Hello Friends!Â September has been an exciting month. As a Fisher Fellow with KIPP Houston, I will spend the fall semester traveling across the country in residencies at various schools. Since I wrote my last blog post, I have been mostly here in Houston at some of the nine KIPP Houston middle schools. I have spent longer blocks of time at KIPP Academy Middle School and KIPP 3D Academy with shorter visits to some of the other campuses. It has been an amazing start to my journey, and Iâ€™m looking forward to even more learning as I travel from East Coast to West Coast from October through December!
As I visit various schools, there is one theme that I am constantly revisiting as I work on my School Design Plan:Â Creativity vs. Control.
When I think about thisâ€¦ shall we sayâ€¦ paradox, I think about both children and adults in our schools.Â What types of structure (control mechanisms) are we establishing that either limit or encourage creativity in our students and teachers?
One thing the Fisher Fellowship encourages us to think about is how we are moving towards greater student independence and self-reliance.Â A mentor of mine, Dick Streedain, told me once that we should be â€śmoving to trust.â€ť But how do we know if we have moved too fast?Â How does this look for adults?Â For students?
During the Rice MBA, I took a great class called Management Control with Sally Widener where I constantly was thinking about how we manage the performance of our teachers.Â What sort of incentives are in place to encourage our employees (and students) to achieve the desired outcomes?Â Are we rewarding the right behaviors?Â Many would argue that we should be moving students towards greater intrinsic motivation.Â Should we be moving adults towards the same?
This blog is part of REEP – the Rice University Education ENTREPRENEURSHIP Program.Â If I plan to be an innovative school leader then I should create a structure where my teachers and students can be innovative as wellâ€¦where they can be entrepreneurs.Â What does the correct amount of support look like for this innovation?Â When does the support become limiting?Â When is the support removed too fast or too slow?
Right now I donâ€™t have all the answers but just a lot of important questions to ask myself as I visit other great schools across the nation.