Nothing hides the truth better than statistics...

Welcome Strong Leaders! Here are your Four tips to grow the culture in your hallways that we all want to work in.

1) Communication Tip- FIND THE STORY OF YOUR DATA.

Winston Churchill once said, "There are lies. There are damn lies. Then there are statistics." If you ever doubt that, flip between a couple of news stations with opposing viewpoints. Now do not misunderstand me, your data matters. It matters to a lot of people. It is the principle indicator that show if you are moving the needle in the lives of our students. The conflict comes in from several different places. First, the reality is that you may or may not be drawing the correct conclusions of causality for what the numbers are actually saying. It is always hard to prove that one mark was the result of a particular incident and not a combination of many different occurrences. Secondly, once you are certain of the message you want to deliver consider Aristotle's framework (reinvented in the business communication world by Nancy Duarte) of Act 1,2, and 3. Act 1 identifies the problem or opportunity, Act 2 explains the element that makes it critical and Act 3 is how you can resolve it. This will give shape to your message and help your audience follow the intended what and why of your conclusion.


When I went into education almost 13 years ago, I was choosing to leave the medical sales world. I knew I wanted something significant and lasting to be my life's ambition. What better place than education! Whole family tree's could look different by speaking life into lives that needed it desperately. What I have come to realize is that the power of what Julie Schniers promotes in her LEAN IN content about becoming effective teachers applies in every area. She is a gifted leader that has story after story about the power of hearing someone else's legacy desires AND then finding ways to help them reach it. Leaders, listen to her! She is spot on. Your teachers went into education for the same reasons that I did, they were seeking a place to be impactful. They have vision of what that can look like. Your role is to learn it and then help them achieve it. Their desire is there. Your job is to clear out obstacles that might stand in their way and use it for kindling to reignite their fire.


It is easy to get together once a year and team up to determine what you want your values to say on the wall this year as your kids get here. It is even easier for those to not mean a thing and forget all about them until the following year. Great leaders will DAILY refer to the values they have set in place. You will encourage by them, correct by them, and be guided by them. No one should be confused about what it is that is valued most in the culture you have developed. In fact, they will not be confused about what you value, only when you mention a value that clearly has not be supported with the evidence of behaviour and follow through. I heard a story of a mid-level management walk into an office and say, "I hate to say this but we are going to have to let Larry go. It's a real shame because he fits our culture so well." The response from his leadership was to ask why then would they fire Larry. The mid-level then began to describe how Larry was not getting his work done and was continually late with projects. After a moment of time to reflect, the leadership then asked, "Are you saying we have a culture of lacking work ethic?" At this point, that may have been taken as a slam but it was made clear that they needed to clearly identify what was the value of the company and how was that being communicated. If not getting your work done and being late on projects meant you could still be a good cultural fit, then maybe they have a deeper value identity problem. You will have a culture develop at your school. There will be expectations and values in place. If you want to be in control of what culture and values are set, you need to have a plan to daily implement them into your hallways. It is worth your time to develop that strategy.

4) People You Should Know- ANIKA JONES! This lady is a powerhouse in the education community. You can find her right her on LinkedIn.

Creativity. Analysis. Communication. Those are the personal and professional pillars that Anika S. Jones, the Lead Consultant at Holistic Fluency, strives to uphold. Anika supports educators, individuals, and organizations in defining, developing, and demonstrating various levels of community with intentional, restorative mindsets. She seeks to build connectedness and promote collaboration through practical strategies.  Anika is certified in Mathematics (4-8), EC-6 Core Content, Science of Teaching Reading, Blended Learning, Peer Mediation, Leadworthy (formerly Capturing Kids' Hearts), English as a Second Language, and AVID Mathematics Strand.  

Led by Anika, Holistic Fluency Consulting is unique in that Social & Emotional Learning is merged with multiple facets of data; where each piece is a strategic component of the approach. The organization is gifted with giving perspective, shining a light, building capacity, and sprinkling a little cayenne when needed - on virtually any educational topic. However - community, the village, and all that comes with it is the focus!  You can be assured that Anika will convey some communication and awareness gems; while generally giving you some things to think about.    

When Anika is not busy being The Community Curator, she enjoys traveling, creating new recipes, connecting with family & friends, and her time as a sports Mom.