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Garbage Trucks and Innovation

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“Interdependent people combine their own efforts with the efforts of others to achieve their greatest success.” – Stephen Covey

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Today when I was walking my dog in the neighborhood I stopped and took a few minutes to watch the waste management truck pick up the garbage and recycling. I watched the driver of the truck pull up to the recycling bin at the curb. He did not get out of the truck to empty the contents into the receptacle in the truck. He had a robotic arm attached to the truck pick up the recycling bin and empty the contents into a dumpster connected to the truck. This process was repeated at every house. This automation fascinated me as I contemplated garbage truck crews of my youth and how different they were. When I was a boy the garbage truck had a crew of three men, a driver, and two people who rode on the back of the truck and who emptied the trash into the truck and who operated the trash compactor.

My elementary school in Des Plaines, IL where I spent K-6 grades.

My elementary school in Des Plaines, IL where I spent K-6 grades.


When I was in 2nd and 3rd grade and there were three employees per garbage truck I wonder if my teachers were charged with the task of preparing me for the jobs of tomorrow. I wonder if my teachers in 2nd or 3rd grade thought about the depth of knowledge of my learning experiences or activities. I wonder if my teachers four decades ago would have, could have, or did, contemplate a future where garbage trucks today do not have three humans, they have one human and a truck with the sophistication of the space shuttle. I wonder if STEM or STEAM concepts were driving instructional decisions in the 1970s when I was in grade school.

In considering what happened in forty years to the waste management industry, one could draw a conclusion that technology has cost two jobs per truck. While that’s one way to look at this situation; forty years ago there were three people per truck, today there is one person per truck. Another way to look at this is that education forty years ago (or over the past forty years) has changed to allow people to learn new ways to implement waste management. Perhaps the new ways the trucks operate have added two or more jobs. While the people are no longer garbage truck operators, they are now trained to use robotics, natural gas engines, etc. Jobs created by and for engineering people, other jobs – not yet imagined forty years ago – are filled with people skilled and prepared for jobs of our present.

As a superintendent am I supporting and leading an organization preparing students for jobs of the future not yet imagined? I hope so!

So as I’m putting the final touches on the slides I’m using with a presentation at a local conference this Friday at the Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, IL I am thinking about my experiences today with the garbage truck processes.

In the short video clip below the creator of the Rubik’s Cube offers thoughts on our mission in education and life:

Rubik’s Cube: A question, waiting to be answered

 

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Michael Lubelfeld, Ed.D. Mike currently serves as the superintendent of schools in the Deerfield, IL Public Schools (District 109).  Mike is married and is the father of two young children. He lives and works in suburban Chicago. Mike attended the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, with a minor in criminal justice. He holds a Master of Arts in teaching and Educational Specialist in administration and supervision from National-Louis University. Mike earned his Doctor of Education in curriculum and instruction from Loyola University of Chicago, where his published dissertation was on Effective Instruction in Middle School Social Studies. Mike has had a variety of experiences as an educational professional. He began his educational career as an elementary and middle school teacher, prior to assuming roles of associate principal and principal at the middle school level, and as an assistant superintendent for personnel services (PK-8). He is also on the adjunct faculty at National Louis University in the Department of Educational Leadership. He can be found on Twitter at @mikelubelfeld and he is the co-moderator of #suptchat - the superintendent educational chat on Twitter with Nick Polyak, and he and Polyak co-authored the book The Unlearning Leader: Leading for Tomorrow’s Schools Today (Rowman-Littlefield Publishers).


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION,


Presentations, Certifications


American Association of School Administrators (AASA) National Superintendent Certification Program (2014-2016)


Illinois School of Advanced Leadership (ISAL) through the IASA and Cardinal Stritch University (Milwaukee, WI) Earned title of Fellow (2012-2014)


2017 - Keynote presenter & breakout presenter EdTechTeam Leadership Symposia (OH, CA)


2016 - Presenter at the IASA State Superintendent Conference - Social Media for Supts.


2016 - Co-facilitator IASA Aspiring Superintendent Academy


2016- Co-Director Legislation for the Lake County Superintendents


2015, 2016, 2017 – Presenter at the AASA National Council in Ed – Social Media for Supts.


