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Lindsay Lyons: Today, you get to listen in on my conversation with Jeff Ikler. He's worked to serve the needs of students, teachers, and administrators, for almost 50 years, first as a classroom teacher, then as an executive with a major school publishing house. As a coach to school leaders, as the co-host of Getting Unstuck: Educators Leading Change podcast, and as the co-author of Shifting: How School Leaders Can Create a Culture of Change. For reference, this episode was recorded on January 19, 2022. Let's get into the episode.
[upbeat violin music]
Lindsay Lyons: 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 are 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. And if you enjoy nerding out about the latest educational books and podcasts, if you're committed to a lifelong journey of learning and growth, and being the best version of yourself, you're going to love the Time for Teachership podcast.
Let's dive in.
Lindsay Lyons: Jeff. Welcome to the Time for Teachership podcast.
Jeff Ikler: I'm really excited to be with you, to be on the other side of the mic this time, you know? It's been a while since you and I talked and it's-- I've really been looking forward to this.
Lindsay Lyons: Absolutely, me too. It's really exciting to do a podcast exchange. This is gonna be so fun.
Jeff Ikler: Yeah, very cool.
Lindsay Lyons: And, so I know I just read your bio at the start of the episode. Is there anything you want to add or anything you're thinking about that would kind of frame the episode for us? What should listeners know going into this conversation?
Jeff Ikler: Well, I have a couple of things and they're-- I guess they're tangentially related. I don't think my professional bio says anything about the fact that I may want to be a fly fisherman, and I do as much fly fishing as I can, but I don't get off on the water enough. But what I have found is that and I think a lot of fly fisherman, fly people, fly fisher people would echo this, that there's just some magical quality about fly fishing.
It's not about, it's not about the fish. Yeah, I love to catch fish, but I love standing in the water and I love you know, feeling the breeze, and being out in nature and that sort of thing. And what it does is, it helps me slow down. And what I've been trying to advocate and some of the work I do is to slow down. The term I use is downshift and to downshift to such a degree that you don't miss certain moments in life that I call them, moments of serendipity that might have special meaning for you. And because of the pace that we move at, I think some of these moments pass us by. So I think that's one thing that I'm very focused on. The other thing, which is very, very selfish, is that I'm contemplating a semester abroad because I never had-- when I was in college, I just don't think-- at least my college didn't offer anything like that, that I was aware of that, I can remember. And I don't know, I don't think I'm going to do it in history, it's gonna be something totally different.
But the idea is to really immerse myself in learning something that I've been very interested in. A subject that I've been very interested in, but it's not necessarily, you know related to the work that I do, either in coaching or education.
Lindsay Lyons: That is beautiful. Oh my gosh, I love the "Don't miss moments of serendipity," and I'm very excited for your semester abroad. So this is gonna be great. You'll have to update me once that happens.
Jeff Ikler: Yeah.
Lindsay Lyons: So line with this idea of kind of Freedom Dreaming that Dr. Bettina Love talks about, I love starting each podcast episode off with this idea, and you just kind of shared some dreams there as well just for your own life and catching those moments of serendipity and exploring and learning new things. And so I think this is a great direction to kind of continue in. What is the big dream that you hold for the field of education? Keeping in mind, Dr. Bettina Love's quote about Freedom Dreaming, which is "Dreams grounded in the critique of injustice.".
Jeff Ikler: Yeah, so that's a great question.
And I can answer it in a couple of ways. We did an interview a while back with an educational researcher. His name is John Hattie and he's from Australia. I'm sure you know of him and his work. He's-- what he excels at is bringing all these educational studies together; studies that measure the effects of educational reforms and what he said, and this has just stuck with me, he said just about anything you do in the classroom will improve performance. But the two things that improve performance way above anything else : our teachers examining their practice to see what works and to shape their practice accordingly; and two: helping kids to examine how and why they approached the problem the way they did to get them to, it's more of a meta-cognitive exercise than just having them work problems and then not discussing,
"Well, how did you approach this? What was your thinking?" And the issue is, and a second interviewer nailed this, he said, we know what works in education. We're not doing it. And that's to me, the bottom line, is that we have all this great research. We know that kids respond to agency. We know we should be focusing on 21st century skills that kids can use in the workplace and we're not routinely doing it. We're still stuck, you know, the term people use a lot is the industrial model of education and we're still stuck there. And It's after being in education for now, 50 years, that-- I just really dated myself. Okay. It's tragic that we know what works and we're not training teachers to routinely do this. So that's-- I think that would be my big dream. That's the second part of that and a book I'm going to recommend that has had a major influence on my thinking.
