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096 – Listening to Learn: An Educator’s Template for Building Teacher & Student Trust

Some would say that working in the education field takes a lot of smarts. To teach someone anything, you need first to understand it yourself, and then you have to break it down and go step by step to help build up their understanding of the subject.

But what happens if your student doesn’t want to listen? Do you just keep repeating the information, hoping it will sink in? What if you stopped the lesson and chose to listen to the student about why they are struggling to hear you? Who is emotionally supporting the teachers?

Our guest in today’s episode has been in the education field for over 20 years; he’s seen the statistics and believes in the significance of building a supportive culture for those he leads to begin improving those numbers and lives.

His name is Jamie Bandstra. He is currently the Principal/Director of CTE & ASM Tech at the West Shore ESD based in Ludington, MI. Mr. Bandstra has over 21 years of education experience. He has been a classroom teacher, a principal, and the first Superintendent of a project-based learning charter school.

His experience has taught him much about leadership, culture, and teamwork. Over the years, he has continued to sharpen those skills by engaging with the Chapman Foundation.

Mr. Bandstra is passionate about building a healthy team culture to get the work done; in his case, that means connecting with students to help them excel in academics and grow as young adults.

Listen as he describes his takeaways from all three of the Chapman Foundation foundational courses in our conversation. Notice how he uses the skills with students while on a canoe trip, leading some of them to share anecdotes about themselves that they “wouldn’t tell their therapist.” He defines how the essential Listens skills are aiding his team in building authentic trust and a common language to create a learning culture. And lastly, take heed of his deep connection with his family. Mr. Bandstra recalls a story of shopping for a Christmas gift for his wife that could have ended differently without his self-reflection skills kicking in.

AI-generated dictation of the podcast audio

Please note that this transcription was completed using AI software.  Occasionally, unanticipated grammatical, syntax, homophones, and other interpretive errors are inadvertently transcribed by the software. Please excuse any errors that have escaped final proofreading.

Speaker 1 0:11
On the listen first podcast, you’ll join us as we connect with an array of fascinating guests from varying backgrounds and perspectives to explore how we can build and become leaders that transform their families, workplaces and communities. Tune in for insight on mastering skills like active listening, verbal and nonverbal communication, understanding behavioral tendencies and appreciating individuality.

Adam Salgat 0:47
Hello, and welcome to the listen first podcast. I’m your host, Adam Salgat. How was the Michigan education administrator building a positive culture in his school and why does it matter? Tune in to find out.

Some would say working in the education field takes a lot of smarts. In order to teach someone anything, you need to first understand it yourself. And then you have to break it down and go step by step to help build up their understanding of the subject. But what happens if your student doesn’t want to listen? You just keep repeating the same information hoping it will sink in. What if you stopped the lesson and chose to listen to the student about why they are struggling to hear you. A recent study at the University of Missouri has found that having a positive teacher student relationship not only helps promote academic achievement but also leads to better teaching. The findings emphasize the importance of teachers demonstrating soft skills or pro social behaviors in the classroom, such as showing kindness, compassion, and caring for others. Quote, students are more likely to learn and be engaged when they feel cared for and valued by their teacher. Positive teacher student relationships change student behavior, said Christie Bergen associate dean and research professor in the Department of Educational school and counseling psychology and senior author on this study, however, only 22% of middle and high school students said that many or all of their teachers make an effort to understand what life is like outside of school. This comes from a survey done by youth truth, who talked to over 88,000 secondary students between October and December 2022. The study concluded that if educators want students to succeed academically, then they need to consider attending to student well being and take time to connect by listening with empathy. But who is supporting the teachers. About one in four teachers said that they were experiencing symptoms of depression in an early 2021 survey by the RAND Corporation left unaddressed that stress can lead to massive personal health issues and the potential of teachers leaving the field and a separate survey Rand also found that most secondary school principals were experiencing frequent job related stress and one of their significant stressors was supporting teachers mental health and well being. Our guest today has been in the education field for over 20 years. He has seen the statistics and believes in the significance of building a supportive culture for those he leads in order to begin improving those numbers and also improve their lives. His name is Jaime Bandra. He is currently the principal Director of CTE and ASM TAC at the West Shore ESD based in Ludington, Michigan, Mr. banister has experienced as a teacher, a principal and he also served as the first superintendent of a project based learning charter school. All of his experience has taught him a lot about leadership, culture and teamwork. Over the years, he has continued to sharpen those skills by engaging with the Chapman foundation. On the suggestion of a fellow educator Mr. Ban stress took the our community lessons class for the first time in 2017. Since then, he has taken lessons with this current staff at West Shore ESD in the spring of 2022. completed our community serves and our community transforms and became a credentialed facilitator of lessons in the fall of 2023. He is what you might call a superfan of CFCC Mr. Bannister has a passion for building a healthy culture as a team in order to get the work done. And in this case, that means making connections with students to help them excel in academics. and grow as young adults. In our conversation listen as he describes his takeaways from all three of the foundational courses, notice how he uses the skills with students while on a canoe trip, leading some of them to share anecdotes about themselves that they quote, wouldn’t tell their therapist. He goes on to define how essential the listening skills are in aiding his team in building authentic trust and a common language to create a learning culture. And lastly, take heed to his deep connection with his family. Mr. Bannister recalls the story of shopping for a Christmas gift for his wife that could have ended differently without his self reflection skills kicking in.

