Welcome to the Better Leaders Better Schools podcast. This is a weekly show for ruckus makers -- What is a ruckus maker? A leader who has found freedom from the status quo. A leader looking to escape the old routine. A leader who never, ever gives up.
In this episode Daniel Bauer visits with Franklin Day about how we can support the needs of all students and constantly beating the drum, but that can be exhausting. Franklin is also a guru when it comes to SPED, so if you need to level up your SPED knowledge this show is for you.
We hope you enjoy the podcast. All the highlights, resources, and next steps can be found below. Listen to the full episode here and learn more at betterleadersbetterschools.com
Franklin Day is the associate director of special education in Spokane Public Schools with responsibility for legal issues, compliance and supervision of related services and providers. He has worked in mental health, early intervention, public and private preschool, public and charter schools and in higher education systems, as an ABA therapist, a school psychologist and a school district administrator.
Franklin starts each day by running. That is his centering grounding force. Once he gets to work he is always fighting for change to improve programs and improve services for students. Franklin talks about perseverance and hearing the same message over and over. Getting the concept in mind is important prior to moving forward. It does get tiring but the why is the reason Franklin continues doing this work.
“I don’t believe anyone really hears the message until we’ve said it 5 to 7 times and that language has to be the same every time in order for people to understand what we are talking about.” - Franklin Day
Franklin always starts with personal interaction and building relationships. He spends a lot of time in an office sifting through data but always wants to have conversations from person to person. He would much rather spend the time to drive to a school to talk with that person face-to-face. It is a much more meaningful conversation.
“I think they get much more out of the conversation and I know I do.” - Franklin Day
Franklin talks about the fact that he is an introvert and shy most of the time. To help others he believes that building micro-habits to connect with people on a regular basis. Franklin has to force himself to go out and talk to those new principals but it always pays back.
“I have had 6 more conversations with this principal where it is not somebody who is new, scary, different, she’s a colleague and we are working together and it is much more comfortable circumstance and a much more comfortable interaction.” - Franklin Day
Franklin says that research shows that special education students will receive the best outcome and make progress with the majority of their time spent in general education settings. Franklin sees a lot of schools focusing on schedules for the adults instead of focusing on students and their needs. We use pull out programs because it’s easier to schedule instead of going into the classroom.
“70% of our students have low impact disabilities that their needs could be me in the general education settings.” - Franklin Day
Franklin felt the need to grow in his leadership and wasn’t finding anything in his community. He needed a place where he could be safe and have conversations about the challenges that were existing in his role. Franklin needed feedback to grow personally and professionally.
“I keep coming back because it is an amazing group that I learn something from every week and I grow from those conversations.” - Franklin Day
Dr. Kelly Crane, expert coach at BLBS shares a tip on meditation. She encourages listeners to download the app Headspace to begin the process of meditating each day. Clearing your mind is not easy but very valuable. Start taking care of yourself today and schedule time daily to meditate.
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