It's called The Advantage, and it's by a, like I don't think he's a sociologist. If he is, he's like a business sociologist. His name is Patrick Lencioni and he wrote the Five Dysfunctions of Teams. But The Advantage speaks to the fact that his research shows that organizations and their leaders are typically set up in a couple of different ways. One: they tend to either focus on the work. They're very technical, they focus on strategy, marketing tactics, infrastructure, technology, and so on and/or they focus on the people doing the work. So one is a very technical look and one is a very human look at the work and what he calls it, the groups that the organizations that focus on more of the technical aspects he calls them smart because businesses have to do this, right? These are smart activities and they're all around decisional sciences. The folks that focus on people are referred to as healthy organizations and you don't want to, you don't want to do one or the other.
You can't survive as just a healthy organization and you can't survive really really well for a long time as just a smart organization. So his research shows the organizations that do both have "the advantage" and I just did air quotes for your, for your listeners. Now, we've applied that to education and we actually do this in the book and I just did a major workshop with Learning Forward where we talked about this and we took this idea of smart and healthy and from my perspective and my co-author's perspective, educational institutions tend to focus more on the technical side of teaching. All right, more on the content. This is the content that needs to be covered. These are the skills that need to be covered and what we're seeing is that a lot more attention has to be paid to the kids who are walking into the classroom and what they're carrying in their backpacks beside books.
All right. And that to me brings up this idea is and we can talk about this now if you want. But, a lot of universities aren't focused on that. They're focused more on, "We're going to produce the kinds of kids that we always produce." That was my experience now, it was a long time ago, I was totally unprepared for the classroom. I just, I didn't look at my kids as kids, I looked at them as receptacles of historical knowledge and I wanted to impart, you know, everything I knew about american history to them. But I didn't think about them and why they might be withdrawn in the class and why they might have their hoodie up on a certain day or why they would sit in the back of the room. That wasn't my focus. So those are the kind of the big dreams that I have is that we look at what works and we start to implement what works on a more-- on a grander scale. There are a lot of schools that we can point to, a lot of districts that we can point to that are doing this kind of work and we make sure that when we're producing graduates, both at the college level and the high school level, that they're able to look at the world with these two lenses: the smart and the healthy.
Lindsay Lyons: I love that vision and I appreciate your vulnerability and just sharing like that, that you didn't feel prepared, you know, when you went into teaching because I would say the same thing. A lot of the things that I've done as a coach have been to try to support teachers, to not have the experience that I had of not knowing, you know what was going on and thinking in that way that ed-prep organizations and universities just don't adequately prepare teachers for.
And I think that's part of why we have, you know, burn out and we have, you know, a lot of struggles that new teachers have because we're not adequately preparing. So I really appreciate that dream and then I also appreciate that you're kind of starting to think about, help us think about, you know, the mindset shifts that are required for teachers and also for organizations, schools like K-12 schools, but also universities and places that prepare teachers to go teach that's really required to get to that dream. And so I'd love for you to share a little bit more about like, you know, how do we shift mindsets around this new priority? It's so hard, I think sometimes to get away from those accountability metrics and just, you know, the things historically that we've looked at and said like this is the gold standard, we just need good test scores or whatever. And we're starting, I think to shift our mindsets around what great education is, but how do we do that or what does that look like for you?
Jeff Ikler: In my perspective is going to be coming from the podcast that Kirsten and I have been running for almost five years,
Getting Unstuck. And we've interviewed a lot of superintendents, assistant supe-'s and principles. And my advice in this area, "How do you shift mindsets"? Don't wait for these beams of golden light to come down from the federal government and the state governments and even from the departments of Ed. Real change happens at the district level. It happens at the school level and for really, really gutsy people that happens at the classroom level. And we just-- we can't wait for these big reform movements to come. Even common core, which I thought I really liked common core and I was able to separate common core from the assessments that were tied to them. In common core, it often gets a bad name because of the, you know, the assessments, but what common core tried to do for kids I liked, but it was terrible in terms of its rollout. Teachers weren't prepared for it.