Jamie, thank you for joining me today. Appreciate you taking the time. Tell me a little bit about your experience with the Chapman foundation.

Jamie Bandstra 5:58
Well, I it was probably six years ago, I took my first class with the Chapman Foundation was community class, you’re in I live in Washington. So it was in the Ludington. area. And it was it was a group of people from our community. Some of them I knew some of them I didn’t. And it was a great experience. You know, I learned a lot about communication, I thought when it going into that, that I was a good communicator. And I was really humbled by the content and just by how it made me look at my life and how I can communicate better. So

Adam Salgat 6:28
that was something that I found very interesting that you had mentioned me about being humbled by taking the course obviously, sometimes we all don’t feel like we’re doing well, when we’re you know, communicating or staying connected with people. But sometimes a class like this does humble us a little bit and makes us realize, well, there’s still things we can work on. Right?

Jamie Bandstra 6:47
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And I mean, you know, again, communication is something that’s important to working with people. I’ve worked with people for 30 years, and you know, over 30 years, and so professionally, and so, you kind of think I’ve got, I’ve got these communication skills down. And so it’s good, it’s good to kind of be faced with these realities of things that you can do better. And that self awareness, so it’s great.

Adam Salgat 7:10
Well, is there a particular skill that jumped out to you know, you did talk to me about just general listening, that active listening with someone was that something that was an aha moment when you finished the our community listens course,

Jamie Bandstra 7:23
yet, for me, one of the biggest things, honestly, that chorus was the reality that I needed to listen better to my wife. That’s really where that hit home for me. And in the idea of understanding the essence of what someone’s saying, yeah. And so how to quiet you know, also the telco that wiping the whiteboard clean. And just in my mind, when I communicate, I have a lot of thoughts going on, you know, whether it’s thoughts just help someone solve their problem, or dilemma, or whether it’s a response or connection to something they’re saying. And so it was really good for me to just start to kind of learn to quiet that voice and listen more intently to what people are saying. And then also, like I said, for my wife, just like, what is really the essence of what she’s trying to communicate not just the words, do you

Adam Salgat 8:13
feel like taking the time to do that has brought you closer to her? I know, the two of you been together 30 years now. That’s a pretty, pretty solid track record. Yeah. What about the last seven or eight? Having taken the course? Yeah.

Jamie Bandstra 8:27
I would say yes. You know, it’s it. Marriage is an interesting too, because, you know, you think you know, someone’s Well, I mean, we’ve been together for 30 years, but you do realize it’s just a process of continually, you know, continually getting to know each other. And so I think this has definitely been a part of that journey for us. You know, we, we have a lot of conversations about this. My family likes to give me a hard time because this is a perspective, a lens that I look at things through, and they always kind of get a kick at how I’ll process things through that. But with my wife, yeah, we’ve definitely had some really good conversations, I would say, it’s created a closeness, I think, and an understanding with each other, that we probably have not always had. That’s

Adam Salgat 9:06
great to hear. I always love hearing that, because that’s where when I first took the course to where I connected right away was the person I care about the most in my life. How can I connect with her more? Yeah, yeah, and better. Absolutely.

