Unlocking Cultural Agility with Marco Blankenburgh

Building Culturally Agile Schools with Michael Bartlett and Shelley Reinhart

February 14, 2022 Season 1 Episode 6
Unlocking Cultural Agility with Marco Blankenburgh
Building Culturally Agile Schools with Michael Bartlett and Shelley Reinhart
Show Notes Transcript

Join Michael and Shelley as they explore the ways teachers, parents, and school administrators can transform their schools and classrooms into culturally inclusive spaces. 

Michael Bartlett is the Head of School Partnerships at Suraasa. He has founded schools, served as an executive school principal, and consulted for international schools around the UAE. 

Shelley Reinhart is the Director of Knowledgeworkx Education. She has twenty years of teaching experience and loves weaving cultural agility and educational instruction together, equipping teachers to connect with their students.

Learn more about how you transform educational spaces with Cultural Agility at:  www.knowledgeworkx.education

In this episode you will learn:

     - How to use Cultural Agility to better understand students, parents, and colleagues.
     - How to create inclusive classrooms by understanding how worldviews shape your students.
     - Why Cultural Agility helps schools not only retain teachers but also attract students.

Deeper Reading:
Defining values and value behaviors that resonate across cultures (http://kwx.fyi/values)
What Does It Mean to Be a Third Culture Kid? (http://kwx.fyi/what-does-it-mean-to-be-a-tck) 
From the Innate to the Intellectual: An Inter-Cultural Intelligence Practitioner’s Story (http://kwx.fyi/from-the-innate-to-the-intellectual)

Follow KnowledgeWorkx Education on Facebook and Instagram @knowledgeworkx.education

00:00

we still have this viewpoint of schools

00:03

of very brick and mortar very box very

00:07

3d rectangular classrooms one little

00:10

window on the door

00:11

and i think

00:13

especially in covet times we've become

00:15

so much more open to education and so if

00:18

you think that perfect cultural agility

00:22

i just believe that you're giving more

00:25

opportunities for learning

00:27

outside of that box

00:31

[Music]

