ourselves accountable to (common sense), before California’s legislature creates and imposes a teacher evaluation tool on us (which could include some nonsense). A take-a-away from the meeting, “We must find a way to grade teachers without degrading teaching. To make sure test scores are for information and not a verdict.” (Adam Urbanski). This will be our collaborative work this year.

Words from Steve Farber, last year’s PFT/Principal meeting’s motivational speaker, closed the day, “Extreme Leadership is not a solo act; it doesn’t happen in a vacuum. You’re not going to change the world by yourself. It’s your job to recruit, cultivate, and develop the Extreme Leaders in your midst.” If you’d like to download Steve Farber’s book for free, The Radical Leap – Re-Energized - click here.