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Powerpoint Templates Page 1 Powerpoint Templates The Right Thing to Say B.J Paris, President National Association Secondary School Principals.

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Presentation on theme: "Powerpoint Templates Page 1 Powerpoint Templates The Right Thing to Say B.J Paris, President National Association Secondary School Principals."— Presentation transcript:

1 Powerpoint Templates Page 1 Powerpoint Templates The Right Thing to Say B.J Paris, President National Association Secondary School Principals

2 Powerpoint Templates Page 2 Rule of 7/84 7% of the population owns 84% of the wealth. Don’t quote me on that as I haven’t checked since But then I also believe that data is something we torture until it confesses what we want it to say. So fire me. However I believe this ratio applies to many things. 7% of people consume 84% of your time as a principal. Think about it : 7% of the students earn 84% of the referrals. 7% of your teachers require 84% of your time whether it is nurturing or performance interventions. 7% of your parents account for 84% of your contacts. Do the research and get back to me

3 Powerpoint Templates Page 3 Good communication will empower you to: Work smarter not harder

4 Powerpoint Templates Page 4 In order to spend our time doing the things we value, we must have systems in place for the things that we don’t.

5 Powerpoint Templates Page 5 Our most valuable asset, and the one that alludes us the most, is time.

6 Powerpoint Templates Page 6 Too much time is wasted in ineffective meetings. We can retrieve some of that if we do two things: 1-Improve our own ability to bring resolution to difficult conversations by using phrases that de-escalate. 2- Train our teachers/staff to do the same thing so that fewer meetings are elevated to include the administrator. The tools are the same at both levels.

7 Powerpoint Templates Page 7 #1 Most difficult conversations come from a place of fear. Highlight that sentence. Keep it in front of you at all times. No matter who the conversation is with, everyone needs to be valued. You may not agree on the outcomes and maybe won’t invite them to Thanksgiving dinner, but the residual message must be one of shared purpose. In most cases, you really do want the same thing. When you recognize anger as fear, you will respond more positively, your tone will soften. You will hear the underlying message so that you can quickly address it, rather than tap dance around it for hours.

8 Powerpoint Templates Page 8 #2 No scrolling If your message is so long that a person has to scroll their to read it, it is too long. Pick up the phone or arrange to meet. This ridiculous practice of ‘putting everything in writing to have a document trail’ has hindered good communication and resolution, not helped it.

9 Powerpoint Templates Page 9 #3 If this is the answer, what was the question??????? Don’t respond to every statement in an . They are generally loaded with emotional adjectives, conjecture and allegations that again, come from that place of fear. Instead, look for the question marks and answer the questions only.

10 Powerpoint Templates Page 10 #4 No blanket fire As you can tell I have issues with leadership via . It is lazy and cowardly. It is fine for routine information dissemination, but if the issue is sensitive or important, then you owe the issue your bodily presence. Stop sending out s to the entire staff that only concern a few people. e.g: If three teachers are late to duty, then address only them – don’t send out reminders to the whole staff - it is insulting and demoralizing to those who are doing as you have asked. e.g: If we spot a student with a dress code violation at 2 in the afternoon, we look silly calling the student out on it. How egregious could it have been if they made it this far? Just ask the student who their first period teacher is and remind that teacher about first period dress code check. But also remind the student. You don’t want them to come in next day, get caught and then say “But the principal saw me yesterday and didn’t say anything”

11 Powerpoint Templates Page 11 #5 Silence “Are you there?” You do not have to respond to everything that is said. Much of the time, the person simply wants to be heard and if you listen carefully, very little of what they say actually contains a question. If you stay quiet enough on a phone call, they will eventually ask “Are you there?” to which you reply, “Yes absolutely, I am making sure I jot down all your concerns so I don’t miss anything”. Bingo – they have been heard