00:39

welcome to the cultural agility podcast

00:42

where we explore the stories of some of

00:44

the most advanced intercultural

00:46

practitioners from around the world to

00:48

help you become culturally agile and

00:50

succeed in today's culturally complex

00:53

world

00:54

i'm your host marco blankenberg

00:56

international director of knowledgebooks

00:58

where every day we help individuals and

01:00

companies achieve relational success in

01:03

that same complex world

01:07

welcome to this podcast everybody i'm

01:10

excited about this conversation today

01:12

with michael and shelly because it's

01:15

about education today and using

01:18

cultural agility in education so without

01:21

further ado i want to give both of you

01:24

the opportunity to introduce yourself so

01:26

michael welcome shelley welcome thank

01:29

you why don't you tell them tell me a

01:31

little bit more shelley reinhardt about

01:33

yourself yes i'd love to i have been an

01:36

educator my whole career i've taught in

01:38

many schools in the u.s

01:41

lots of private schools i've worn many

01:43

hats taught all grades just been very

01:45

been able to be very flexible which has

01:47

been great

01:49

so i love to teach it's my passion and

01:51

um i moved to dubai five years ago

01:55

and my husband introduced me to ici

01:58

because he hired marco you to come to

02:00

his company and teach ici and i joined

02:05

him for that seminar and fell in love

02:06

with it i just fell in love with the

02:09

idea of world views and understanding

02:11

culture and i'm hooked

02:14

awesome

02:15

it's been great working with you

02:17

michael bartlett wow i'm not as romantic

02:20

as that story

02:23

i was introduced through a third party

02:25

who also had ici come in and support

02:28

them on

02:29

hiring of people but also understanding

02:31

where their corporate structure set in

02:34

terms of three world views we were

02:36

looking at hiring teachers

02:39

as someone who has sat in so many chairs

02:41

in so many schools over 25 years

02:44

as a second career person actually not

02:46

as an educator originally

02:48

it's been interesting to see

02:50

both those particular journeys but also

02:53

my own journey both before

02:56

in those chairs and now after in those

02:58

chairs in education so

03:00

i i love it because it's furthered my

03:02

knowledge and my understanding of people

03:04

which isn't that what we want to do

03:06

especially as educators yeah absolutely

03:08

absolutely

03:10

so shelley already mentioned how you got

03:13

introduced to ici michael how did you

03:16

hear about it how did you get introduced

03:18

to it so ironically i was working with a

03:21

group looking to hire

03:23

about 25

03:25

turnover of a staff in a particular

03:26

school

03:27

and as we were sitting we were talking

03:29

about kpis and what our focuses were

03:32

i kept hearing this yeah but we need to

03:34

remember their culture view yeah but we

03:36

need to remember our training from

03:38

shelly and marco and yeah don't forget

03:40

and i'm thinking okay finally what in

03:42

the heck are you guys talking about who

03:44

is shelly who is marco what is this

03:46

world view right um and that's how i got

03:49

introduced to shelly and then eventually

03:51

here into the office

03:53

at that time even in covet times i

03:55

couldn't get enough because i'm

03:57

furthering my opportunities to know more

03:59

about

04:00

teachers not just people but where they

04:02

would fit in classrooms in cultures of

04:05

schools as i've now become an inspector

04:07

of schools how that fits to the overall

04:10

scheme you know we hear that word

04:12

culture

04:13

i like using the word inter culture and

04:16

where where kids and people fit so

04:20

that's kind of how i got involved and i

04:22

don't think i've looked back i've

04:23

enjoyed it so much and hopefully keep

04:25

looking forward to how i can put it into

04:28

both people and schools

04:30

it's easy to talk about that

04:32

theoretically

04:35

it might make sense to an awful lot of

04:36

people it definitely makes sense to you

04:38

but but do you have any practical

04:40

stories either the good the bad or the

04:43

ugly as in you know

04:45

where things got really messy or where

04:48

being culturally agile actually makes a

04:50

difference as an educator or as a

04:52

principal or yeah

04:54

yeah the first time i really saw this

04:57

in practicality a good friend of mine

05:00

was teaching at a school here in dubai

05:03

and she was so frustrated she was so

05:06

confused she would leave her classroom

05:09

every day

05:10

and just be like i don't understand what

05:11

happened today

05:13

and as i started listening to her and

05:16

asking her questions so much of what she

05:18

didn't understand was cultural

05:20

she didn't understand the way that it

05:22

was an all-girls school all of her girls

05:24

saw the world saw their relationship

05:26

with her saw the relationship with you

05:29

know the actual

05:31

content and um it really it made me sad

05:34

because she quit and she left she

05:36

couldn't she couldn't

05:37

the pressure was too much she left

05:40

confused thinking it was a waste

05:42

and that made me sad and i was like no

05:44

there's got to be a way that we can work

05:46

through this and understand what's

05:47

happening here what was she

05:49

misunderstanding what were they

05:50

misunderstanding how could they come

05:52

together how could they understand each

05:53

other so

05:54

that was the sort of the first

05:56

you know intercultural

05:59

awesome

06:00

yeah we'll talk later on about how

06:02

you've been able to now

06:04

equip teachers with the skills they need

