For everything there is a season

Photo/Dennis Sparks

When I began this blog in January 2010 I had two goals:

• to provide a site that would offer interested educators a way to easily access my NSDC and PDK writing, and

• to update and elaborate on ideas I first described in Leading for Results: Transforming Teaching, Learning, and Relationships in Schools, particularly in the area of school culture.

Having achieved those goals, I am concluding this series, at least for the time being. I’d like to offer my sincere appreciation to my subscribers and other readers and to those who enriched these essays through their comments.

I intend to continue to write on educational issues and other topics, and I will use this site to alert readers to those publications whenever they may occur. Please also consider following me on Twitter (@DennisSparks) where I’ll suggest ideas, articles, studies, and blog posts regarding leadership, education, and other topics that I find important and compelling.

The “Leading for Results” essays in this series are organized by both subject matter (“Categories”) and months (“Archives”). I encourage readers to extend their learning by using the essays for individual, team, or community study.

To that end I offer the “meditation” with which I concluded Leadership 180: Daily Meditations on School Leadership.

Commit to a Small Number of Professional Learning Goals

With time and thought, anyone can generate dozens of ideas from this book that are relevant to a specific situation. My advice: don’t try. A long list can be overwhelming. . . . A better strategy is to identify three or four ideas that will be easy to implement, and start doing so immediately. —John Kotter

Effective leaders make distinctions in degrees of importance among may worthy activities. That is as true regarding the application of new professional learning as it is in other areas. Because these leaders understand that they do not have the time nor energy to deeply understand and practice every possible skill, they select a small number of areas for extended study and application.

Today I will select a small number of learning goals and commit myself to practicing new behaviors regularly in upcoming weeks and months until they become habitual. I also will use my calendar to remind me to monitor both my skillfulness in their application and their effectiveness in achieving the results I most desire.

7 Responses to “For everything there is a season”

  1. 1 Kay Psencik November 29, 2010 at 11:10 am

    I will miss your comments and look forward to your new writings.

  2. 2 Heather Langenhahn November 29, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Dear Dennis,

    I will miss your e-mail/blog greatly! I will organize myself to stay connected through Twitter. Thank you so much for the gift of the blog and your continuous wisdom and willingness to share.
    Most sincerely,

    Heather Langenhahn
    Assistant Principal
    Kildare School, EPSB

  3. 3 Jody Westbrook November 29, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    thanks for your thoughtful writings and insights. I’ve enjoyed reading them.

  4. 4 Mike Phillips November 29, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    Thanks for making us reflect upon and make changes to our leadership practice. Your blog and sessions challenge and inspire at the same time.

  5. 5 Jan O'Neill December 2, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed following your blog. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this. While not (yet?) a Twitterer I’ll look forward to hearing about what you’re up to in other ways next year. Have a wonderful holiday!

  6. 6 Jacqueline Kennedy December 7, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    Thank you for spending the last year sharing and learning with us!

  7. 7 Katharine December 14, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    Hello Dennis
    Thank you for this “labor of love”. I’ve appreciated your ever thoughtful points of view and invitations for next actions. Best wishes as you move into other ventures.

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