12 Powerpoint Templates Page 12 #6 Rinse & Repeat 15 minute rule. 15 minutes is the maximum time it takes to discuss any single point in life. If you are still talking over the same issue at minute 16, someone is repeating themselves or you have a stalemate. When they begin to repeat themselves it is time to say “Asked and answered-lets look now at how we can resolve the situation”

13 Powerpoint Templates Page 13 #7 ET phone home Stop ing…Have I said that yet? Teachers respond to parents late at night when they are frazzled and mean comments can get under their skin – especially if they had a glass of wine or two with dinner. No I am not joking, we know its true. So protect your staff by insisting they have a conversation. All they need to say to an is : <

14 Powerpoint Templates Page 14 #7 Honour the room Who called meeting? Even if you are in charge, it is important to begin with “Mr. Smith, you requested this meeting so let’s begin with hearing your concerns” Always support your staff in public. If they made a mistake, then they need to own it and apologize for it, but your job is to help them be better, not win cool points with an angry parent. Note: The teacher is much more likely to own a mistake and apologize if they believe you will not crucify them later. If a parent become rude, yells, or says abusive things/uses profanity, you give them one opportunity to self correct. If they continue, you get the staff members out of the line of fire. Say “Thank you you may return to class now”. Even if the parent says “I’ve not finished with him yet” Explain calmly that your staff are professionals who care about children and that you expect them to be treated as such. Offer one more chance to continue the conversation with the parent alone, but failing that, tell them: You are welcome to call and set up an meeting at another time because we all want this resolved, but that can not be accomplished at this time”.

15 Powerpoint Templates Page 15 #8 Too much information Don’t disclose too much about your personal life. Teachers always feel as though they owe a parent an explanation. It is none of their business why you were not here when they called. Their doctor doesn’t give them a detailed reason why he had to reschedule an appointment and we wouldn’t think to ask. No matter how legitimate the reason they will turn it against you. “Ms Smith says she was at professional development and couldn’t get back to me – she sucks, clearly it isn’t working!” “Everyone has the flu – most of us still go to work” Just say: Ms Smith had a prior commitment.

16 Powerpoint Templates Page 16 #9 Never too busy Never waste your time telling people how busy you are and that you have fallen behind on your grading/ s/phonecalls. They may empathize to your face but it will come back to haunt you. They really don’t care how stressed your life is – they only care about theirs. Conversations about being busy only make us look disorganized no matter how unfair that is.

17 Powerpoint Templates Page 17 #10 No adjectives or names Only describe behaviours – not labels. Don’t call a child lazy. Instead, describe the behaviour (and yes, there is a u in behavior ): He puts his head down. He does not comply when told to get out a book Don’t call a student a thief: David took a phone from a backpack which did not belong to him Don’t call a student a bully: He blocked the doorway coming out of the restroom, put the students backpack in the toilet, bumped up against him intentionally.

18 Powerpoint Templates Page 18 #11 RSVP ALWAYS include the child in a conference. Only 7% of the truth was passed on to the parent. The other 84% of the saga is a middle school child telling a parent whatever they want to hear. If they are right there you can go point by point.

19 Powerpoint Templates Page 19 #12 Family Court We are not family court lawyers – we are educators. Do not get dragged in the middle. For example: A divorce decree delineates dad can only pick a student up on Thursdays and he comes on Tuesday. As long as that dad has not relinquished his parental rights, he can take the child anytime he wants. The only way you can intervene is if there is a court ordered restraining order on file. You can always have the counselor call the other parent just as an FYI: “dad is here”, but that’s it. You cannot deny a parent access to a child. Another example: divorced parents don’t agree about special ed placement. You only need one of them to agree. So if the non concensus parent doesn’t attend the ARD – you have a win. They can fight about it later.

20 Powerpoint Templates Page 20 #13 Bring stuff Bring data. Don’t go to a conference without grades/attendance/assignments. It makes for a very long meeting if a teacher has to leave to get documents, and makes us look disorganized.