Jamie Bandstra 9:18
And, and, you know, and to, it’s like, it’s this thing of, it’s, regardless of how much you improve in these skills. You know, there’s still these moments where you go, Oh, man, I just, like failed miserably. Absolutely. And I think that’s part of it in a marriage is just because you are so close to each other, that you get these moments where it’s like, Wow, that really worked better or you’re able to slow down for me like to slow down and really, maybe hear something I wouldn’t have heard before or stop from talking and just listening to what that person is trying to say. But then there’s those moments when you really blow it and your humaneness comes through, right, for sure. And that and that happens it is part of the deal, but um Yeah, it’s cool thing, it’s

Adam Salgat 10:01
good when you have the perspective, though now of being able to come back and repair that and repair that relationship, and maybe do it a little quicker, because I know that happened for me off desperately, I actually

Jamie Bandstra 10:11
had a camera conversation this morning. And I think that’s one of the cool things, too, is to be able to share our experiences with other people. You know, so as a leader in the school environment, that relationship with my wife and the right way, or some of the things that I’ll share with people, you know, some of the funny stories that pop up, or the stressful stories, and I’ve talked to Tammy about that, that, you know, those are things that, you know, I’m not sharing our deepest secrets, but I’m sharing interactions sometimes that we have that allow people to see that human side of us and also allow them to kind of transfer that into their daily lives. And so like, this morning, I was sharing a communication that I had via text with somebody, and she was giving me some insight into my response. And at the time, I didn’t respond very well to her giving me insight into that response, right. But I think it helps me to, you know, to reflect, like you said, sometimes it’s reflecting more quickly. And to just say, it wasn’t like it blew up. And it was a horrible situation. I just know, I wasn’t listening very well. And so then I was able to say to her, hey, you know what, even though you might not think I heard what you’re saying, you know, I went away, and I was able to transfer what you said into this, this deck communications.

Adam Salgat 11:28
So let’s talk a little bit about bringing this our community lessons course, into the education world that you work in. Yeah, I know, the our community listens course was brought to you by a fellow educator. But if I understand that, right, it wasn’t necessarily brought to you and the idea of like, hey, let’s use this in schools. It was just, I think this course is a great Communications course. And, and it might be something that you’re interested in, what made you say, Yes, I want to bring this to your school you used to work out and then even now, the role that you’re in, you’re having staff go through the our community lessons course to first get started?

Jamie Bandstra 12:04
Yeah, it’s a great question. Obviously, one of the components of the course is that idea that self awareness and awareness of others. So I think if you work with any team of people, you know, that’s another transfer, you know, point of transfer, where you start to go, okay, like you see these connections in your family, right, where you’re aware of yourself, where maybe my children, or whatever that might be my wife, but then also, then, you know, those environments are people with everyday the work environment. And so I think you naturally start to think about and for me, as a leader, I just started to see the power in that content. And I think also, when you look at organizations, and organizational health and things like that, you understand that culture is such a huge element, like creating a culture that has certain components to it. And, and I really started to see how this content fed into that and really allowed us to, I think, build the kind of culture that makes organizations successful.

Adam Salgat 13:04
I love that you mentioned building that foundation of culture. As you have continued with your work, learning from the Chapman Foundation, you’ve continued into first our community serves Correct. Yeah. Talk a little bit about your experience at our community service, because that is a course of ours that really, you know, talking about company culture and changing from me centric to we centric. So talk about your experience there and what you’ve learned.

