Jim Mahoney
HISD Leadership Institute, August 8, 2008

Invitational Education - a framework - http://www.invitationaleducation.net/

All research on leadership includes three things:
  1. vision (collective vision)
  2. technical skills (creating master schedules, planning, etc.)
  3. interpersonal skills (emotional intelligence)

These three things are equally important in effective leadership

There are no mistakes - there are only lessons

4 Pillars of Invitational Education:
  • Respect
  • Trust
  • Optimism
  • Intentionality

5 P's
  • People
  • Place
  • Policies
  • Processes
  • Programs

Transformation of how we engage with one another

Intentionally addressing the potential of all individual students in the school

Scores and achievement are less important than bringing a future to an individual student - potential, possibilities, etc.

This model for Invitational Education is being adopted by China because of it's focus on the whole child and not just test scores.

If we focus on the whole child, test scores will take care of themselves

Building relationships with students is not the enemy of learning

Affirmations matter. We must be giving students affirmations frequently.

We also have to give affirmations to teachers. Whatever we want teachers to do with/to kids, we must do with/to teachers.
If we don't feed the teachers, they'll eat the students.

There are two types of messages:
  1. Inviting
  2. Disinviting

Non-verbal messages matter as much as verbal messages. Great example with counting to 50 - tone, body language, etc. can give messages even without verbal language.

Idea behind Invitational Education is intentional inviting messages - verbal, visual, non-verbal, etc. - are placed around the school and are evident across the culture of the school.

Shows clip from Mr. Holland's Opus where he works one-on-one with student named Lang (clarinet player who is really struggling) - Holland's initial meassges to her (verbal and non-verbal) are disinviting and the student gives up trying. Holland tries a different approach based more on passion for music - and the student begins to feel more encouraged and "invited" to play music. It's not about notes on a page - it's about heart and passion.

Levels of Invitationality:
  • Intentionally disinviting
  • Unintentionally disinviting
  • Unintentionally inviting
  • Intentionally inviting