06:07

michael you've been you're an inspector

06:10

you're a consultant you've been a

06:11

principal you work with principals

06:14

maybe from that perspective what have

06:15

you seen if if people have cultural

06:18

agility and if they don't have it you

06:20

know what's interesting is about three

06:22

years ago as i stepped out of the

06:24

principal role we

06:25

we got a mandate from

06:28

our ministries if you will on schools

06:31

are now going to be accountable to

06:32

turnover and what percentage of teachers

06:35

are coming and going how is that with

06:37

consistency in the classroom and now

06:39

you're going to be as we like to say in

06:41

the in the uae rate it based on that

06:43

turnover and the more i learned and this

06:46

was all before ici there was something

06:50

there there was there was

06:52

you know teachers would come into my

06:53

office as a principal or i would i would

06:55

sit and train principals and get this

06:58

overwhelming feeling of there's

07:00

something here that i don't know how to

07:02

teach these teachers

07:04

and it wasn't until i went through the

07:06

training and got certified that i

07:08

recognized when we sit across from

07:10

someone to hire them whether it's a

07:13

teacher or a middle leader or maybe even

07:16

interviewing a parent and a child to

07:17

come into our school

07:19

i think we're not only assuming but

07:22

maybe expecting that they will have our

07:24

same world view

07:26

and the questions that we ask are

07:27

centered around our world view well when

07:30

you go into

07:31

multicultural schools where whether it's

07:34

an imranti or an arab culture or even

07:37

now into the sub-asian and indian

07:39

culture of schools that i work for

07:41

you're starting to realize especially

07:43

after my certification

07:45

those questions of five years ago and

07:47

three years ago that i'm asking

07:49

won't help these teachers understand

07:53

where our culture of our school whether

07:56

it's third culture or whether it's the

07:58

and i'm doing the air quotes of culture

08:01

that's where i seen and it hasn't been

08:04

let's say nightmares

08:06

but it has been very much in retrospect

08:09

i think we're getting better at it

08:11

because we understand it

08:13

where before the schools i worked with

08:15

it was pretty common to have 20 turnover

08:17

and the majority of that 20 turnover is

08:20

the teacher coming to your office as

08:21

shelly's story said and said look i just

08:23

can't work with these kids yeah they

08:25

just don't see it how i see it exactly

08:26

they're doing blank and i don't

08:28

understand it and you're not acting on

08:30

it

08:30

so though you know that that's where i

08:33

come from now of the viewpoint when i

08:34

walk into a training exercise or

08:38

a middle leader exercise of hey before

08:41

we really get into the training let's

08:43

think and focus on where are you

08:45

what is your viewpoint

08:47

um so i don't know if that's a

08:49

particular story but i think it's a it's

08:51

it's where my journey is in terms of

08:54

people and kids and parents and teachers

08:57

yeah

08:58

so on the one hand it's the teacher

09:00

feeling they can't connect with the kids

09:03

in the classroom

09:05

on the other hand it might also be that

09:08

the kids interact with the content with

09:10

the curriculum in ways that they're not

09:12

used to

09:14

what about the interaction between staff

09:16

teachers amongst themselves have you

09:19

seen

09:19

challenges there or yeah

09:22

i have

09:23

um especially here in the uae and the

09:26

schools that i've

09:28

worked in i taught

09:30

the three world views to a group of

09:34

teachers at the beginning of a school

09:35

year

09:36

and

09:38

it was fascinating looking around the

09:40

room

09:40

all of the teachers from the west canada

09:44

the us whatever the europe they're all

09:46

sitting together and the arab teachers

09:48

were all sitting together and they teach

09:50

like moral education and they teach

09:52

arabic as a language they're all sitting

09:54

together they're separated

09:55

as i begin to talk about the three world

09:57

views

09:58

they're i mean people are like oh wow

10:00

yeah that's so interesting and the and

10:02

the arab table

10:05

they said yeah you know oh my goodness i

10:07

was racing on a shame now this makes

10:08

sense and they kept calling me over to

10:10

the table to ask questions

10:12

you know what do you think about this

10:13

and this and it was it was really

10:15

interesting and um

10:17

it just made me realize there's this

10:20

gulf between

10:22

that table and the rest of the tables

10:24

and there's they're not able to truly

10:26

understand each other but understanding

10:29

what world view that table had come from

10:31

made it easier

10:32

for the other teachers to say ah

10:35

explain this to me you know you were

10:37

raised in this worldview how did that

10:38

affect you you know all of that stuff so

10:41

that's where i saw it firsthand that it

10:43

made a difference yeah fascinating

10:46

yeah and feel free anywhere along the

10:47

conversation to jump in because stories

10:50

always illustrate you know very

10:52

powerfully what we're dealing with

10:54

um there's one thing we haven't

10:55

mentioned yet and that is the

10:57

relationship with the parents yeah i i

11:01

i've seen firsthand as a parent

11:04

with kids in school that

11:06

parents can be quite a challenge for a

11:07

teacher to deal with especially if those

11:09

parents have a very different mindset

11:11

very different cultural heritage that

11:13

they bring into the principal's office

11:15

