Leading Antiracist Schools with Accountable Shared Leadership with Dr. Cherie Bridges PatrickRead Now
Today, we are bringing back frequent guests to the Time for a Teachership blog and podcast. Dr. Cherie Bridges Patrick. If you've listened to a previous episode, you already know all about her, but a quick summary. She is the founder of paradox Cross-Cultural Consulting, Training and Empowerment, LLC. She is a racial justice consultant, leadership coach and psychotherapist. She works with social workers, counseling professionals, educators, and organizational leaders. And she uses a trauma focused lens in her work to build leadership capacity for racial justice. Cherie holds a PhD in leadership and change, and her research is in racism, denial, discourse, racial justice, social work and the helping professions like education. I can't wait for you to hear this episode of a conversation between Cherie and I diving into the organizational nature of how we create a culture in our schools for fostering racial justice.
Hi, I'm Lindsay Lyons and I love helping school communities envision bold possibilities, take brave action to make those dreams a reality and sustain an inclusive anti-racist culture where all students thrive. I'm a former teacher leader, turned instructional coach, educational consultant and leadership scholar. If you're a leader in the education world, whether you're a principal, superintendent, instructional coach, or a classroom teacher, excited about school-wide change like I was, you are a leader. If you enjoy nerding out about the latest educational books and podcasts, if you're committed to a lifelong journey of learning and growth, being the best version of yourself, you're going to love the Time for Teachership podcast. Let's dive in.
Welcome back, Dr. Bridges Patrick, to an episode of Time for a Teachership. We were together in a previous episode talking about the primacy of discourse, the need for building the muscle for personal and interpersonal discourse capacities. You talk to us about readiness and willingness, vulnerability, adaptability, and the importance of a liberating dialogic environment. For those of you who haven't listened to that episode, please go back and listen to that one. That one is absolutely amazing. I just want to introduce you to Dr. Cherie Bridges Patrick, if you haven't already heard that episode and you are going to dive right into this one Dr. Bridges Patrick is a racism denial and discourse scholar, and she is here to talk to us about how we identify and dismantle systemic racism in educational systems. So today's episode is more focused on that organizational level. We previously talked about the personal and the interpersonal today. We're going to that organizational level. So I'll actually hand it over to Cherie to start us off with the first question.
Dr. Bridges Patrick:
This is exciting for me because I get to ask you some questions in this. So my first question for you, Lindsay is, at the organizational level, how can schools build capacity for generative dialogue and continuous learning more broadly?
Yeah, so I think one of the things that I love about working together is really putting adaptive leadership at the core of all that we do. When we think about that capacity building that is really central to really systematizing a lot of things, systematizing the process of diagnosis, as we talked about really identifying so that we can dismantle so many of the problems that are, you know, general across the system, educationally, nationally, globally, but also very particular to the individual schools that we're talking about. So my first kind of thought whenever I hear this, and I think about organizational capacity building is really to set up structures that enable us to really sustain these conversations that we talked about in our last episode that bring in diverse perspectives of different stakeholder groups and truly share in the leadership and the decision-making of an organization. So we can get a better understanding of the problems and challenges we encounter as well as what solutions and policies would actually address those challenges in an equitable manner. What do you think, Cherie?
Dr. Bridges Patrick:
Can I just add to that? I think we have to, because we're a society with attention challenges and short-term thinking like, you know, we want things done quickly. I want to just touch on that process that you just talked about, the setting up the structures to sustain. To be able to start shifting mindsets and when mindset strips sets are shifted, then you know, we can get into the policy work and how we change that because it all starts with us as individuals. Just talk briefly the length of time that it takes and so I say that, I hesitate as I hear myself say, there's something because this has been going on for so long, it is entrenched because we are entrenched in this.
There has to be some time and I know that there are some things that need immediate change. And for those people who think they can make that happen quickly, Great. But I think we need to understand that this process takes time, the time that the process of shifting mindsets of changing policy. Just think of our political system and all the steps that need to happen to make laws change. Right? So if you go into an organization and similar that you've got, you know, you've got your policies and practices, so it takes time. But in that time though, you're always practicing. You're always engaging because of the power of discourse because of its ubiquity as a social practice that is in every aspect of our lives.