Jamie Bandstra 13:32
Yeah, well, I mean, I think it’s really kind of wild, because when you one of the first activities in that course, is that idea of thinking about an organization that you’ve been a part of that was more focused on, you know, me, an individual, or it could have been an individual leader that led that way. Versus that we, and it’s amazing. I mean, when you see people are putting out words, I think we had to come up with a word or two that described how that made you those words made you feel. And it’s, it’s really sobering to see the difference right off the bat, you just see these environments where people that are, that are me centered, right, where someone is really not able to maybe especially lead from the perspective of the weak, but they’re leading from maybe if the me and the needs of other people in the organization are compromised. Just the hurt that that causes and the stress of that cause versus the other side. So, you know, it’s those things. They seem simple, but the impact on people’s lives is huge. And I mean, some of that stuff is like, you know, people work in workplaces where they’re miserable for years, or they walk away from a work environment and they are, you know, there’s wounds or hurts that they carry with them from those environments, because, because of those things. So that course is it’s it’s, it’s really neat to see to how it builds. So what I was really at You know, impressed by his how they take the base information and skills that you’re learning in the lessons. And then you start to transfer in a different way through serves and kind of start to step back a little bit more and look at it from that organizational piece. You know, some of the concepts of the destructive behaviors, versus collaborative behaviors is a great example of just like, how do we then take these things that are associated with lessons and building those skills to interact more successfully? And go, when we’re in an organization, and we’re feeling frustrated, it often turns destructive, right? But how do we take those and make them positive and collaborative behavior. So there’s so much in there it was, I mean, I could, I could talk for a long time about that class, that one thing too, that I will tell you really was cool was having to think about a sit in interaction with someone that didn’t go very well. And they asked us to think about that as we came into that class. And so you come into the class with that in mind, and then they start to kind of dip into it and beginning and they keep kind of coming back to it, which was really cool. So throughout the whole thing, you know, as they’re going through different sections of the course, you’re kind of stepping back in and kind of looking at that interaction from a different lens, or something else that you’ve learned. And, you know, one of the things that I was really challenged with, through that course, personally, was being being connected, one of your emotions, you know, like, what you feel. And that, for me is an area that a lot of times I can kind of, I think push my emotions down. And I’m kind of very level you know, I’m kind of even keeled, which can be a great trait in different situations. But in some situations, to just you know, a lot of situations would be more aware of what’s really going on emotionally, so that you’re more in tune to that, and you can respond better. And so I learned a lot about that.

Adam Salgat 16:56
You gave it such a interesting pitch. And now I’m quite excited. Because next week, I get to go through it as a, as an employee, to be honest, I’ve built the book, I helped him put the book together, but I haven’t been through it yet. So I’m super excited. And everything you just mentioned there, especially right at the end about talking about being a little more aware of your emotions, and, and handling them differently. Because I’m similar in the idea of like, I’ll push some emotions down so I can kind of stay even keel. But I know sometimes that also leads to maybe negative behavior. So it’s good to have that awareness.

Jamie Bandstra 17:31
Well, and actually, an interesting story with that was shortly after I took that class, I was up shopping, I was Christmas shopping for my wife up in Manistee, and I was trying to surprise her. So I was trying to not go I was trying to give her limited information, right? My wife, she’s an information seeker. So she, she always she wants to kind of know what’s up, where are you and she’s always kind of, she’s very attuned to that. So I had gone to I appointment and then I was gonna go do some shopping afterwards. And, and I thought I was like, this was like, awesome, like, I’m gonna, like, take care of these Christmas presents, I’m gonna surprise her. And, and she started asking these questions where I was, and she was kind of frustrated because she because I was later than she expected. And, and it kind of blew up. So this situation that was supposed to be positive really blew up. And I’m like, so I got the gifts, but then I’m like, driving home. And I am like, pretty frustrated. And it was really interesting. Because in that moment, I realized my my tendency previously would maybe be to kind of stew on that, and then get home and be really angry. And it kind of would probably boil up more maybe between us, you know, into an argument. And, but I really, I kind of stepped back based on what I had kind of processed through that series course. And I was like, able to go okay, like, this is what you’re feeling, like acknowledge that emotion. And what’s going to happen if you you kind of keep going here, you’re gonna escalate and so I was able to really step back and go, You know what, like, we’re both feeling emotional right now. There’s nothing here that’s really worth arguing about in the end, it’s really a misunderstanding. Give myself a lot, you know, acknowledge that cool off. And even when you got home to, instead of engaging just as a hey, like, I know, we’re both feeling frustrated. So let’s just, let’s give each other a little bit of space. And we did that. And it was a very different scenario. So it’s kind of wild how those things work.

Adam Salgat 19:29
Did she enjoy her gift?

Jamie Bandstra 19:31
She did. She liked her gift. Yeah, she was surprised and she loved them once we at Christmastime when she opened on it’s awesome.

Adam Salgat 19:37
That’s wonderful. You, sir, are a bit of a trifecta and also that you have taken and completed our community transforms. Tell me a little bit about that course and what it was like for you. Yeah.