or into the parent-teacher meeting or

11:18

the expectations they put on their

11:20

children

11:21

anything

11:22

you know that's a great viewpoint one of

11:24

the schools i was fortunate to open as a

11:26

founding principal

11:27

one of our marketing or kpi's

11:30

kpi areas of focus was we have western

11:33

teachers we were teaching the american

11:34

curriculum so we have american teachers

11:36

because we felt like that was the demand

11:39

in looking at market share to

11:41

put put students in seats as we say but

11:44

as we got further into it we realized

11:46

again you're assuming that that person

11:49

sitting across from you has the same

11:51

viewpoint of an american teacher as i do

11:53

yes

11:54

and what we've come to realize is they

11:57

don't they they are wanting that

11:59

particular teacher to function

12:01

in their viewpoint yes and we're wanting

12:03

that teacher to function as an american

12:05

principal so to speak in the american

12:08

viewpoint or wherever they come from in

12:10

america in the particular world view and

12:13

i found the clash more often as shelly

12:17

said that gulf between this table and

12:20

this table with this table now being

12:22

parents not arabic teachers but it's

12:24

still the view of oh yes i want an

12:26

american teacher

12:28

the school that i go to 50 of our class

12:31

teachers are american when in reality

12:34

they just want that american teacher

12:37

to do what they want

12:39

from their viewpoint

12:41

not really teach as we do in america and

12:43

that has nothing to do with curriculum

12:45

that's nothing to do with delivery

12:47

that's nothing to do with pedagogy

12:49

that's a hundred percent of them

12:51

wanting those teachers to function in

12:53

their culture

12:54

how they view it

12:56

and then the flip side of that is the

12:58

teachers don't know how to do that so

12:59

they become frustrated

13:01

and they have this expectation maybe of

13:03

homework or academic honesty or whatever

13:06

you might say

13:08

and the students won't have it neither

13:10

will the parents they will have a tutor

13:12

the tutor will do all the work the tutor

13:13

will get 100 on the homework and then

13:16

the student doesn't survive but it

13:18

brings honor to the family

13:20

because the particular child had a

13:22

hundred percent

13:23

but the teacher as shelley said is

13:26

becomes very frustrating yes so

13:28

understanding that we're now a few of

13:31

the schools that i'm working with

13:33

we're really focused on teaching parents

13:36

world view yes yes we're focused on

13:39

teachers and i think we're about to

13:41

cross that bridge but much more focused

13:43

on parents world view of understanding

13:46

when you say you want an american

13:48

teacher or a western teacher or my class

13:51

teachers from wherever that's not

13:54

arab no offense to anyone

13:56

that comes with its own viewpoint

14:00

and parents sometimes misunderstand that

14:03

because they're not educated right

14:05

and they also are the ones writing the

14:07

check therefore we should

14:10

behave according to the check writer

14:12

and the payer so that's been a lot of

14:14

fun um in terms of

14:16

helping parents understand we're even

14:19

expanding that into one group who's a

14:21

local university here

14:23

and teaching parents of university

14:26

students

14:27

coming out of a particular culture of a

14:29

particular school and understanding that

14:31

this school has a specific base a

14:34

specific set of teachers and as we get

14:36

into university there's much less

14:38

turnover university teachers they don't

14:41

care you do it their way or you don't

14:43

so that's been interesting fascinating

14:45

it reminds me of a program we ran with

14:48

future global leaders so end of high

14:50

school students and where we encourage

14:53

the students to take the conversation

14:55

about creating culture

14:57

creating a culture where people belong

14:59

to take it home

15:00

and it was fascinating where the parents

15:02

got involved once they understood

15:05

even the conversations at the dinner

15:06

table started to change

15:08

and it was fascinating to hear them get

15:11

excited and say wow i had this amazing

15:13

conversation with my parents and i was

15:15

able to take what i learned in school i

15:17

was able to take that home and start

15:19

talking about culture creation

15:21

and talk about grandpa and grandma and

15:23

parents and our siblings and how we keep

15:26

us together in a global world

15:29

you alluded to this idea of the

15:31

classroom and looking at you shelley

15:35

what would be an example of

15:37

a teacher

15:39

trying to use a certain pedagogy a

15:42

certain way of connecting with the

15:44

students and it doesn't work because

15:47

there is different cultures in the

15:49

classroom yes so many examples

15:53

one would be brainstorming

15:55

brainstorming is actually an innocent

15:58

skill concept where

16:00

you are free in the classroom to share

16:02

your opinions and the teacher wants your

16:04

opinion they want you to share it in

16:05

fact you're graded on sharing it your

16:08

participation grade counts on that

16:10

but from an honor shame perspective i'm

16:12

not going to share

16:14

unless

16:15

it's been validated and approved by my

16:18

community and myself i'm not just going

16:20

to

16:21

spew out whatever i think it's too no

16:23

there's an honor shame exchange so i'm

16:26

not gonna do that so kids you know are

16:28

sitting in the classroom and they're

16:29

from a different world view and they're

16:30

not gonna share their opinion and you

16:33

know until you scaffold until you say

16:35

