“We use language so freely in society - we all think we're talking about the same thing and we all have our own bias towards those words. Like rigor, I think of rigor - I think of rigor mortis” - Joe Erpelding
Our guest today is Joe Erpelding. Joe is the Principal at Design39 Campus where he has used his previous experience - he was the Principal and Vice Principal at the Unified San Diego School District - as well as his vision to transform the school into an active community of learners.
In this episode, Joe offers insight on how you could change the culture in your school to improve your growth. Moreover, Joe and Andreas discuss the different ways to navigate through the fear of change that may overwhelm the leaders of any school.
Listen and take note of Joe’s unique perception on the use of words to change the way others respond to what you are saying.
In our discussion, we cover:
00:52 Joe talks about the tours that are arranged in the design 39 campus and the reasons why there are so many tours scheduled.
02:10 Andreas and Joe discuss the ways in which one can navigate through the fear of change that may overwhelm the school’s leadership.
04:16 Andreas asks Joe to elaborate on what design thinking is.
05:25 Joe talks about the different stages of growth of the design39 school and the reasons behind the school's actual growth. He stresses the shift from student-centered learning to learner-centered learning
08:36 Andreas asks Joe about how he managed to keep parents engaged and how he kept their involvement active.
10:01 At this point, Andreas wonders who tidies up the spaces. Joe stresses that the school culture takes care of everything through the use of organic spaces (like the ones that Google uses), norms (like leaving a space better than you found it), and student collaboration.
13:13 Joe talks about Project beep-beep which requires teachers and staff to tour other schools for inspiration regarding things to do or not to do.
14:42 Andreas and Joe discuss the response Joe would give to the nay-sayers who claim they don’t have the time or budget to apply project beep-beep to their school plan.
16:30 Here, Joe and Andreas enter a discussion about how to overcome the bureaucratic part of presenting a school’s work and how to get the word out for the innovative work done.
18:33 Joe responds to Andreas’ question about the changes he would make in a traditional school to help it grow and highlights how changing the language can change the entire conversation.
24:35 For the last part of the conversation, Joe highlights three things that every school leader should do to help facilitate change: 1. Define their goal in one sentence without using the word “and”, 2. Ask themselves if students are doing work because the school asked them to or because they like it and they want to do it?, and 3. Continue teaching to maintain touch with the students.
14:43 “I've been described as 85% visionary and 15% pissed off”
19:30 “The future's a place that WE create. With the focus on "we" create it, we don't wait for someone else to do it”
22:05 “We use language so freely in society - we all think we're talking about the same thing and we all have our own bias towards those words. Like rigor, I think of rigor - I think of rigor mortis”
Here are some resources mentioned in our discussion:
Scott Belsky: Making Ideas Happen (book) buy on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Making-Ideas-Happen-Overcoming-Obstacles/dp/1591844118
Getting Smart Podcast: https://www.gettingsmart.com/2017/05/leadership-for-school-progress-in-poway-unified/
Design39 webpage: http://design39campus.com/
Where to learn more about Joe:
Joe on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joeerpelding
Joe on Twitter: https://twitter.com/erpelding
Joe on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joe-erpelding-35b52234/
Where to learn more about Enrollhand:
Our webinar: https://webinar-replay.enrollhand.com
Our free Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/schoolgrowth/