Excellent points. I absolutely love those contributions because I particularly love that you're talking about the time piece and how it kind of hits you as you say it, because we have seen people on the one hand rushed to action without the process that needs to be shared. The dialogue that needs to happen among key stakeholders that represent different stakeholder groups. So that rush to action and kind of skipping over the democratic process is problematic. But then we also need to recognize that, you know, we need to sit in some things with the balance of the urgent call to action, right? So like, we need to take action, because like you said, it's been happening for so long we need to address it. We can't wait a long time to do that, but we also need to make sure the way that we're addressing it really speaks to our priorities as well.
Dr. Bridges Patrick:
Yes. And for me, it goes back to just that primacy of discourse and the need to learn how to engage in generative dialogue. If we can't talk about the issue, we can't talk about race and like you said, sit in some stuff, sit in that discomfort and navigate through it and, you know, and build the capacity to do it. How are we going to solve something that we cannot talk about that then we cannot see because we're not talking about, it's like this elephant in the room that is always there. So we have to be brave enough and bold enough to see the elephant and then to figure out how we are gonna, do this. So then Lindsay, that takes me to another question. Can you talk a little bit about shared leadership? Like what is shared leadership? Where does this approach come from?
Absolutely. So I love shared leadership. I think that's my answer to pretty much everything. But I will talk a little bit about the powerful women who have actually inspired and held up and practiced shared leadership through history. I think it's really important to acknowledge that because when I was first researching shared leadership or when I was first exposed to it in our leadership program, we had this little handbook of leadership theory. And it's interesting because it was a man that was credited for this idea of shared leadership. When in fact, if we go back further, we will see that is not necessarily the case. So it actually came up in the early 20th century, 1924, Mary Parker Follet wrote about shared leadership and the idea of power versus power over. And so this idea of, she says, first by pooling power, we are not giving it up.
And secondly, the power produced by a relationship is a qualitative, not a quantitative thing. She says that this is a "freeing for both sides and an increased total power or increased capacity in the world," and I think that really speaks a lot to the rooting of intersectional feminism, first. And kind of in this approach, when we look out a few decades later, we see Ella Baker a racial justice activist and community organizer who really prioritized developing the leadership of others as opposed to positioning herself as the leader of a movement. It's that selflessness and the nature of building capacity for really young people, students that she was working with, I think is probably why a lot of folks don't know her name as much as a lot of male leaders that we may point to. And she is just, I think my role model in terms of shared leadership development. We also see people today, like U.S. Congresswoman Ayanna Presley her quote, "people closest to the pain should be closest to the power."
That to me is just like, yes, that's what we're, that's what we're trying to do here! If we're talking about ending systemic racism and we don't have people who have been directly impacted by systemic racism that are in the school community as part of that conversation of how to end it, what are we really doing here? So I think these are the powerful women that have really taught me what shared leadership is. I've tried to learn from them and learn from their practice around how we move forward. So really we think about it in a school setting. I look at it from a structural perspective of how decisions are made, who is at that decision-making table? And are there feedback loops because we know the decision-making table is small, right? It has to be kind of representative just in how things are organized and to be able to hear everyone's voices, but we need those feedback loops to be able to go back to the stakeholder groups that the representatives represent and collect that feedback, not just speak for the group without that kind of cycle of going back and getting more data.
And so I'm interested in your perspective, Cherie, of how this idea of shared leadership really supports folx who are laboring for racial justice and the centrality of this idea in racial justice work.
Dr. Bridges Patrick:
Well. So as I was listening to you and, you know, all these things are just jumping out at me. So I'm writing an article about white supremacy and social work and, you know, just the dominance and the pain and the ways that systemic white supremacy operates is challenging. And those of us that are going to be fighting for working, for laboring towards racial justice. There's a part that I explore this need for like self care and accountability. I want to touch on that self care part and how it ties into shared leadership. So it may not necessarily be self care, but it's this, this collective care, maybe. This work is hard. This work is more challenging than we can ever imagine.
So as an individual, you can get burned out very quickly because the work is very hard, it requires you to take this real deep look at oneself. And then at an organizational level, we're looking for—we're talking about shared leadership. I get to share some of that difficulty, some of that challenge, right? And so in that I'm building relationships with other people, right? We're building intelligence, we're building new knowledge because of our experiences, right? They can then contribute to how do we, you know: How do we actually do this? And you know, we're leaning on the work of Ella Baker and the other women that really brought this, this concept forward. But so shared leadership offers this place of collectivism of just being together with like-minded people who are, who are working towards the same thing.