Jamie Bandstra 19:50
Well, I think the thing about all this stuff that is sometimes, you know, surprising is I guess if you go through the And then you might say, this is not rocket science, someone might say that. But I think all these things that go with human interaction and the awareness of ourselves and all these things we’re talking about, there is a complexity to them. And that’s why that’s why we don’t master them, right. That’s why people aren’t like, Oh, we got this, you know, there’s a complexity to them. And so it’s interesting with each one of these courses, how different different elements of this whole thing come out and transforms. You know, I really enjoyed, now it takes it to more of a leadership perspective. And, and I think the cool part about this, too, is going through these with other people. So in that transforms, we were going through this with other leaders. And so a number of the activities we would do the exercises we would do during the training, we would actually practice with each other. And I think one of the things that was that I remember the most is how beneficial the times when we would be partnered up with someone, and we’d be practicing a certain conversation skill or listening skill. And you walk away and you go, wow, like, I really needed that. Like, as a leader, the you know, your your colleague was, was offering you an experience that you don’t get all the time where it’s like, you know, that just how to be you know, to be seen and understood, and just to process through things. And it wasn’t like, they were always giving you the info. And really, they’re not giving you the answers, but they’re helping you walk through and find the answers, and vice versa. And so you just realize how powerful that is of just like giving people space to process and be present with them in that and give them you know, kind of nudges to think about different things. So that was that was really cool. And I think just learning to some of the protocols that go with different types of conversation. So how to move a conversation forward, sometimes, you know, we’ve got those listening components, and the reflective listening skills that we learn early on, but then also different ideas that can help you in certain conversations to kind of get from point A to point B. So.

Adam Salgat 22:08
So on top of completing our community listens, I think you went through it three times. Yeah, you’ve done our community service, you’ve done our community transforms. This summer, you also took on becoming a facilitator for our community listens. Yeah. That experience when you talked about it, prior to going through the actual, you know, cohort, you were excited, you were interested, and you wanted it, but what really drove you to decide to become a facilitator? What is it about this material that says, I want to teach this to other people? Yeah, it just

Jamie Bandstra 22:46
makes sense. It’s, I think, when you start to really get into it, I think we often lack simple logic. And just to be able to say, like, you know, as we process things, and when we see it in the world around us that sometimes we just failed, I think, just think was simple logic. And I think there’s an element of this, when you start to kind of look at the different components, you just see how it makes sense. It’s, I mean, you start to look at the fact that we’re all different. And to become more aware of yourself and other people and start to build these skills. I think, you know, the other part for me, it really weaves very tightly with my beliefs and values. And so I mean, I think, you know, I say it makes sense, someone else might take this and go home or whatever, you know, like I don’t, so I think there is that element of, you know, that it just definitely meshes with who I am and the values and beliefs I have to So, but then I think, you know, the biggest thing is the wanting to kind of be a part of the Chapman organization, you know, just seeing, I think, how it impacts people’s lives. The difference, it’s made my life and my family’s life, co workers lives. So for me to be a part of something that like that, you know, is something I’m excited about. And so this, you know, becoming a trainer was really, I think, the next natural step in that I enjoy teaching, I enjoy facilitating, so a lot, a lot of fits like that. So it’s been really awesome.

Adam Salgat 24:13
So 20 plus years and education, obviously, you’d like to teach, what is it about these skills that have helped you when you’re interacting with students?

Jamie Bandstra 24:22
I mean, I think I’ve always valued. Like I said, people, and I think, again, going back to these skills aren’t foreign to me. So I guess, working with people, I think one of the things that’s allowed me to be successful is to listen to people and make them feel cared about. But I think again, like this has just allowed me to do that in a different way, a different level. And a great example, the other day, we were actually out on the river, doing a rafting trip. So you know, I went with that we have an ag science class. And so we went out on the river, and it was me and there were three high school girls. that were in the afternoon because we had to be in fours. So they were a joke in the beginning they were second year students that are like, Mr. Bannister, we’re gonna vlog. Okay, so you got to be ready. I’m like, okay, yeah, that’s cool. But we get into the raft and we’re going down the river, and we just start, we’re talking and hanging out. And what was really amazing is we started, they just started talking about, you know, their lives and a lot of the stuff going on in their lives. And it wasn’t your normal conversation. You know, they went much deeper. And I think, you know, we were out in the river, it was peaceful, it was a beautiful day. But I think part of what I did very simply was just kind of gave them space to, to do that. And, and also acknowledged that someone was listening to them, and they were being heard, right, seen and understood. And at one point in the conversation, one of the girls was like, Mr. Bannister, are you a counselor? And I was like, no, no, I said, No, I’m not a counselor. And he’s kind of laughing. And they they’re like, because, you know, like, actually, there were a couple of them that actually had therapists. And they were, you know, the helper had been, it talked with therapists on occasion. And they said, you know, because we’re not, we wouldn’t talk to them about this stuff. If they asked us questions, we would just be like, whatever. And it was really cool. to kind of get this acknowledgement. I mean, because I knew, really, it was just about, like, being more quiet and trying to hear what they had to say and showing an interest. And I think that in itself just made them feel comfortable enough to share and open up and it was, yeah, we got off the river. It was we had an awesome day. We were all like laughing and smiling and had these great connections with each other. And so it was it was a cool experience.