look in this classroom we're creating a

16:38

culture here

16:39

of all the world views and your opinion

16:42

matters even unfiltered i want to hear

16:45

what you think and that's okay this is a

16:48

safe space to do that um if you don't

16:50

scaffold that in a classroom

16:52

with with different world views going on

16:54

you're not going to get kids who are

16:55

willing to share just off the cuff

16:57

brainstorm debate

16:58

have discussions it's not going to

17:00

happen right so if i hear you correctly

17:03

if you just

17:04

make that assumption yes certain kids

17:06

are going to speak up yes and other kids

17:09

are actually going to shut down yes

17:11

absolutely and you're not going to have

17:13

that beauty of debate and can i top on

17:15

that with how are we letting the

17:17

teachers know this is happening or is

17:19

going to happen how are we putting them

17:21

through the interview process of letting

17:23

them know listen this is the culture of

17:26

children that you're stepping into yeah

17:28

these particular

17:29

pedagogical strategies although

17:32

mainstream where you come from or

17:34

mainstream in your studies or mainstream

17:37

as a teacher

17:38

these are certain criteria you're gonna

17:40

have to set and rules you're gonna have

17:42

to set in your classroom where back in

17:44

the day we just put the three rules on

17:46

the first day of school and off we went

17:47

yeah right yeah

17:49

in addition to that i think shelley's

17:51

actually told me this story we asked

17:53

children to think critically and think

17:55

outside the box and not necessarily

17:58

brainstorm but have different viewpoints

18:00

of different opinions of different

18:02

statements

18:03

and then we ask them to practice that or

18:06

think about them and then they go home

18:07

and they sit at the dinner table right

18:09

where dad's in charge

18:10

you know and the father is very

18:13

in charge

18:14

and when the child says you know today i

18:17

learned that

18:18

i have this particular opinion on

18:20

something you've said

18:21

the father comes to school and says how

18:23

dare you

18:25

have this son question my authority in

18:27

my own house yes when all you're trying

18:30

to do is teach them the skill of

18:31

critically thinking

18:33

or different viewpoints of a particular

18:35

aspect of what you're learning in the

18:37

class

18:38

i find that we don't

18:40

as a group here in the middle east

18:44

maybe not even america i don't think we

18:46

equip our teachers well enough

18:48

to know what that looks like

18:50

and i know we don't equip our leaders

18:53

well enough

18:54

and i'm a hundred percent sure we don't

18:56

equip our parents

18:58

to know what it means to be as you say

19:00

an innocent skilled teacher or a western

19:02

teacher which is where the majority of

19:04

us come from

19:06

a lot of the examples you've given so

19:08

far are more international schools

19:10

oriented

19:12

there's going to be people listening

19:13

from asia from europe from from north

19:16

america

19:17

and they might potentially say well i

19:20

live

19:20

in a town where mostly everybody has a

19:23

passport from this country there is a

19:25

cultural mix there might be second third

19:27

generation it might be inner city

19:29

international school

19:31

what would you say to people who are not

19:34

in the region that you live in where

19:36

almost all the schools all the schools

19:38

you've worked with are international

19:39

schools and there is like kids from 40

19:42

to 90 different nationalities

19:44

what would you say to educators in

19:46

europe or in north america where both of

19:48

you are from

19:50

do they need cultural agility as well

19:52

yes yes

19:54

because if you're an educator your goal

19:57

is that you're creating you're

19:59

communicating

20:00

knowledge and principles to those

20:02

students and you want to do it in the

20:04

best way that's going to engage them and

20:06

reach them and you can't just walk in

20:08

and assume that everyone is thinks the

20:10

same way you do even in a town where

20:13

most people are the same so

20:15

if a teacher is committed to creating a

20:17

culture where every student can engage

20:20

and every student is heard and can and

20:23

is um

20:24

able to be

20:25

taught in a way that they can understand

20:28

then we have to look at world views no

20:30

matter where we are

20:32

you know i kick myself i taught at the

20:34

same school for a decade before i came

20:36

to the middle east and i just looked

20:38

back and i thought my goodness how bad

20:39

of a teacher i was

20:41

because i didn't create those

20:43

opportunities i was very cut and dry i

20:45

was an athletic coach which you know

20:47

that stigma comes in north america or

20:49

let's say american football type

20:52

and i look back and i remember

20:54

i had just as many different

20:57

cultural viewpoints even though we might

21:00

have all been innocent's guilt to a

21:01

certain extent

21:02

we still had multicultural viewpoints

21:05

from

21:06

all aspects right and then we were

21:09

that particular school was in south

21:11

texas so we also had culture of the

21:14

mexican

21:15

right or the spanish and what that

21:18

looked like even though they might have

21:20

been wealthy enough to attend that

21:21

particular private catholic school it

21:23

was still a completely different

21:24

viewpoint and a completely different

21:27

base of what it looked like so

21:29

yeah i kicked myself it doesn't it

21:31

shouldn't matter your passport it

21:32

shouldn't matter where you're teaching

21:34

you're going to have different cultures

21:36

and as shelly said you've got to create