So then it supports the need for care. We can call, we can say to one another, "Hey, you know what, I think you might need to, you know, take a little break." So, having that structure allows for some time, for us to sometimes step back. So then there's also this energy that comes with that. I know I have enjoyed tremendously working with you because when we get together, you know, we have our conversations and all these ideas start to generate. So it's shared leadership, you're sharing ideas, and they feed off of each other and they contribute to that feedback loop, which, you know, continues to build. So ultimately shared leadership in terms of racial justice is like this, the support, this, a leveling of the weight that is carried because of the difficulty that it entails. So I, I like to ask you a little bit about the student voice, which is, you know, the area of research that you looked at, what wisdom can we pull from that body of research Lindsay?
I absolutely love the field of student voice. This is a relatively kind of emergent, I would say the last three decades kind of emergent field. I say emergent, because this has always been something historically that different groups of people have practiced. But in terms of the larger or I guess more, maybe more mainstream student voice, like research in journals and such like that. This has become something that is more studied heavily in the last few decades. So we get to see all of the brilliance that schools for a long time, these different pockets of individual schools have been practicing. And so one of the things that I love is Dana Mitra, who was one of the leading scholars in the field. She created a pyramid of student voice, and she talks about these three levels of student voice that exist in schools.
I think this is relevant for students. I think this is relevant for teacher voice and family voice when we're talking about shared leadership and all those stakeholders, but she talks about the bottom level being probably the most common, hence, the kind of pyramid shape it's the largest, but it's also kind of the least effective in some ways. It's merely listening. So we might ask students or families or teachers to fill out a survey, but then that doesn't necessarily mean we do something with that survey. So we listen but that's kind of it. And at the middle level, that next level up is slightly less common but more impactful is a kind of partnership among students and adults. We're working together in concert with one another to accomplish those school goals. At the top, the least common is really building capacity in students. (And again, I think this is relevant for all stakeholders) in themselves to lead.
And so when we think about students, as leaders, as folks that we can listen to and learn from as adults in the school community, I think this is really that idea of radical collegiality, that the student voice field talks about this idea of partnering and seeing students as equals as people that we can help them learn. Then we also learn from them. This I think is really at the heart of why shared leadership is so helpful and so important. And in order to do that, we need to give students multiple opportunities to be able to take on those leadership roles, to develop the personal and interpersonal capacities that you were talking about, Cherie, in our last episode to engage in racial discourse and to engage in discourse you know, in a generative way about all topics, including oppression of all kinds.
And what's interesting about this. I think when we're talking about sustainability Dana Mitra partnered with another scholar to actually apply turbulence theory to the pyramid. And what they realized was the lowest level of the pyramid that just listening part, it actually increased individual and organizational turbulence because what was happening was they were just surfacing those problems. They were just identifying what was wrong, but they weren't actually doing something about it. They were just kind of bringing them all to the surface and that bubbling up of identification without the follow-up was actually de-stabilizing the schools. Whereas when we look at the top level, when students are able to kind of come out as leaders and say, we're here, we can learn from them, the adults are listening to us. There's actually a reduction in turbulence because we're talking about organization-wide communication.
And that mindset shift that really helps us collectively work towards addressing those problems. And so there's actually an increased stability in terms of where schools can go when we partner with other stakeholders, which I think is really fascinating. So I'm interested in your perspective of Cherie, when I'm talking about these things, I'm thinking about the conversations we've had about why racial justice initiatives have historically failed in schools and organizations more broadly. Particularly we talked about accountability in our last episode, and I'm just thinking about all of these kinds of different pieces for sustainability and identifying and dismantling some of these problems that are identified. So what does that actually look like in terms of what are the problems that have kind of been barriers to success for racial justice initiatives in the past, and then where do we go from there? Like what does accountability, for example, maybe look like at an organizational level?
