Not Waving, But Drowning: A Companion Checklist

In the October issue of ASCD’s Educational Leadership, I recently had the honor and privilege of having an article published around the concept of meeting teachers’ needs.  Entitled “Not Waving, But Drowning”, the article draws an analogy between a leader’s response to overwhelmed teachers and a lifeguard’s response to swimmers in trouble.  The analogy has helped me as a mental framework for strategizing my next steps within the many contexts of my day-to-day work alongside teachers in our school division.

As a companion to the article, I developed this infographic summary of the framework:


While the visual representation does not necessarily replace the context that the article builds, it can serve as a simple reminder of the article’s contents.  I actually printed out a copy of the picture and put it up on my bulletin board so that I would remember to check myself in my responses to the environment around me.  You are welcome to do the same.

In case it would be more conducive, here’s a version as a downloadable pdf, as well as a black-and-white version in pdf form.  Hope it’s helpful!

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