From Good To Great: Strategies to Create an Extraordinary Team

Session notes from “From Good to Great: Strategies to Create an Extraordinary Team,” led by Samantha Dry.

What were the speaker’s main messages?

The main message was that the collective teacher efficacy is critically important. When teachers feel better about the team they are on, they are better at their jobs. As staff reflect about their teaching, they get better at it.

What was the speaker’s best quote?

“I believe a team can have an impact … because John Hattie said so.” She noted the meta analysis data of the impact of Collective Teacher Efficacy with a 1.57 effect size.

What were the top ideas from the session?

  • Be transparent, clear, vulnerable, and honest.
  • Always be learning or find those who have the knowledge to fill gaps.
  • Build relationships and support staff; meet them where they are.

What is one strategy that will help you with instructional leadership?

One thing I need to make more time for and carve out creative ways to make it happen is for staff to be able to share their good work, get into other classrooms, share at faculty meetings and highlighting the expertise right in the building. This builds the learning of the observer but also the one who is sharing. Walkthroughs need to be part of the culture where a comfort level is built.

What resource will you check out?

She shared how she tries to build up each member of her team and find their strength and fill their buckets and the importance of acknowledging them in front of others, at meetings or with parents. For her staff she has utilized Cliftonstrengths. With this assessment tool, 34 strengths are identified, with no focus on weakness. Samantha noted how it changed the way the team sees each other.

I can’t wait to tell my teachers about this idea:

In an effort to build culture, I will make a concerted effort to start each meeting having staff share something positive. We need to celebrate the good. Everybody wants to be around teams that are happy. “People who are happy at work are better at their jobs.”  

Notes by Cheri Sacco, Orchard Farms Elementary School, in Cranston, Rhode Island.