Dr. Bridges Patrick:
Let me try to tackle this. That's a big question. So then how do we begin to do this? So what I'm tying this turbulence to is—the notion of the concept of turbulence—to Heifetz disequilibrium, right? And so it just jumped out right at me. But then, you know, you often talk about this too. This is the system of diagnosis, right? Adaptive leadership says, you know, one of the most frequent causes of failure is that, you know, the leaders fail to, to really examine the system that they're working within. So, like you said, earlier, folx just jump into the work without really exploring what's happening. So a focus on diagnosis. That means to really drill down and under, you know using that pyramid to like using a combination of those things, but recognizing that the higher up you go in that pyramid, you know, the more progress you're going to make.
So I'm trying to combine those things there in terms of accountability. So this gets hard because there's all these barriers, right? So you know, there's the barriers of just racism itself and what that really means, and white supremacy. So you've got, you know, a group of people who are in power, white people who, come together with these, beliefs, these ideologies, these like lifelong commitments to being white, because that brings what it brings. When we're talking about accountability, there's a lot to dig into because the people who have those ideologies are typically the ones that are in the power. So who's going to want to give up, you know, what they see as, as power you know, as beneficial to them. So then you start asking questions like, okay, so how does this harm the organization?
How does this harm, you know, people within the organization? To bring it through a relational level. And how do we hold people accountable to really seeing the universal harm, of white supremacy of racism, so that there can be this collective effort towards, you know, dismantling and changing our policies and changing. It practices. So understanding that why that I talked about earlier is like what's the why for the organization you know, why are they doing this? And a lot of times organizations are engaged because everybody else is doing it. That's a lot of what I think is happening now in the larger sense of what we're looking at. So, you know, it's like, okay, so everybody else is doing it. It's becoming a practice, but we really don't explore. So organizationally, we need to explore and understand what is our why, and it too needs to be grounded in, you know, something that's going to help keep the organization going, because there's going to be a lot of fatigue, a lot of effort put into this. So that's one area of accountability.
Offering people support from individuals who are trained and who understand how racism operates. Not the ones that, you know—cause I still, like I said earlier in the other episodes, I still don't know a lot about racism, although I've studied it right. Because it's that complex. So you know, we have to be able to really educate people. And to do that again, it requires these mindshift changes getting through these barriers so that we can do the work. So that accountability is a constant work of breaking down the mental, the ideological, the social barriers that come with the weight of white supremacy.
I'd like to touch on just a little bit about what you said about the student voice, because it was interesting. I don't think he said it this way, you talked about the collegiality between students and teachers, right? So if I remember my days as a student, that teacher was definitely like, you know, he, or she was the one in power and you had to, you know, you had to operate you know, in a construct that was like, they were over you and you were under them, so you have this hierarchy. I think that's in me, and in my continued experience, I think that's still true to some degree. So now we're shifting from, you know, a position that doesn't necessarily relate to race. But if we take this in the direction of racial justice and your experience as a teacher, as an educator, how do you narrow the gap between, you know, "I'm in charge," the power, to bring it more towards this collegiality to allow students to have this voice. If we're honest, we see young people are the ones doing this heavy work out there, right? There's all kinds of ideas and information that we can get from them. So I'm curious to know, and I know I'm throwing you a curve ball because this is not what we talked about. Could you touch on that a little bit?
Absolutely. I think, as you were talking about radical collegiality, maybe not explicitly tied to race, I actually was thinking about the statistics of just who are the teachers, what is currently known as the United States. Most of those teachers are white. Many of whom are working in schools where the population of students are predominantly black and Brown children. So it's interesting that we have both that teacher authority piece, but then we also have that racial piece and the white supremacy piece that plays a role. And so when we're talking, and I know not everyone is in that position, but when we're talking about these kinds of schools, where we have white teachers teaching Black and Brown students, I think that adds a level to that idea of radical collegiality that makes it that much more important. I know we've talked about the idea of kind of white liberalism and one of those practices, or one of those kinds of tenants or aspects of white liberalism being a devaluation of Black and Brown people's expertise on racism.
And so just not enabling students to be part of that conversation. I think ties in there and I just wanted to comment on that really quickly before answering your actual question. But I think there are so many ways as teachers, we talk about having a student centered culture, but if we were really to reflect on what that student centered just meant, if we were really to think about the, the four things I typically ask is: Do your students have an opportunity to decide what they learn? So the content (when they learn), where they learn, and how they learn, if we can't enable students to have voice and choice in those things. And of course sometimes, you know, that's us kind of providing some choices and they choose from that. But other times, and listeners probably will recognize this particular anecdote...