2015 – Co-Presenter at Suburban Superintendent Roundtable for Northern Illinoishttp://t.co/x8Ls5Ddg00


2015 – Presenter at IASBO A New Design Frontier for Next Generation Learning


2015 – Panelist Leading for Transformative Change at Tech & Learning Live Chicago


2015 – Presenter at Illinois CTO Summit (Center for Digital Education and the Illinois Educational Technology Leaders (IETL)) Leadership and Vision


2015 – Presentation at Discovery Education Superintendent Digital Transition Symposium in Washington, D.C.Telling Our Story: Innovation in DPS109


2015 Presentations at Joint Annual Conference - Social Media for Superintendents and Effective Building Design


2015 Presenter at Illinois Association of School Administrators Annual Conference


2014-present Co-moderate national/international monthly Twitter chat #suptchat


2011 Illinois ASCD Leadership Institute Presenter – Using Danielson Frameworks


 


Publications


Bullis B., Filippi J., Lubelfeld M. (2016). I Hear What You’re Saying...And I Respect You. Journal of Scholarship and Practice, Summer 2016/Volume 13. No.2, 44-54.


 


In Publication: Bullis B., Filippi J., Lubelfeld M. (2017). Managing Up. Principal (NAESP)


 


Bullis B., Filippi J., Lubelfeld M. (2016). Reimagined NGSS learning spaces: Principals as holistic school improvement leaders. Principal Leadership, 52-54.


 


Himebaugh G., Lubelfeld M. (2016). Inspiring a Shared Vision. Update, Spring (Leadership Issue), 24-29.


 


Lubelfeld M. Rev. of Writing Pathways: Performance Assessments and Learning Progressions, by Lucy Calkins.ILASCD Summer Newsletter, Summer 2016, Volume 62, No. 2: 25-27.


 


Lubelfeld M., Polyak N. (2017). The Unlearning Leader: Leading for Tomorrow’s Schools Today. Lathan, MD: Rowman-Littlefield. -March 2017


 


Lubelfeld M., Polyak N., Seibert A. (2016). Leaders in Learning Through AASA’s Digital Consortium. School Administrator, February, 32-33.


 


Other (Memberships, other experiences)


Member:


Suburban Schools Superintendents (SSS)


Illinois & American Association of School Administrators (IASA/AASA,


National Association of School Superintendents (NASS)


Ed Leader 21 Member


Illinois & Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD/ILASCD),


Illinois & American Association of School Business Officials (IASBO),


The Horace Mann League of the USA,


Rotary Club of Deerfield, IL (Secretary 2014-16)


Advisory board member for the Digital Consortium (AASA)


2016 Superintendent Advisory Council - Center for Digital Education


Member Education Advisory Board - Hon. Bob Dold, U.S. Congressman 10th District


Member of Community Advisory Committee on Education – Rep. Scott Drury (IL-58th)


Twitter http://twitter.com/mikelubelfeld


Bilingual (English/Spanish)


Enrolled in intensive Spanish language and Mexican culture classes at the Cuauhnahuac Institute in Cuernavaca, Mexico; lived with Mexican family, 1992


 


Awards/Recognition


INSPRA video website


NSPRA (National School Public Relations Association) Superintendents to Watch 2015-2016


2016 LifeTouch Memory Mission to the Dominican Republic represented the AASA


NASS (National Assn of School Superintendents) Superintendent of the Year 2015 Finalist


INSPRA (IL Chapter NSPRA) 2014 Distinguished Service Award of Excellence - Superintendent’s Task Force for Middle Level Education


The science labs won the Learning by Design Award for “Outstanding Project” in the Spring of 2016 as well as an Award of Merit in the Exhibition of Educational Environments Awards at the Joint Annual Conference of the Illinois Association of School Administrators, the Illinois Association of School Boards, and the Illinois Association of School Business Officials in 2015.  


 


DPS109 Science lab project was featured:


Johnsos, C., Monberg, G. (2015). Built on Value. Update, Fall (Facilties Isssue), 30-33.


 


Ullman, E. (2016). The Intelligent Use of Space. Tech & Learning Volume 36, Number 5, 34-38.


 


Received a 1997 Award of Excellence for Caring to Challenge, from the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA)


Selected to represent Illinois on the Social Studies Teachers’ Study Seminar in Germany, sponsored by the ICSS and the Armonk Institute, 1995


 


Additional -podcasts and edu talk radio interviews


Quoted in:


Gravel. R.J. (2015). Discover, Acknowledge, Commit: Guidelines for Adopting Administrative Software. School Administrator, December, 44-45.


DPS109 Science lab project was featured:


Johnsos, C., Monberg, G. (2015). Built on Value. Update, Fall (Facilties Isssue), 30-33.


 


Ullman, E. (2016). The Intelligent Use of Space. Tech & Learning Volume 36, Number 5, 34-38.


 


Received a 1997 Award of Excellence for Caring to Challenge, from the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA)


Selected to represent Illinois on the Social Studies Teachers’ Study Seminar in Germany, sponsored by the ICSS and the Armonk Institute, 1995

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