21:38

i like the word safe space but i like

21:40

the word share space

21:42

i've heard that quite a bit create a

21:45

space of sharing yeah and the door is

21:47

closed and and this is your place

21:50

right and so that shouldn't matter what

21:52

your world view is yes and i think if

21:54

you

21:55

again make that assumption of that child

21:58

that's across from you will share

22:00

exactly what yours is

22:02

then i think you you've done a an

22:04

injustice to the classroom yes and

22:06

you're naive yeah yeah it's not that way

22:09

yeah

22:10

and when we look at education globally

22:12

it's getting more and more intercultural

22:14

especially in cosmopolitan cities we see

22:17

in the rise of english as a second

22:19

language requirements in europe in north

22:22

america

22:24

so

22:24

there's always that cultural mix in the

22:26

classroom and the shared space michael

22:28

that you're talking about we talk about

22:31

creating a third cultural space or a

22:33

space where culturally people feel at

22:35

home shelley you are alluding to that

22:38

now

22:38

if i was a principal of a school michael

22:40

you've you've been a principal you work

22:42

with them extensively how do i even

22:45

start this

22:46

how do i get going on this look i think

22:48

the first thing is understanding

22:50

that there are things that you don't

22:52

know

22:53

right and recognizing that and having a

22:55

little bit of

22:57

humility on understanding like and i as

23:00

the principles i talked to there was

23:01

always that one thing they couldn't

23:03

identify

23:04

and i believe this is the one thing so i

23:06

think you know educating them but them

23:10

saying

23:11

okay i recognize there's something

23:13

i want to know what that is and i don't

23:15

think we ever stop learning and so being

23:18

able to have enough humility to admit

23:20

there's something i want to stop and

23:22

find out what it is

23:24

where

23:24

you know i taught a leadership class

23:26

yesterday we get so caught up in the

23:29

day-to-day administrative duties of

23:31

being a principal

23:33

we sometimes forget we are the leader

23:35

and to be a leader you have to have an

23:37

understanding of all of the aspects of

23:40

the building whether that's culture

23:42

whether that's

23:43

where you come from in high poverty low

23:45

poverty but i think recognizing that

23:48

there are things that you still don't

23:50

know would be a first step

23:52

and i think that opening the door to

23:54

learning more about this can help you

23:57

also open more doors in my opinion

24:01

that's great

24:02

so if you could sort of dream about

24:05

a school that really gets this

24:08

let's say everybody involved in the

24:10

school from the principal the leadership

24:12

team

24:13

support staff the teachers

24:15

the school

24:16

is culturally agile

24:19

uh even in the way they engage with

24:21

parents with the community at large well

24:24

paint a picture for me what would it

24:25

look like

24:27

what's different about it yeah

24:29

well i think everything's different

24:31

about it right you know we still have

24:33

this viewpoint of schools of very brick

24:36

and mortar very box very

24:39

3d rectangular classrooms one little

24:42

window on the door

24:44

and i think especially in covet times

24:47

we've become so much more open to

24:50

education

24:51

i taught a class yesterday of principles

24:53

across 31 countries

24:55

right so it's not just me in front of

24:58

this particular set of leaders and so if

25:00

you think that perfect cultural agility

25:04

i just believe that you're giving more

25:06

opportunities for learning

25:09

outside of that box

25:12

you know we don't i don't want to call

25:13

it

25:14

you know out of the box thinking i just

25:16

think you're giving more opportunities

25:18

for that and you're also teaching them

25:21

you know we talk a lot about our kids

25:23

don't

25:24

we we get things so set up for them when

25:26

they have a struggle we don't teach them

25:29

how to function in a struggle we fix the

25:30

problem

25:32

i've read a really good book about the

25:34

difference between saving and coaching a

25:36

child

25:37

and so understanding what that looks

25:39

like and you see kevin over in the

25:41

corner and he's struggling with a

25:42

particular thing well what did we do as

25:44

teachers we get over that corner as fast

25:46

as we can and we fix his problem where

25:49

at the end of the day if we just coached

25:50

him through and helped him understand

25:52

you're going to have struggles

25:54

this is a perfect opportunity for

25:56

educating world views

25:58

so that we could teach them more about

26:00

struggles because you're going to

26:00

struggle i mean think of the last 20

26:02

months yeah you know think of the

26:04

struggles not just of teachers but of

26:06

human beings but also look what we've

26:08

accomplished in the last 20 months yeah

26:10

in terms of you know humanity

26:13

and if if i think about that take that

26:16

dream a little bit further let's say

26:18

kids graduate from that type of a school

26:20

where becoming culturally smart knowing

26:23

how to create culture together with

26:24

those types of things are part and

26:26

parcel of

26:28

being at that school

26:30

now they graduate high school what's the

26:32

difference how would it help them yeah

26:35

they're going to be able to be

26:37

agile to to meet people

26:40

and not make assumptions to meet new

26:43

people and to be able to interact with

26:44

them a way that's understanding and

26:46

compassionate and empathetic

26:48

because

26:49

they know that their worldview is not

