Editor’s note: Desert Sands Unified School District students understand the importance of reading. They celebrate Read Across America Week in March, they take advantage of their school libraries, and they participate in Battle of the Books at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. But it isn’t just the students who love to read, it is also the adults who surround them.
For the second year in a row, the principals of the 34 Desert Sands schools are participating in a book study. A portion of the monthly principals meeting is set aside to discuss the readings. The following article was written by Marcus Wood, Ed.D., senior director of secondary curriculum about the book Time for Change: Four Essential Skills for Transformational School and District Leaders. Heavy reading but the conversations surrounding the book have been engaging and informative.
American Educator Tom Hierck said it best, “21st century kids are being taught by 20th century adults using 19th century curriculum and techniques on an 18th century calendar!” Our world continues to change at such a rapid rate, the question regarding education is what should our students be learning and how should they be learning? The answer to that is we need to personalize learning for all students regarding time, space, and curriculum. To do this requires a systematic change in mindset, structure, and how we approach education all together. When implementing change, the process and approach in the delivery, is as critical as the change itself and therefore Desert Sands Unified School District is committed to ensuring that our school leaders are skilled change agents.
Time For Change: Four Essential Skills for Transformational School and District Leaders is written by Dr. Anthony Muhammad and Dr. Luis F. Cruz. The book describes effective organizational change as having two dimensions: the technical and the cultural. In order to efficiently create change in both of these dimensions, leaders should have a comprehensive and balanced set of leadership skills. To this end, the authors explore four skills essential to transformational leaders that combine to form the authors’ Why? Who? How? Do! Model. This book offers guidance for leaders who seek to develop and strengthen their ability to get results as they lead their schools toward transformational change.
Principals in the Desert Sands Unified School District are actively engaged in the book Time For Change, for this year’s comprehensive book study. Principals have been divided into teams that make up their school feeder patterns and geographic areas. Each month, a different team presents to the group as a whole on a different chapter of the book.
Outcomes from the book study include gaining a deeper understanding of leadership as a skill to practice and improvement. In addition, we want to create a greater understanding of the role of effective leadership to create positive change and to learn ways to address the technical and cultural dimensions of change. Finally, we want principals to develop an understanding and mastery of the four skills most essential to effective leadership and to learn how to synthesize leadership skills to effect change.
Our world is rapidly changing and Desert Sands is committed to keeping our school leaders on the cutting edge of leading the change process. At DSUSD we want the very best for all students and our school leaders are vital to ensuring that every student has the best opportunities available to them.
- Time for Change: DSUSD