Adam Salgat 26:46
That is a wonderful experience. I mean, I’m thinking about it. And I’m just wondering, like, what do you think you were doing in any of those moments? Yes, giving them space? Did you do any? Did any skills popped into your mind about reflective responses? Like that? Yeah,

Jamie Bandstra 27:00
absolutely. Yeah. I mean, I was reflectively listening. Now, I was acknowledging you acknowledging behaviors, I was making eye contact with them simple things. I know, I would ask kind of probing questions once in a while, you know, so yeah, it was it was fairly simple. But again, it doesn’t always have to be complex. I mean, I think there are complexities to this work, and just letting them be also, I think the other thing, maybe that a little more complex component of it was not being judgmental, you know, really just being empathetic, and showing that I cared which I do, right, but also the non judgement side, because there were a lot of different perspectives coming across. And I think, oftentimes, people throw in judgment very quickly, and then people shut down. So to really have that conversation with them and interact with them, in a way that wasn’t judgmental, I think was really important. And that’s those are, those are all skills that, you know, I’ve been encouraged to think about through lessons.

Adam Salgat 28:00
That’s, that’s awesome. It’s great to hear, because I mean, I’m sure they walked away from the experience, you know, feeling really good about it, and knowing that an adult listened to them, and, you know, took the time to show that they care and matters.

Jamie Bandstra 28:12
Yeah, ya know, and it was cool. For me, I was for all of us. Like, again, it was just in the moment, you might think about consciously about some of those things, but oftentimes, two, it just happens and, and it’s just fun to be able to have those connections with people. So Jamie,

Adam Salgat 28:25
tell me why you believe this. Our community listens course. And the subsequent foundational courses are good for educators. They’re

Jamie Bandstra 28:34
good for educators, for a lot of reasons. If you think about education, one of the core principles is relationship. And so, you know, it’s there’s a lot of research out there that talks about the fact that if we build rapport with students, we’re going to be more effective and educating them. And so I think just at its base, I mean, when you think about all the Chapman foundation work, it’s about relationship. It’s about building rapport. It’s about but how do you do that? Right. And so I think a lot of the skills in there lead to that. You know, I think the other element is, when you look at education, too, there’s a lot of conversations about, they call it social emotional learning, right? So when you’re in a classroom teaching, you’re teaching content, but you’re teaching a lot more than content. And you’re modeling things for students behaviors, you’re teaching them skills that go beyond the content of just how we relate to each other, how we interact with the world around us all those things. And so, you know, these components, again, I think they call them social emotional learning a lot of times is the way they’re framed in education. And so when you look at the skills in the Chapman foundation work, a big chunk of them have a direct correlation to that social emotional learning. It’s that non content related information. And I think what it does is it builds the teachers ability, their competence in those areas, right, because it’s part of what they do, regardless of whether they’re teaching those things intentionally. They’re doing that. And so it builds their their competencies in that work, it makes them more successful. I think it allows them to manage student behavior, I think it allows them to manage the classroom interact with the classroom differently. So going back to that, that culture piece, if you’re talking about it from an organizational standpoint, you know, when you step in the classroom, any to any classroom, the teacher has created a culture. And so I think this really helps and gives them the ability to do that with their students. And it can change the way they’re able to educate students, because of how students feel about going to their class and interacting with them and other people in our classroom.

Adam Salgat 30:40
I really loved what you said in there about a teacher creates a culture, especially in their classroom, because I can think back to three or four high school teachers that I can distinctly like label culture and what it was like, and you knew it before you stepped in day one. So this is my sales pitch to the idea of educators, you really, truly are creating that culture, right, your reputation and how you how you lead your classroom matters.