26:51

the only one that the person in front of

26:53

them is a unique cultural being with

26:55

their own worldview and if i'm trying to

26:58

understand that person i need to connect

26:59

with that piece and they're going to

27:01

have the tools to do that

27:03

whereas

27:04

other kids just don't you know i think

27:06

if we call that functionality i hear

27:08

that word quite a bit now in education

27:10

are we teaching children or students or

27:13

graduates to function

27:15

in different aspects of the world

27:17

where

27:18

most of the time we choose the

27:20

university that closely matches what our

27:21

parents taught us we go there we

27:24

graduate right and then we move on to

27:26

the world and most of the jobs we take

27:28

are jobs that more closely match those

27:31

aspects of the world

27:33

knowing that there are more out there

27:35

and knowing that we are more

27:37

multi-functional i think is a good word

27:39

um

27:40

agile it opens opportunities and doors

27:44

you know shelly and i both we have

27:46

university aged children

27:49

my daughter's graduated was a teacher's

27:51

now going back and getting a master's

27:53

shelly's in her university years with

27:55

her daughter

27:56

we recognize that their functionality is

27:59

what's going to make them successful not

28:02

what their grades were right where 10

28:04

years ago it was how high were your

28:06

grades if you're going to an american

28:08

university how high is your sat

28:10

and now it's much more functionality now

28:12

it's much more

28:13

can that child succeed in particular

28:15

aspects of the world yeah

28:19

especially as social media and that's a

28:20

whole nother podcast yeah

28:22

absolutely

28:24

it's exciting i had one more thought

28:25

about that vision yeah yeah the dream of

28:28

what a culturally agile school would

28:29

look like so in my in my dream it's the

28:33

student the parent walks through the

28:34

door

28:35

and they already feel like they belong

28:38

because

28:40

there's a sense about that school

28:43

that the three world views are all

28:45

acknowledged that there's beauty seen in

28:47

each and we're going to work within

28:49

those world views to create a school

28:51

culture not okay this is our school and

28:54

our school is innocent skill and you've

28:55

got to conform to innocent skill if

28:57

you're going to belong here it's not

28:59

that it's the school's successfully

29:02

created a culture where everyone belongs

29:04

where everyone is included and in the

29:07

classroom the teacher's able to do that

29:09

and able to reach a student where they

29:11

are like oh that would be so awesome

29:13

it's interesting that you say that

29:14

because one of a few of my new

29:16

consulting contracts are

29:19

from groups purchasing schools or

29:21

getting ready to open schools

29:23

and one of the very first questions they

29:25

say is what can we do to put people in

29:27

seats

29:28

you know how can we increase enrollment

29:30

yeah and my answer is exactly what

29:31

shelly said you need to have people

29:34

agile enough to understand their needs

29:37

and again it's that person sitting

29:39

across from you yeah you don't assume

29:41

you want them to conform to you how can

29:43

you create an atmosphere yes where they

29:46

and and it's a true atmosphere it's not

29:48

a fake atmosphere you're not answering

29:50

with the answers they want to hear right

29:53

it's it's true yeah and so that's really

29:55

what will change a school

29:57

as we talk about with these companies

29:59

wanting to buy schools or open new

30:01

schools so yeah i love that analogy i

30:03

appreciate it oh that's great and i i

30:05

can hear the passion in your voice as

30:07

you speak about it and you had a chance

30:10

shelley to develop a program called

30:13

culture in the classroom

30:15

and i've seen how that has evolved and

30:17

how powerful it has become i want to

30:20

give you a chance to talk about that

30:21

because it's important and it's an

30:23

exciting program that equips teachers so

30:26

what is it what is the culture in the

30:28

classroom program thanks yes i'm so

30:30

excited about this and michael was there

30:32

at the beginning too

30:34

i was there you were there all the

30:36

post-its on the wall we talked through

30:38

every aspect um but basically it is

30:42

it is teaching teachers that they are

30:45

cultural beings that they have a culture

30:47

and a worldview that they are bringing

30:49

to the classroom

30:50

and that impacts the way they teach

30:52

and if you're not aware of that if you

30:54

cannot see that lens

30:56

then you're going to miss

30:58

touch points with your students you're

31:00

going to miss those connectors those

31:02

those ways of building culture in the

31:04

classroom so the first step is to

31:05

understand who you are as a cultural

31:07

being and then we get into the

31:09

nitty-gritty the fun stuff of

31:11

okay what does it look like in a

31:13

classroom

31:14

when you have different worldviews how

31:16

does it work what are you going to see

31:18

what behaviors are you going to see and

31:20

how are you going to

31:21

relate to them understand them and some

31:23

of the things we talk about are like

31:25

lying and cheating and bargaining and

31:27

plagiarism and when you think about

31:30

teachers that have gone through

31:32

the culturally agile teacher program

31:35

versus the ones that haven't

31:37

would it potentially have an impact on

31:39

retention of that teacher as well

31:41

definitely yeah i think because they're

31:44

more knowledgeable and understanding of

31:47

the particular environment they're in

31:49

