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  • Aubrey Patterson

Simplify Your Edu-Speak, Amplify Your Results!


Most of us have a love-hate relationship with jargon; we enjoy how this edu-speak rolls off our tongue when we get it right, yet often run away from it when it first greets our eyes or ears.





There’s a disconnect that often dims a lightbulb moment. It happens somewhere between the introduction of a very lofty concept and the concrete pieces that can be put in place to actualize it. Most of us have a love-hate relationship with jargon; we enjoy how this edu-speak rolls off our tongue when we get it right, yet often run away from it when it first greets our eyes or ears.


Intellectual capital is the greatest resource in education. It is also a term that if received in an email from a superintendent, might send even the most hardened principal scurrying for cover. It’s an important question for leaders, isn’t it? How do we maximize the intellectual capital of the people in our organization?

If educational leaders use phrases like curricular implementation strategies, guiding coalitions and constructivism in their meetings and emails, their good intentions may trigger a fight or flight mechanism in the educators they serve. Most often, educators vote with their feet and choose flight, which manifests itself in minimal engagement and quiet meetings.


This post introduces a series dedicated to the first step in Nohea’s pragmatic approach to simplify and inspire exceptional educational leadership: Simplifi.


Simplified

There is a solution for school and district leaders: absorb the power of the concept, think about how you can create solid structures to make it happen, and never use the term again outside of professional learning sessions.


Leadership guru John Maxwell provides a wonderful anti-hypocrisy screen:

“Too many leaders are like travel agents – they want to send people where they’ve never been.”

I’m not suggesting you go somewhere I haven’t been. As a principal and as a superintendent, I’ve lived the simple concepts of a jargon-free zone and relevant agenda templates always being available to harness emergent ideas. These simple concepts were key to supporting a highly collaborative culture and helping us build an environment in which the best idea would always rule the day.


There is much appeal to the simplicity that drove our extremely high-performing school district. The attractiveness of common language is right in front of us and we need to look no further than the impactful educators that are fueling explosive growth in professional learning discussions on social media.


Personal Learning Networks on social media, especially Twitter, are growing daily. Educators learn together, sharing ideas and resources with great value placed on brevity. The most followed and appealing educational leaders on social media are not only exceptional thinkers and leaders, but highly relatable too. Their writing is filled with eloquent diction but when it is time to share a video, they offer an air of common sense in quick and impactful clips.


What’s the solution to brightening a light bulb moment, capturing the hearts of teachers and illuminating our rooms? Ditch the edu-speak and adopt simplexity. Commit to complex thoughts and simple words.


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Canada ~ Lloydminster ~ Alberta

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