That one time I tried an entire semester, an entire, like, you know, five months of school of students designing their own units. I had 80 different units going at the same time. And just kind of following that path of a personally designed unit that brought them joy, that fed into their creative spirit that enabled them to follow their curiosity. I think that is kind of that radical end of what that might look like. But, you know, if we are truly committed to engaging in this radical collegiality with students, it's going to be a co-construction of what and how we learn. And a lot of times, as teachers, we are told in grad school, when we're getting our teacher's degree, you must have a hundred percent of students quietly, obediently listening to you and following directions. That's what makes a good teacher. When in fact, that does not make a good teacher, that's going to isolate a lot of students.
That's going to send a lot of students to the principal's office when there's this disobedience of weird rules that we think we have to Institute, but that student voice really comes to life. When we use practices like circle, which was really common for me. And I know some people have been taking that to the virtual space where we pose a question about something relevant to students' lives. So for example, we just did this in my college class, but I've done similar things with my high school students around the decision coming in of the Breonna Taylor murder. And so having students have an opportunity each one of them to answer and to just have everyone listen to students' answers, particularly when those students are kind of seeing their own experiences reflected back at them in current events, like that's what radical collegiality is. It's not coming in with a pre-made lesson plan and telling students what they need to believe it's honoring their experiences and their expertise. So I know that's just one example, but I wanted to, to share that anecdote.
Dr. Bridges Patrick:
As I said, there's all kinds of things just running through my mind as I'm listening to, cause you're saying you know, that last example of the circle experience where those voices that are typical, everybody gets a voice, right? So then they're sharing their experiences. So then that leads to vulnerability, one of the discourse capacities. But it also just keeps me connected to what you said earlier about first, you've got this power dynamic between, you know, teacher and student, and then you've got the other power dynamic of race. You know, it just speaks to the complexity of how all this stuff works together to maintain structures. So what you're asking for, I think the word radical is like on point because it's truly radical and what then do organizations, schools need for their teachers to be able to come into a radical space, you know, mentally, right?
And to create these spaces where this can happen. Cause as I listened to you talk about how you did this for a semester, you did the student voice. Hey, how would you learn? But to show me what you did and what you would do and you stayed with it. What did it take for you to stay engaged? What did it take for you to really, you know, not lose sight of what you were trying to do? I wondered, like, does that take you to your why? How can you talk to that experience just a little bit? Cause, we overestimate what's involved, but then we also under-estimate. That takes a lot of physical work. Administrative work, but it also takes this work of, of the shift in the mindset. We're talking about the ways that we have been trained, teachers are trained to come in and, you know, you have this information and you give it to people. You are not trying to hear anything. So can you speak to that experience of what did you, what happened in those times? How did you hold on and, and just share with the audience? Like here's some things that are real and here's how I dealt with them.
Absolutely. So full transparency. I will not do what I did again, because it was just too long. And the reason I knew that was because students told me, so I think a huge piece of this is those feedback loops of asking the students, checking in with them, how is this going? And the biggest piece of feedback I got from them was "This was an amazing project. However, I would prefer it to be shorter," because they even said they were losing steam, just themselves, trying to orchestrate and follow this complex unit that they developed, even though it was, you know, their passion project, their interests, they were just like, I really wanted it to be done sooner. It was half the length of time. So parsing out all of the student feedback at the end was really valuable to me, what it taught me was not to throw away the project as a whole, but just to make some adaptations.
Another piece that I think is really helpful is that I did not do this by myself. There were 80 different topics, many of which I had no idea about, like some of, one of them was stand up comedy. I am not a standup comic. I am not a particularly funny person, but I do know other people who are really interested in comedy in the school, or, you know, personal connections. What I did was, I tried—I think I got about 50 or 60 students to be connected with people, either in the school or connections that teachers in our school had to outside sources that were experts in those fields. So they became like the content mentors. So I think the first thing was realizing I didn't have to do it alone was huge. And so when we talk about shared leadership and student voice and co-constructing curriculum, we're also talking about how we leverage family members that are experts.