21 Powerpoint Templates Page 21 #14 The gift of time Highly valued. Give it to staff. Begin and end on time. If people are late, start without them. It is rude to those who made it on time. Adjourn if necessary. If a meeting is allotted 40 mins, then that’s how long you meet. It is rude to 30 other students to send a sub to cover a class so that a teacher can stay in a meeting that runs over. But make sure you have clarified that up front: “We have 40 mins dedicated to this meeting as the teacher has another class to teach, but it is important to us that everyone leave feeling the situation is resolved. If we run out of time, we shall reconvene the meeting at a time agreable to everyone.” That way there are no surprises and it keeps the conversation going.

22 Powerpoint Templates Page 22 #15 Professionals If educators dress and behave professionally then they should be treated as such. If they are sloppy, then their words will not have gravitas. Casual Friday is not a good day to have a serious conversation.

23 Powerpoint Templates Page 23 #16 Drive From Daniel H. Pink, the author of the bestselling A Whole New Mind, comes a paradigm- shattering look at what truly motivates us and how we can use that knowledge to work smarter and live better. Many leaders still believe that the best way to motivate is with external rewards like money—the carrot-and-stick approach. That’s a mistake. The people on your staff are driven by different things. Purpose Belonging Mastery Autonomy This really is a whole different staff development which I would be happy to bring to you, but in the meantime, read this book. It will help you see what the “right thing to say” is for different people.

24 Powerpoint Templates Page 24 #17 Speak with One Voice Part of knowing the right thing to say includes knowing the wrong thing to say. Public perception of education is not crafted in the corridors of political power, it is crafted in the grocery line. Every a time teacher or principal stops at the checkout and mentions what a tough day they have had, the listener imagines the worst. Coach you staff to keep their griping on campus and at home. That’s what spouses are for.

25 Powerpoint Templates Page 25 Now for some examples to take with you……. (This was presented as a different power point in Missouri, but I have combined them here).

26 Powerpoint Templates Page 26

27 Sample Things to Say Knowing the right thing to say takes practice. Think in sound bites….

28 Powerpoint Templates Page 28 I love my job No worries As much time as you need A bad day here is better than a good day anywhere else I was watching Oprah & eating bonbons I am living the dream

29 Powerpoint Templates Page 29 “OOPS” Oops You made an error in judgement If that is the worst mistake you make in school, you will be just fine Love you, just not in love with the choice you made in this situation We are not giving your chair away

30 Powerpoint Templates Page 30 Expectations When you use your power, you lose your power Time on task The non negotiables Not a hill worth dying on Step away from the door during hall duty – interact with students

31 Powerpoint Templates Page 31 Questions Where does this add value? Will you help me see what you see? What will that look like? Etched in stone or jello? Is it a hill worth dying on?

32 Powerpoint Templates Page 32 Single words Staff Centre (lounge) Students/Ladies & Gentlemen (kids) Collaboration (conference period) Planning & assessment (off period) Our school (my) Going to reflection (detention) Learning Center (In school suspension)

33 Powerpoint Templates Page 33 In it together I am just glad you are here Those are interesting points to consider I would love a hundred more like you Our anger comes from fear as parents You are being an advocate for your child

34 Powerpoint Templates Page 34 Defend your staff..Has a prior commitment..Has passion and enthusiasm I wish my child had been in that class I insist they have a life She does Whatever it takes

35 Powerpoint Templates Page 35 But never forget that sometimes the best thing to say is nothing.

36 Powerpoint Templates Page 36 My colleague received this message one day. rom: To: Sent: Thu, May 3, :46:37 GMT+00:00 Subject: FW: From: Call: Msg: U will not have ur way with our kids no more after this year we are done with minden and you sniff in some one elses shit to make your self feel better üBmWü

37 Powerpoint Templates Page 37 When I asked him how he responded, he said “I didn’t. You taught me to look for the questions marks.” John gets an A for this class

38 Powerpoint Templates Page 38 Ticket out the door Jot down one thing you can use Monday morning, Next semester Next year

39 The send me your ideas to add to this presentation Website : Bjparis.org Phone:


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