Jamie Bandstra 31:05
Yeah, yeah, I mean, and just that the sad essence is it gets, I believe they’re more productive at what they’re trying to do. And that’s true for a lot of things, right? When you look at the whole in their classroom, we look at how they interact with their colleagues how they work within their district, I mean, you can broaden that way out, right. And I think at all those levels, it allows them, I think, to do the work that they’re trying to do better.

Adam Salgat 31:29
So lastly, tell me why you found it important to bring this over to the staff at career tech education. And, you know, what have you seen it do for your team?

Jamie Bandstra 31:37
You know, it’s really interesting. The, if the first thing that comes to mind is trust. And so I think for me, as a leader, this, this has allowed me to build rapport and trust with the people I work with, you know, there’s an authenticity in our in our interactions that I don’t think is present in every environment. And so I think that’s a huge part. But, you know, again, going back to what I said, and getting that culture piece, so a lot of times in organizations, you know, we look at these tangible things that need to be accomplished. All right, it could be different areas that we know we need to develop, or whatever, whatever it is, and we jump in, and we start to try to do that work. But really, research shows us that we can’t effectively do that work, until we’ve created a culture and climate that supports that. And so really, you know, when you think about that, that’s, that’s what, you know, the Chapman foundation work has helped me to do in the school environments that I’ve been in as a leader is to say, hey, let’s focus on like, how we interact with each other, and how we relate to each other. So that we can then more effectively or effectively do the things that we know are a part of our day to day jobs. And then it also, the other part is just caring for each other. Right. And I think that gets back to trust, because there’s such a connection between care and trust. And so again, this authentic, this authentic concern for each other, that I think we’re able to kind of build through those interactions. So yeah, and I think then to some of the common language, common understandings, that’s another part that you get into is, there can often be a lot of confusion. And we always talk about clarity, right in organizations, how do we make things clear? Well, one of the things too, is just having common vocabulary and common understandings. And so I think that’s another part that this work does is it puts us on the same page. So we can kind of go, hey, you know, we’re talking and looking at things from a similar perspective. And, and then I think, finally, what I would say is, what I find to be really exciting about the work to is, it’s very explicit. So you walk away from the different courses, you know, they’ve got those, those one page, laminate, laminated sheets. But really, those are so awesome, because they really outline those key competencies, skills that they’re trying to build. And it allows you to go back to those. And again, it’s very tangible. And I think, as I’ve talked with my staff about that, they appreciate that, you know, you can read a book or do something and you walk away, you’re like, Whoa, what do I do with this? And I think that’s one thing that’s really great about the Chapman foundation work is it makes it easy for people to really clearly understand what are the steps that they need to take to grow in those areas.

Adam Salgat 34:37
Well put well said. So, as we wrap up this conversation, if you had any key takeaways, I always like to ask our our guests for the key takeaways. And so again, that could be anything like a key takeaway for yourself that you think about that you focus on or maybe something that’s, you know, in your mind, in your thoughts right now that you want it inspire others to potentially think about and focus on. So, Jamie, what is your key takeaway?

Jamie Bandstra 35:06
Yeah, I mean, that’s a that is a really hard question. Because like, you’ve asked me about all these different courses. And I’m, you know, I’ve got so much kind of spinning my head of the different things that I’ve learned to champion foundation. But I think, you know, for some reason, one of the things that I have, at the forefront of my mind is a relationship with my family. And I think a key takeaway for me is that I see so many ways that this work has allowed me to interact with them differently. And my children are adults. Now my youngest, I’ve got four boys and one daughter, and my youngest is the daughter and she just turned 20. And there’s so many times when I feel like this work has given me insight into who they are, that I would have never had before. And that insight allows me to more sensitively, I think, respond to their needs, and try to be a better a better father or husband. And so, to me, that’s, that’s what stands out to me.

Adam Salgat 36:10
I’m very happy you brought it back to family because I I agree. I very much agree. And if you’re open to it, I’d love to have you back on through another conversation about the potential of just talking about how we use these skills with our family. Yeah, no, that’d

Jamie Bandstra 36:25
be great. I appreciate it’s been a great conversation. And I you’ve asked me a lot of questions. And I feel like maybe some of my answers have been very formal. So but, you know, there’s just a lot of it’s fun stuff, and it’s real. So it’s what I like about it.

Adam Salgat 36:40
Yeah, much. Agreed. Thank you so much. I appreciate it. Thanks.