One of the students actually went to her uncle because he was an expert in the topic that she was exploring. And so her uncle got to be her teacher, which is so cool because a lot of times we invalidate the expertise that family members have. And we say, we are the teachers who know how to do school. I think that was a huge realization for me. And I think another thing that supported me was an administrator who was like, go for it. Who said, I will support you. I will show up to the final expo where the students are sharing what they did, and I will celebrate that win. And I'm going to come in occasionally, but I'm not going to say if students are, you know, being very loud, that that's something you're going to get penalized for. I'm going to see that loudness as excitement and energy and things that we typically don't associate with loudness when we're looking in a school and that's often what it was, it wasn't off task loudness.
The students were more focused than ever, and they were just really excited to dig into the work. So I think that admin support was really helpful. And specifically within that admin support, and for me to, to, to kind of realize what was going right, and what I would change is changing the measurement. Like, what am I actually measuring? So instead of measuring student obedience, for example, or discipline rates or something like that about following directions, I instead was measuring, you know, for example, how excited students felt on a day-to-day basis, how valued or heard they felt in the class itself you know, different pieces like that, that are student-reported metrics that we typically don't measure in classrooms was what kept me on track was what kept me energized and what was also something that my admin valued. So I think being able to be in that space that was really set up for me to do an experiment like this was really what made it possible.
Dr. Bridges Patrick:
Thanks, Lindsay. I think your example is like a perfect example for adaptive leadership, right. Combined with shared leadership. Because you had this project, you engaged the students and then you listened to them. You've got that feedback loop and have to have that. So, adaptive leadership talks about that. They talk about not like you start talking about not throwing away the entire project when you realize, Oh my gosh, this is too much, you took what you learned from it. And you narrowed it down and you made adjustments. This was because you didn't have structures in place. You didn't have practices in place that were there to to help guide you through this truly adaptive leadership. Adaptive practice, I mean that there's no rule book for it, right?
There's no policy book that says, this is how you do it. So you went in blindly. Another piece of that, that you talked about is that that support, that organizational support, right? So when we're talking about changing organizations and helping them understand how racism is impacting, you know, all of, all of them, everybody and engage in embedded in their practices and policies, because it's just part of our system that this notion of having the support of the organization is critically important. Because if you don't have that experience, and I know yours was not specific to race, I believe it wasn't, but I mean, there's great lessons. So having that support allows for you to really live into your potential so that you could bring your students into their potential. So it's got all these benefits. And so then it's, it's this process of, of practice, of reflection in a practice that is absolutely essential to the continuation of racial justice and sustaining it over time.
Thank you for summarizing, that just feels really nice. Nice to hear how that was connected to adaptive leadership. That's not something I would have immediately thought about. So thank you. Is there anything else that you wanted to add to this conversation before we go through a quick summary of key points here?
Dr. Bridges Patrick:
No, but I do want to say that these are the kinds of conversations that just generate so much energy. You have all these ideas that come together between two people. I wonder what it would be like if you had another person with a different perspective. Who could bring some other insights to how we're looking at things. You know, that's a dream that I have expanding the possibilities by bringing in different perspectives. So that's all I would say. Thanks.
Awesome. Thank you. I'm just going to go through a quick summary of some key points that we talked about, and then we'll do a closing call to action. And so we talked a lot about shifting mindsets as a prerequisite for this work and policy change, and specifically radical collegiality when we're talking about students, but also with families and seeing them as true partners in the learning, these things take time. So in that time, as Cherie said, right, the power of discourse, you're always engaging in this. So of course it will take time, but we're constantly doing that work. We're constantly laboring for racial justice on this path. As we kind of co-construct policy and things in a shared leadership setting, the need for self care and collective care, which brings me back to, you know, Audre Lorde's like initial calls for it.
Self care is, I think she says an act of political warfare, right? It is about caring for the self so that we can, as you said, Cherie, support the collective. We're not turning away. We're turning inward for a moment, recharging, and coming back together. And so that shared leadership enabling us to share the weight and building relationships with another in generating energy is a critical piece here. Using that combination of Dana Mitra's pyramid levels to properly diagnose and really systematize the process of diagnosis, as well as dismantle and actually act on the information we're getting in things like surveys to dismantle barriers to racial justice is critical. Tying the accountability to the organization's "why" is really how we sustain the labor through fatigue, which will happen, and really making sure that we're getting support from folx who've studied and are knowledgeable about how racism operates when we're talking about accountability.