they're much more likely to stay and

31:51

they're much more likely to be

31:53

to recognize

31:55

this has nothing to do with the

31:56

principle this has nothing to do with me

31:58

right this is just a product of our

32:00

particular environment of school yes hey

32:03

you know i know that i can work with

32:04

this i can do this yes right and i think

32:08

it's a it's it helps them understand

32:11

you know maybe the grass is not always

32:14

greener mm-hmm right and and now that i

32:17

know these things and i've gotten to

32:18

know my particular teachers or my

32:20

science department or whatever i can

32:23

function here and i can i cannot just

32:25

survive

32:26

yeah i can i can be successful

32:28

yes so i might be a teacher

32:31

from four or five different continents

32:34

potentially listening to this podcast

32:36

and if i want to become more culturally

32:39

agile as a teacher what do i do shelley

32:41

um take my course

32:44

no but no yeah i mean

32:46

talk to me because there's so many ways

32:49

to

32:50

get this out there

32:51

it's such good material it has such an

32:54

impact it makes a difference

32:56

um i wish i could have

32:58

you know talked to my friend the one i

33:00

talked about at the beginning of the

33:01

podcast and said okay you know your

33:03

school operates in these world views

33:05

here's what you're gonna see here's what

33:07

to expect

33:08

don't be shocked this is this is what's

33:10

going to happen and here's how you can

33:12

respond i wish i could have

33:14

and we'll we'll definitely make sure

33:16

that there's information available for

33:18

people to connect and also michael i

33:20

really appreciate you coming in because

33:23

you have that almost like strategic

33:25

level as well as

33:27

practice level principal experience

33:30

insight how do you typically engage with

33:32

schools if schools or principals or

33:34

leaders of schools are listening to this

33:36

podcast how do you start one hundred

33:39

percent of my

33:40

interactions with schools is word of

33:42

mouth

33:43

i don't go in and become a one-stop shop

33:46

i try to take schools on journeys

33:49

um what i'm learning and especially

33:51

since i've been certified and and

33:53

understand this cultural agility

33:56

i find i'm better for schools

33:59

because i have an understanding of

34:01

before i was very cut dry you're a

34:03

principal you have a problem let me fix

34:04

your problem where now i'm much more

34:06

understanding of what it looks like from

34:08

their side of the desk both from an

34:10

experience as a principal but also their

34:12

particular

34:13

likely world view even though i haven't

34:15

necessarily assessed them i would say

34:17

that from from my point of view

34:20

take the step

34:22

you know contact whoever you need to

34:24

contact find a way to get one two three

34:27

ten all of your teachers through this

34:30

designate some leaders to help you know

34:33

cultivate this as as we that word

34:35

culture but cultivate it within your

34:37

school

34:38

as far as what i do within schools i

34:40

think what's important is

34:42

i

34:43

i help them in their education journey i

34:46

don't educate them

34:48

you know i give them information i give

34:50

them resources i do provide some

34:53

professional development but ultimately

34:55

it's then that makes the decision to go

34:57

on the journey or not right

34:59

and i think i spoke earlier about the

35:00

leadership particular class that i'm

35:02

doing at the moment

35:04

it's awesome even when you're i mean i'm

35:06

a chemistry physics teacher when you see

35:09

those light bulbs

35:10

right and it's like oh hey

35:13

when you see that in a

35:15

25-year middle leader of a school yeah

35:19

and they go

35:20

you know you can just see it and you

35:22

then all of a sudden they walk out with

35:24

a smile instead of a scowl of the 35

35:26

emails they have to return right so

35:28

that's awesome yeah well

35:30

thank you so much i have so many more

35:32

questions i would love to ask and

35:34

there's lots of stories to tell but uh

35:36

anybody who's listening to this podcast

35:38

you will be able to get in contact with

35:40

michael and charlie by our team thank

35:43

you so much for coming in i'm pretty

35:45

confident there's many more stories to

35:47

tell in the foreseeable future yes as as

35:50

we have the opportunity to bring

35:52

cultural agility to schools so thank you

35:55

for being part of that journey and that

35:56

important work that happens hopefully

35:59

around the world thank you for the

36:00

opportunity thank you thank you

36:05

thank you so much for joining us for

36:06

this episode of the cultural agility

36:08

podcast if you enjoyed today's episode

36:12

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36:13

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36:15

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36:23

as always if any of the topics we

36:25

discussed today in 3q you will find

36:28

links to articles discussing them in

36:30

greater depth in the podcast notes

36:33

if you would like to learn more about

36:35

intercultural intelligence and how you

36:37

can become more culturally agile you can

36:39

find more information and hundreds of

36:41

articles at

36:43

knowledgeworks.com

36:45

a special thanks to jason carter for

36:48

composing the music on this podcast and

36:50

to the whole knowledgeworks team for

36:52

making this podcast a success thank you

36:56

nita rodriquez ara aziz bakken rajitha

36:59

raj and thanks to Vipin George for

37:02

audio production rosalind raj for

37:04

scheduling and caleb strauss for

37:07

marketing and helping produce this

37:09

podcast