Patrick Jones and Tina Seymour from The Mind Trust write about what they have learned during the KIPP Leadership Design Fellowship (KLDF).
by Patrick Jones, Senior Director of School Incubation and Tina Seymour, Director of School Support, The Mind Trust
As leadership coaches, university professors, and former school principals, we thought our leadership expertise was rock solid. What our KIPP Leadership Design Fellowship(KLDF) experience quickly demonstrated to us, however, was a rich reminder of the power of continuous learning. The KLDF Summits stretched us beyond our anticipation and pushed us to examine our systems and frameworks for developing school leaders through a new lens, with leading for racial equity as our north star. We broke down in four sections what we took away from our KLDF experience:
Not only did the session content at each summit push our thinking, but our peers in our cohort and their diverse experiences and perspectives stretched us as well. How humbling to be learning among a group of some of the most talented, impactful senior leaders from all across the country! The network we have developed through our KLDF experience is second to none. Whether we are seeking insights from public schools, charter schools, or non-profits, our cohort includes the best and brightest of them all.
The “Leading for Racial Equity” sessions at all three summits have been some of the most impactful work we have experienced. Our facilitator, Orpheus Williams, is the truth. He masterfully created a culture of safety and risk-taking in our cohort that encouraged us to engage in discussions and deep personal introspection like never before. As a direct result of our time in KLDF, we have initiated a rich process for diversity, equity, and inclusive practices to become woven into the fiber of our organization.
After every KLDF summit, we returned to our organization and the university classes that we teach with actionable frameworks and engaging activities to immediately apply in our work with school leaders. Through consultancies, discussion protocols, role play scenarios, and frameworks galore, we developed a toolkit of powerful strategies to recruit, retain, and develop school leaders. Each summit experience inspired us to take action on our learning and stimulated a new level of impact.
We have such tremendous gratitude for the incredible team at KLDF. Not only did they model true leadership through a lens of equity and inclusion, but they developed a drive within us to do the same. Thank you for guiding us to our new north star.
To find out more about The Mind Trust click here.