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Mentoring Matters for Superintendents: November 2019

Leadership-life Fit – Gratitude Is your Superpower 


Looking to level-up your energy and improve your leadership-life fit? Develop the habit of giving gratitude. Follow these steps to find more energy, more joy, more life:


  1. Start simply. Write down the basics for which you are grateful. Today, my gratitude list included my comfortable bed, my comforter, a steaming cup of coffee, warm socks, and a bowl of oatmeal. These essentials form the building blocks upon which a practice of gratitude is built. Even on those days when everything is coming at me, and nothing is going as I had planned, I can be grateful for a bed to sleep in and coffee to drink.
  2. Try saying your list out loud. Writing and speaking create a mental shift that helps reduce cortisol levels and activate the parasympathetic nervous system which slows the stress response and mediates anxiety and anger. The research benefits of a practice of gratitude are grounded in science.
  3. Whether handwritten in a journal or electronically, make giving gratitude part of your daily routine. Notice what shifts for you as a result of being grateful.

Learn more about the health benefits of gratitude from the 
Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. 


Leading Technology: Connecting All Systems


Does your SIS talk to your LMS and your HR? Or are you sending up the SOS? Integration of technology systems facilitates the effective use of data to impact teaching, learning, and leading. Interoperability refers to the ability of disparate computer systems to seamlessly share information and integrate their capabilities with one another. CoSN has released an interoperability toolkit along with an integration cost calculator to help you move closer to systems that sync 



Integration Cost Calculator 


Leading the Board: Strategies for Effective Superintendent-Board Relationships


A survey of practicing superintendents conducted by the Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators provides strategies for developing effective superintendent-board relationships in each of six categories: Communication, Collaborative Atmosphere, Board Meeting Preparation, Clear Roles & Responsibilities, Relationships, and Improvement. 


Access the lists of ideas

Working with Principals to Assess Culture 


Wondering about the current status of the culture in your buildings? This research-based, 17-item survey tool can provide feedback on three key behaviors impacting culture: Collaboration, Collegiality, and Efficacy 


Working with your principal/s, you can collect real-time data to determine a target for culture work in each building for the second semester. Access the tool and brief article of explanation


Monthly checklist

These lists are intended as a guide—we encourage you to process in your mentor-mentee team to identify other items that may need your attention!