They weren't-- they didn't get enough professional development and there wasn't a timeline to ease them into it, if you will. So my advice there is don't wait. Hook, hook yourself to inspired leaders and there are inspired leaders out there. We've had, we've met some wonderful, amazing people who are doing great things and they're doing the things that we talked about earlier. They're focusing on, they're focusing on what kids need to, not just survive, but to thrive post high school and there is a, in the districts that I'm thinking about, there's a de-emphasis that everybody's got to go to college. There's an amazing superintendent in Park Ridge, Illinois. His name is Dr. Ken Wallace and Ken has structured a whole system of training whereby kids find good paying jobs, really, really good paying jobs without going to college because they've taken certain types of courses in high school. They've done internships and when they graduate, they're ready to go in as junior this or apprentice this and they don't incur, I don't know, Lindsay what you incurred in your doctoral program, but they're not incurring any of these, you know, these major costs.
And another district, in Anaheim, California, Mike Matsuda is the superintendent out there, major shift that they did. They said, we're gonna stop trying to funnel all kids through our system into colleges. So, you know, they're, they really-- their heart is in the right place. They're trying to develop these kids and they're really, really trying to support the communities that these kids come from. And because a lot of these, like in Ken's district, in the main township district, it's a very diverse community. There are some very, very wealthy families, but there are a lot of people who are on the lower economic spectrum and he said it's just, it's-- we don't want to determine for parents where their kids go, but we want to provide the options for where they can send their kids if that makes sense?
Lindsay Lyons: That makes so much sense. I think that the idea of having choice and, like you said, agency is so critical for this, right?
So the more agency we can provide and make it a true choice, not like, oh, this is, if you can't do college, then you do that, you know, like real choice.
Jeff Ikler: Yeah exactly. That's right.
Lindsay Lyons: That sounds great. Yeah. So you kind of started talking about, you know, the actions that these leaders are already taking. Are there things that you would tell listeners, either individual teachers or educational leaders that is kind of additional tips or strategies of like how we support folks in getting there? I know like you were talking about the rollout for a common core. I'm of the same mind. I actually love the idea of common core. I think the rollout and the kind of like forcing it into the way that it has been made to be adopted is not great. But I think if it was framed in a different way of like, "Oh, it gives you the freedom to teach priority standards and go in different directions and give students choice." Like, a lot of teachers want that. But when we think about like kind of at that action level, how do we bring folks into this kind of dream and how do we get that mindset shift kind of rolling?
What does that look like, kind of, for leaders and teachers?
Jeff Ikler: Yeah, great question. So there there are a number of things that people who are reform minded should keep in mind and I-- probably the most critical is don't decide and announce. Don't come in as a school leader at any level and just say "This is what we're going to do". You have to, you have to get input. You have to build buy in from people. Not everybody is going to go along, but I've been in too many change situations where the change was simply handed to people and you can look around the audience in a big auditorium and you see people sitting like I am with my arms crossed and it's like, "This is the change of the month," "Somebody went to a conference," "So he read a book now, he wants us to do this,", right? So make sure that whatever your "Why?" is, that you're getting, you're getting input and it's understood why you want that "Why?" Like, the superintendents that I was talking about earlier, the ones who were shifting from, you know, a college mindset, they worked with community members, they worked with local businesses, and they worked with junior colleges to understand what is it, what do we need, what do you need in terms of kids coming graduating from high school, what skills do they need, what attitudes do they need and they built their wire around that. And also has to do with really carefully defining the problem because a lot of times we go into change situations and the problem that we're trying to define or we think we're trying to define isn't universally understood and you get people, you'll actually hear this.
"I didn't know we were trying to do that." Well now you're in real trouble. Alright? So getting people bought into the "Why?" The other major thing, a friend of mine, Lyle Kirkman, He's an educational researcher. He did, he's done a study over 30 years with school leaders and he found that there were what he calls Seven Competencies of High Performing Leaders and he's determined this through various assessments and interviews with their superintendents or what happened. And what he found was that they shared an urgency for change. But what we have found in interviewing people, yes, there's an urgency for change. But the urgency is around the issue. It's not around the time. Because many of these reformists that we have interviewed, they've been at this for seven or 8 years. They have, they have decided this is what we need to do, but sometimes they make missteps and they had to restart in some areas.
