"For your prompt for this week, blog about how you handle crucial conversations and at what point you step in to have them. What advice would you give to a new administrator in having to have a crucial, or fierce, conversation?"
This is a topic that has been written about a lot in the past few years. It is a little incredible that so much is written about something that should be a considered basic for all educators.
As a teacher, how often do you have 'critical conversations' - would you say at least one a day? Probably.
To my mind, critical conversations are important, especially when you really need to turn things around. I have to say that at our school, this is not something that needs to be done. People have a clear definition on what needs to be done and we have a common vision on what we want to see happen in the future.
For me the real challenge would be working at a school where there is not that strong vision. I think when you accept the position of teacher or administrator, we also sign up to have the critical conversations. If we are not willing to do that we are in the wrong job.
What I see at my school is a collection of professionals that are always up to that challenge and who are always ready to speak to their students to influence their behaviour.
So I would have to say that I witness critical conversations every day. I really think that teachers take part in these much more than principals do. I do think we like to write about it more.
For new administrators, my suggestion would be to resist having these crucial or critical conversations - don't feel that you need to rush into them. I sometimes feel that when we become administrators we need to have all the answers. That is a fallacy. You don't.
Learn from your teachers, learn first how to listen.