Common Sense

Thomas Jefferson Feeder Pattern News - April 20, 2015

About the Title

Common Sense was a pamphlet authored by Thomas Paine in 1775-76. It was written to inspire American colonists to declare independence from British Rule at the beginning of The Revolution. This weekly, modern, online relative of that pamphlet documents the news, events, updates, and celebrations of the TJ Revolution - the educational sensation sweeping through northwest Dallas.

TJ Feeder Pattern News in Brief

Executive Director's Message

This week our students will have an opportunity to demonstrate their learning. In a way, it represents the culmination of a yearlong collaboration between faculty, students, and parents to ensure students learn and master the content necessary to be successful in their grade level.

I congratulate each student, teacher, and leader and wish you all the best during this very important week. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to student achievement.

Have a great week with students!

Timothy J. Hise

Executive Director, Thomas Jefferson Feeder Pattern

Systems Review: Implementation

As you continue to evaluate your instructional program and campus culture, I will highlight portions of the Systems Review rubric each week this month. This week's focus is on the Implementation portion of the Systems Review.

Questions for Consideration

  • What concrete artifacts and processes do you have to support a proficient rating or higher?
  • How do you ensure that the quality of instruction has improved throughout the year. Is good quality instruction pervasive? How do you know?
  • What evidence do you have that shows you monitor the quality of feedback delivered by your instructional leadership team?
  • What evidence do you have that shows leaders collect and evaluate student achievement data? And that the data impacts staff development?
  • Does your school "get results?" What measures and artifacts support your claim?
Big image


Two Types of Leaders: Diminishers & Multipliers

from Marshall Memo #582

“[S]mart leaders don’t always bring out the smarts in others,” say Elise Foster and Liz Wiseman (The Wiseman Group) in this Kappan article. “Many leaders, having spent years being rewarded for their intelligence, never look beyond their own capability to see and use the full genius of their team.” An example: a principal dominates staff meetings with a monologue on the school’s priorities and doesn’t take the pulse of the staff. Such leaders, say Foster and Wiseman, are “diminishers” – they underutilize their colleagues and “leave talent on the table.” By micromanaging, they discourage initiative and lead underlings to play it safe.

At the other end of the leadership spectrum are “multipliers” – they unleash creativity and energy, bring out the best in colleagues, and take their organizations to new heights. What are the key characteristics of multipliers? “If diminishers see the world of intelligence and capability in black and white,” say Foster and Wiseman, “multipliers see it as a rainbow; they think differently, and they operate differently, which causes people to respond differently – offering their full intelligence and discretionary effort.” Diminishers are profoundly elitist, believing, “People won’t figure it out without me.” Multipliers have a growth mindset and walk into their offices thinking, “People are smart and will figure it out.” Here are five ways multipliers get so much more out of their colleagues:

  • Managing people – They are talent finders, tapping into natural abilities at all levels of the organization, which inspires extraordinary loyalty;
  • Fostering a productive environment – The workplace is safe, challenging, and intense, and people feel they have permission to think and the space to do their best work.
  • Setting direction – Multipliers lay down challenges that stretch the organization, get people to go beyond what they thought possible, and generate belief that it can be done.
  • Deciding – “Multipliers make decisions in a way that informs and readies the organization to execute those decisions,” say Foster and Wiseman. “They build an organization that understands the issues and can quickly support and execute decisions.”
  • Getting things done – These leaders demand excellence, give ownership, and provide the resources people need to be successful, which builds strong, trusting relationships.

In each of these areas, diminishers do the opposite, creating a negative work environment, poor morale, and low productivity.

“It is time to do the math and realize that school systems simply can’t afford the costs these leaders incur,” say Foster and Wiseman. When they interviewed people about each kind of manager and asked what percent of their capability was being used, those under diminishers said 20-50 percent while those under multipliers said 70-100 percent. In other words, multipliers can more than double human potential.

Foster and Wiseman studied hundreds of leaders and employees and found, sadly, that most leaders operate in the middle of the spectrum between multipliers and diminishers – they are “accidental diminishers.” These well-intentioned leaders were victims of two tendencies:

  • Rescuing – They don’t like to see people struggle, make mistakes, or fail so they protect their colleagues. We know that learning through struggle is often more effective, so when rescuers step in, they deprive people of vital learning opportunities and create a cycle of dependency.
  • Always on – These leaders are full of infectious energy, always present, always there with something to say. But others are shut out of the conversation and feel suffocated.

Foster and Wiseman believe that with these insights in mind, a leader can begin to lead with intention and maximize the potential of those around them. They suggest that leaders take their “multiplier experiment” – – which includes two examples: leading a meeting using only questions; and dispensing opinions in small but intense doses. Leaders who have tried this reported “a sense of liberation… They noticed the burden of thinking shift away from themselves onto colleagues; more important, they saw the quality of the discussion and resulting solutions improve.”

“What would transpire at a school if the principal learned to lead like a multiplier and found a way to give teachers, parents, and students greater ownership for the success of the school?” ask the authors. “What if students and teachers learned these principles together? Our studies suggest that aspiring multipliers can create genius around them, ensuring no leader is left behind, by creating more multiplier moments… The model presented here illustrates how one moves away from being a leader who knows, directs, and tells, and moves toward becoming a leader who sees, provokes, and unleashes the capability of others.”

“Multiplying Is More Than Math – It’s Also Good Management” by Elise Foster and Liz Wiseman in Phi Delta Kappan, April 2015 (Vol. 96, #7, p. 47-52),; Foster can be reached at

Leadership Quote of the Week

Big image

Week At-a-Glance

Monday, April 20
  • STAAR Testing (Grade 5 & 8 Mathematics)
  • Campus Visits

Tuesday, April 21

  • STAAR Testing (Grades 3-4 Math, Grades 6-7 Math, Grade 8 Social Studies)
  • Campus Visits
  • Superintendent's Scholarship Reception @ Conrad HS (6-8pm)

Wednesday, April 22

  • STAAR Testing (Grades 3-4 Reading, Grades 6-7 Reading, Grades 5 & 8 Science)
  • Administrative Professionals' Day
  • Campus Visits

Thursday, April 23

  • Campus Visits
  • Volunteer & Partners Awards Reception @ Administration Building (4-6pm)

Friday, April 24

  • Campus Visits
  • Cycle 8 Data Meeting (Secondary Schools) @ Medrano MS (9-11am)

Saturday, April 25

  • HCM Job Fair @ Conrad HS (9am-12pm)

On The Horizon

April 27 - Report Cards Issued

April 27 - Reasoning Minds Math Inventory (EOY)

April 30 - Teacher Focus Group (Cigarroa ES)

May 1-22 - ISIP EOU Grades K-2/SRI (EOY) Grades 9-12

May 4-8 - Teacher and Teacher Assistant Appreciation Week

May 6 - National School Nurse's Day

May 6 - Principal Focus Group

May 9 - HCM Job Fair

May 18-22 - National Educational Bosses' Week

May 30 - HCM Job Fair

May 30 - Deadline for ZERO VACANCIES

Action Items