So the urgency for change is we need to do this because we need to prepare our kids differently. That's what we need and there has to be an energy around it. But it takes time to turn battleship or titanic-like educational institutions so that every-- so that it's going, you know, in the right direction. So don't think that this is going to happen overnight, It has to be built upon, alright? So those would be two I-- those would be two ideas. I mentioned, talking with external stakeholders, right? That especially community, community members, because a lot of times the businesses, when the businesses are brought into the local high school, you see great results because they said, you know, you're sending us kids who can't, who can't do the basic work that we need. So, that would be one. The other thing is that my friend Lyle found out is that high performing leaders tended to diminish the importance of compliance.
So if they're asked to do stuff either at the higher levels of the district or the State Department, they do what's required of them but they do it to a degree that it doesn't become this big time-suck. They do it. It's a checklist because what they have found-- what he found is a lot of times districts will send these reports into the state : nobody's ever reading them. They just want you to do the report, right? So do the minimum, get by and then get back to the real work. So those would be, those would be some things that I would say that they need to do, they need to be thinking about.
Lindsay Lyons: I love those and I think that connects really deeply to kind of adaptive leadership and shared leadership in the work that I do around, you know, sometimes we address a problem. Like you're saying you carefully define the problem. Sometimes we address the problem. It's like, oh, we just do a little PD training on that and we're totally fine. It's like, oh, there's a much deeper problem underlying all of this and we just haven't got there yet.
Jeff Ikler: Exactly, exactly.
Lindsay Lyons: And you can't figure it out until you bring in those stakeholders
you were talking about like the community members and the caretakers and families and students and people who generally aren't part of the conversation of identifying the problem in the first place. So I think all of the things that you just named are so foundational to doing the transformative work that we really need to do. So I really appreciate that. And I also appreciate that last piece. I think oftentimes of leaders, successful leaders as being almost like a buffer from that compliance stuff for their school. So like, yes, I'll check the box and get whatever I really need to get done. But I'm not going to put that pressure, transfer that pressure onto, you know, the teachers and the students and the families, we're going to do what we do best here. We're going to take on those adaptive challenges and make decisions as a shared community. And we're going to do what we need to do to survive. But we're not going to transfer all of that unnecessary pressure that's really not helpful. And so I just think there's so much wisdom in just what you were sharing. I'm just kind of freaking out about it real quick.
Jeff Ikler: It was interesting because this came right out of the research that this is what high performers do.
They've learned that it doesn't count. It doesn't matter how much energy you put into it, You know, nobody's going to send it back saying this was wonderful. A. You get an A, you know, Mr Superintendent, you know, So anyway.
Lindsay Lyons: Yeah, that's such a great point. So as we're kind of continuing this conversation here, I'd love if you would tell us a little bit about the book you co-wrote with, I hope I'm saying their names correctly, but Kirsten Richert and Margaret Zacchei, thank you. It's called Shifting How School Leaders Can Create a Culture of Change. Do you mind just telling us a little bit about this? I think listeners would be really interested in reading this book and grabbing a copy.
Jeff Ikler: Yeah. So, just some backstory on this: Kirsten and I worked together at a major publishing house and we were in the same department for a number of years. So we experienced many of the same trials around change initiatives that would, you know, come down from on high and I had seen many stops and starts or starts and stops and change when I was a high school history teacher.
So we actually lived what Kirsten and I called the Shiny Penny Syndrome, which is-- or the Fruit of the Month Club change idea is that, you know, we've started to change because somebody went to a conference or they read a book or they read an article or they talked to a well intentioned thought leader, and now we're going to do this. You know, it doesn't matter if this is what we need, it's just this is what somebody was advocating. And we went through that, you know, when I was a teacher, I certainly lived that when I was at the publishing house. So we said, well, how do we get teachers to, how do we have school districts to avoid experiencing what we actually lived? And that was the idea behind the book. Now, what-- there are a lot of books on change out there, but what we did that I think is unique, and it's been appreciated is that we interviewed tons of people, tons of practitioners, and we got their stories and we built the narrative around their stories. So if we're suggesting a certain strategy and we're pointing out an issue, we've got a couple of practitioners talking about it, that they lived it.
