Friday, September 30, 2011

School Culture Considerations

Our RTI goals and enhanced PLC organization and meeting time are fostering culture shift within my school community.  As I think about our culture shift towards greater collaboration, I am wondering about the following questions:
  1. How do we prioritize students' needs and efforts?  Do we share similar prioritizing strategies and beliefs or do we differ? 
  2. What is our sense of urgency with respect to student needs and services?
  3. Where do we believe we are strong as a learning community?
  4. Where do we believe we have room for growth?
  5. What are the stresses--the events and actions that hinder our best work?
  6. How much time are people spending at home preparing for the learning program?  Is that time consistent or do the at-home demands differ greatly from position to position?
  7. What are the overarching goals and vision of our learning community--do we all agree, or are we operating with different ideas about this?
  8. What is our collective ideal of an optimal learning community?  Currently do we share similar ideals or do we differ?
  9. What are our perceptions of our roles in the learning community?  Do we understand each others' primary roles and responsibilities?  How do our roles overlap and support each other?
I will probably add questions to this list as the year moves along.  I will think about these questions and use them as a guide as I collaborate with colleagues.  I've always thought our answers to the questions above would be quite similar, but it's been a long time since we talked about those questions and there have been many changes in the community, our school and the world in general since we engaged in those discussions.

A collaborative school culture based on common vision, goals and decision making practices is currently a goal we're reaching for, and working towards.  Greater attention to the questions above will help me and possibly others reach our collaborative goals with the lens of providing an optimal educational program for all students.  Do you agree?  What questions would you add?  I welcome your feedback and thoughts.