We can't just be accountable to ourselves in just kind of our limited mindset of what accountability means, but we're pulling in experts to help us be accountable to our larger community. And finally, just listening to students, measuring what matters, and remembering that adaptive practice does not have a rule book. And that praxis that reflection and action is really what gets us through those adaptive challenges, of course, with organizational support, which is really a huge key there. So as we talk to leaders, as we invite them to take action after this particular episode, what would you say, Cherie, is something that you would encourage leaders to do after listening today?
Dr. Bridges Patrick:
Wow. I think I'm probably going to sound repetitive here. So from an adaptive leadership lens, that parallel process of examining oneself, you know, that inner glance and inner look/view and while doing that at the same time examining the system. So you've got that parallel process going on, particularly in the context of, of addressing racial dominance in the workplace. Right? So this interior journey is really important to be able to navigate through the external organization. The internal part of oneself. So I recommended this the other day or on the other podcast, but I still think it's very relevant. Some of the things that we can do right away, you know, a lot of times people think that there is something grand that has to be done. But if we're talking about changing mindsets, that means you have to get engaged with your mind. You have to know how it's operating.
So in order to do that, spending just three minutes a day. Observing as just a third party. You're observing what's going on, so you can become familiar. You can make it as easy as what's happening in this interaction with this person what's going on with my body. What am I feeling? What am I noticing, or this is bringing in that somatic aspect of it, which is a big piece of how we continue to disengage from conversations around race. So it's just bringing some attention to how we're functioning as individuals within an organization, which makes us this, you know, the collective place, how are we, how are we working together? You know, you can take that data and apply it to, well, how does it impact, you know, our practices. Cause I, when we can begin to explore those things and become familiar with them, I think that can take us a long way. So that's one thing.
Excellent. Thanks. I actually want to say too by the time this episode airs there will be a previous episode that I actually created for free before that is a daily journal for 30 days. And so you can use that journal to do exactly what Cherie's saying, where you're journaling for three minutes about that critical reflection. And again, bringing in other, other folx in other resources that we kind of talked about in our previous episode as well to kind of deepen your critical self-reflection there. So thank you for bringing that up again. I'm glad you did. I would say that you know, I was actually inspired by what you said earlier. I would actually recommend that you find someone to talk to like Cherie and I do. We have a standing weekly meeting and we just kind of brainstorm. Really amazing things come out of it, I think.
We are doing a lot of professional work together, but it's also, I think just the ideas that flow when you have someone to talk to you and think through some of the adaptive leadership work with. So I think that's something that you can potentially do. Another thing, if you're interested in kind of the student voice element and trying to seek out students' ideas and perceptions of their leadership opportunities in your school is that you can use my, a statistically validated student leadership capacity building survey. So I'm going to link that as the freebie for this episode, just so you can start to kind of collect some data around whether or not students actually feel like they do have an opportunity to lead in schools. And in what ways do they have, you know, an opportunity to make decisions at the school level, at the curriculum level, in their classes?
Do they have the professional development for themselves as leaders where they're building those personal dialogic capacities that should be talked about in our, in our recent episode? So these are some of the things that we might want to know about students, and I will link to that in the show notes. So thank you all for listening to another episode, there was so much in here, please let us know what you got from this. We have Time for a Teachership Facebook group. If you want to go in there and chat through your takeaways, we will see you next week.
Thanks for listening, amazing educators. If you loved this episode, you can share it on social media and tag me at Lindsay Beth Lyons, or leave a review of the show. So leaders like you will be more likely to find it. To continue the conversation you can head over to our Time for Teachership Facebook group and join our community of educational visionaries. Until next time leaders, continue to think big, act brave, and be your best.
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Lindsay Lyons (she/her) is an educational justice coach who works with teachers and school leaders to inspire educational innovation for racial and gender justice, design curricula grounded in student voice, and build capacity for shared leadership. Lindsay taught in NYC public schools, holds a PhD in Leadership and Change, and is the founder of the educational blog and podcast, Time for Teachership.