And so it's not just our three voices. It's that we went and we found people who could talk about good things that happened and not so good things that happened. So that was one thing. The other thing was, as I said before, was the-- "Why?" that was often missing. It's very often missing in school reform that we don't have this agreement. And there's not an opportunity for buy in or input and we have a, one, we start the book with a wonderful story from a superintendent in Texas. She was a new superintendent, and it was-- her initiative was a terrible failure because she didn't get buy in. And she, you know, said to us later, she said, "Oh, thanks for starting your book with my story." You know, it was a riot, but we did have, we had the second part of her story later in the book, she did another change initiative and did it right, and it was a huge success. So she learned from it, but that, you know, we learned from other people's mistakes.
So I think those were, those were some of the big issues. We wanted people, you know, to avoid the potholes, we call them the potholes of educational change. And that was the impetus.
Lindsay Lyons: I love that. And I think continuing, kind of that line of-- you are so connected to so many administrators and teachers and people with these amazing stories that really bring to life so many issues that readers or listeners to your podcast can connect with and feel like, yeah, this isn't just someone telling me to do this thing, it's happening. This person went through this, and that's such a valuable teacher : other people's experience. And so, as you have interviewed all these folks who are really doing the work that we've been talking about, like, really moving education away from that industrial model and trying to practice the leadership skills that we've been talking about today on the podcast. I'd love to hear a little bit more about the three leadership skills that you've identified, that really, kind of allow them to lead those kinds of shifts that you've seen in those narratives that have come through in those interviews.
Jeff Ikler: Right.
You mentioned one of the skills and I'll get to it in just a minute. But the first thing when I think of the administrators who are pulling meaningful reform off, they are all-- they all have what I call realistic vision and the vision, and this may sound a little bit opposite-- oppositional. Yeah. Vision is something that you aspire to achieve, right, and we want it to be big, we want it to be that big dream. But what can happen sometimes is that it's so lofty, we haven't built in the intermediate steps that tell us that we're actually starting to accomplish it. So that's why I say these people all shared a realistic vision. It was something that people could instantaneously understand. We want our kids to be prepared to enter the world of work once they graduate. All right, well, what does that mean? Then
they would detail it. Alright. It doesn't-- it's not something that we want all of our kids to go on to ivy league colleges and to become PhDs and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. They wanted realistic goals, but they were visionaries. They had an idea that they wanted to pull off. Okay, so that was one thing. They weren't afraid to fail. And this was really important. One of the assistants, oops, I talked to in Merced, California, he said we made a lot of mistakes and when we made mistakes, we went back to people and we admitted that we made a mistake, that we're not gonna do that course, we're not gonna take away that or we're not going to implement this, it didn't work. And so we're gonna start over and that's why I said earlier, be prepared for these things to take a long time. So you have to be prepared to fail. And what's so interesting to me is that when you read a lot of leadership literature, this is-- that point is often something that thought leaders talk about is that you have to have the attitude that there are going to be failures and to celebrate failures, you know, what did we learn from this?
So that was, that was one point and the other thing that you mentioned. They're very, very adaptable and flexible. That's part of this, not afraid to fail and if you do fail, you gotta pick yourself up and change and move and move forward. And I think the third thing, a wonderful interview with a principal in Pennsylvania who said "Learn how to be a good number two in your own building as a leader". Learn how to be a good number two. If people always see you as number one, they're not going to rise to express their voice, but if they see that they can stand along next to you that can be, that can be very, very powerful for them. So learn how to be a good number two.
Lindsay Lyons: Those are amazing, I love those three and I think you've shared so many specific examples of various administrators and and stories and I think again these are just really helpful to be able to concretely think about what this looks like and you, you know, you co-host a podcast, your-- you have multiple podcast experiences in hosting, in the hosting world.
I'm just wondering, are there any other ideas or words of wisdom that have stayed with you from all the various guests that you've interviewed in these spaces?
