NEASC Podcast - Sustainable Innovation

Sustainable Innovation (Podcast): By and for K-12 educational leaders

NEASC is proud to present this five-part podcast series on themes of key importance to building sustainable systems and cultures of innovation in our schools. Designed to align with the 2023 NEASC Leadership Conference, the series serves educational leaders who wish to engage in learning opportunities and sharing of innovative practices with themes of sustainability, innovation, and inclusion.

Listen now on YouTube

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Show Notes

Special thanks:

Episode 1 - Finding our Collective Voice: with Donna Hayward (Part 1)

In this episode we chat with Donna Hayward, Principal of Haddam Killingworth High School in Higganum, CT and the NASSP's 2023 Principal of the Year. Donna discusses her philosophy of change management and the importance of building relationships to successfully support the change process.

Episode Highlights:

"My general approach to change management is for the team to identify what changes need to be made together. And the way that we do that is is all around a database approach to school improvements... I don't have to persuade them that there's a problem, because the data speaks for itself, and the teachers are the ones who are sharing it."

"My team really just dives in and looks for the points to celebrate, because one of the things we don't do enough in this human endeavor is celebrate when we have been successful... and we need to always take time to note that."

"I think the secret sauce, if you will (and it's not so much of a secret) is the relationships that you are building. So with any luck at all before you have to make a big change you have had the opportunity to build relationships in your school as a new leader coming on board. Obviously that can be tricky, because it takes a little time to build up those relationships. But the faster you can get to that the faster you can find your teacher leaders and let them lead some of the work the better, because, of course this is a human endeavor that we're engaged in, right. And it is all about those relationships supporting every piece of work that you do, including the change process."

"Our voices are important. We are the experts on on child development and how to teach kids how to engage them. No, we don't know everything. Nobody knows everything. But we are experts in our field, and so our voice has to be more represented at the table than it ever has been before, and we need to get real serious about how we advocate for kids and teachers and public education... we need to do is find our collective voice. There's about 100,000 public school principals, and if you think rough numbers that each of us has maybe 100 teachers on average working for us that's that's about 10 million voices. And so if you think about 10 million voices, and how, if we can get our collective message together how powerfully we could swing our community and public opinion back towards the positive around public education and what we're doing every day with our kids in schools. Wow! We could change the world."

Episode 2 - What Keeps Us Connected: with Donna Hayward (Part 2)

In this episode we continue our conversation with Donna Hayward, Principal of Haddam Killingworth High School in Higganum, CT and the NASSP's 2023 Principal of the Year. Donna shares her story of mentorship and why she believes it is so critical to mentor women in educational leadership.

Donna also explores the role of soft skills in leadership, and how knowing your areas for growth is as important as understanding your strengths.She provides leaders with key pieces of advice for making the most of a conference and building a network that helps sustain growth.


Episode 3 - The Human Centered Skills at the Foundation of AI Literacy

We know school leaders are working on their AI Literacy. In this episode, our host Tricia Friedman explores AI through three lenses:
1 - What does it mean for the future of problem solving?
2- What actually is ChatGPT?
3- Which conversation and resources might we want to prioritize?

NEASC also has two outstanding webinars to help you think deeply about AI:

Learn more with the NEASC one page resource referred to in this episode [view/download]

Also mentioned in this episode:

Learn about our host, Tricia Friedman, Founder of and Director of Learning and Strategy with Shifting Schools

Episode 4 - Do You Know Your Co-Destination?

What role does storytelling play in deep learning?
How can we seek out partners who will help us tap into our strengths as leaders?
Why is intellectual humility a key mindset for today’s leader?

Follow along as Dr. Jennifer D. Klein and Dr. Kapono Ciotti answer these questions and more in this episode. As a bonus, they take us behind the scenes and into the pages of their new book:

The Landscape Model of Learning:
This essential guide offers the landscape model and its three elements: understanding what students bring to the ecosystem, defining the horizon, and charting the pathway. Access practical strategies for drawing on students’ experiences and strengths to create a more meaningful and inclusive educational ecosystem

Learn more about our special guests:

  • Dr. Jennifer D. Klein - CEO, Principled Learning Strategies; Author, Speaker, Facilitator, and Coach [view profile]
  • Dr. Kapono Ciotti - Executive Director, What School Could Be; Lead Learner, Professional Development Facilitator, Coach [view profile]

Episode 5 - Amplifying Youth Voices and Student Innovation

Seokhyun (Nathan) Baek, a youth activist and student at Avenues Online School, discusses his experience as a keynote speaker at the 2023 NEASC Leadership Conference and the importance of amplifying youth voices. He shares his perspective on managing time and energy as an online student and highlights the value of listening and taking action in education. Nathan emphasizes the need for collaboration between teachers and students and suggests creating platforms for students to speak up. He encourages school leaders to elevate youth voices by including students in conferences and meetings and to give them opportunities to contribute.

00:00 Keynote at NEASC Leadership Event
03:00 The Avenues Online School Experience
05:34 Listening and Taking Action
07:33 Creating Opportunities for Engagement
09:25 Maximizing Opportunities
12:48 Collaboration Between Teachers and Students
14:01 Including Students in Leadership Conferences
16:51 Students Speaking Up