Jeff Ikler: I would go back to what I said much earlier, which was what John Hattie was talking about. Those two points about we know what actions have the biggest effect on student performance and we should be religiously doing them. Teachers need to be, they need to be given the time to be reflective about their practice. They need to have conversations about their practice and they need to be helping kids to be reflective about how they approach learning. That to me far and away is one of the the major takeaways.
Lindsay Lyons: And so powerful to come back to that. So I appreciate you doing that. As we kind of wrap up the episode, I think one of the things that you know, listeners kind of get excited about listening to the whole conversation and they're like, I want to do all these things and so what is kind of one step or one next step that people can do as they're kind of like hanging up the earbuds and they're like, all right, I'm going to take action now, to really live in alignment with the things we've been talking about today?
So there there are two questions that I'm fond of offering people and I'll read these to you, okay, because you can get them into the show notes or whatever. One of the questions is, "When students graduate, what do we want them to be able to do with their knowledge and skills as they confront uncertainty in our complex and rapidly evolving world?" So what's the expectation for these kids? And that expectation should dictate how we're preparing them. The second question is, "How do we help students develop a sense of purpose and meaning so that they feel they can have a positive impact in life?" And this idea of purpose and meaning, it goes back to, you know what you and I talked about a few minutes ago, agency. It's getting kids to express what's important for you to learn? What energizes you? What do you want to study? How do you want to approach this? I was working with a couple elementary kids yesterday and one was so precious. I said, what do you like to do?
And she said, art is my favorite class. She's nine years old. And she said, "And I'll tell you Jeff," and she talks like this, "I don't like mathematics". So here's somebody already at nine who's been encouraged to think about, what is it that you like. You know, what is it that that turns you on? And she, and you know, looking at her work, I can see that. So I would ask people to look at those two questions and look at their system, you know, the system that they're in and say, "How well are we approaching those two questions? How well am I approaching those two questions in the work that I do?"
Lindsay Lyons: I love those two questions as like a kind of accountability metric that feels more helpful than a lot of the accountability metrics that we have in place. And so I love that. And I think you kind of-- this is a fun question I like to just ask at the end, you kind of talked about it right at the front, but something that you're learning about lately, I think, you know, every guest on this show is like really committed to learning as a lifelong kind of learning process. And so I'm just curious to know, is there anything that you're learning about lately?
Could totally be related to education. Could totally not be.
Jeff Ikler: Yeah, so I talked about serendipity earlier and another way to say serendipity is, "I stumbled upon". Alright, I stumbled upon... and this is a podcast I listened to periodically. It depends on who she's got on, this is called On Being. And you're shaking your head. So you've heard Krista Tippett and she had Professor Suzanne Simard on and Suzanne is a forest ecologist and her research has proven, and you're gonna get a lot of shaking heads on the other end of this. She has proven that trees talk to each other. Now, they don't talk to each other like you and I are, but they do send messages to one another and they do it subterranean-ly. They do it underground through these very, very complex networks of a-- roots, sub-routes, and sub-sub-routes.
And it's amazing because, to me this is the amazing part, is that it should be a model of how we look at ourselves as a society. That we're-- we are intrinsically connected to one another. You know, and I just think it's a beautiful metaphor. I encourage people to listen to that, that podcast On Being Krista Tippett, Professor Suzanne Simard and maybe they'll stumble into something that's important for them.
Lindsay Lyons: That is beautiful. I absolutely love that. Thank you for sharing that. And now I'm going to go listen to that episode. Final question for you, Where can listeners learn more about you or connect with you online?
Jeff Ikler: So my website is www quetico, Q U E T I C O coaching, all one word, queticocoaching.com/blog. That's where you'll find the podcast. But.com is the website itself, so that's where they can learn.
Lindsay Lyons: Excellent, Jeff. Thank you so much.
This has been an absolute pleasure to have you on this show. I really appreciate you being here with us.
Jeff Ikler: Oh no, this is a lot of fun just to sit here and talk to a friend. You know, microphone to microphone and I wish you all the best going forward.
Lindsay Lyons: Thank you so much.
Lindsay Lyons: Thanks for listening, amazing educators. If you loved this episode, you can share it on social media and tag me @lindsaybethlyons or leave a review of the show so leaders like you will be more likely to find it. Until next time, leaders, continue to think big, act brave, and be your best self.
You can contact Jeff through his website: www.queticocoaching.com.
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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.