Friday, May 31, 2013

What is Your Role?

There are multiple educator roles in the school house today?  There are also multiple changes that are impacting educator roles?  It's worth taking the time to assess one's own role as the landscape of education changes, and it's similarly important that systems review all roles as changes occur.

How does one assess individual or system-wide roles for best effect?

I believe that role assessments should begin with impact on children.  How does your role impact children in significant, positive ways?

We all know that it's difficult to quantify an answer to that question. Many point to standardized tests, but good educators know that's only one piece of the educational puzzle.  As I assess my role as a classroom teacher, I will start with the following questions:
  • Are children confidently and happily engaged in learning efforts each day?
  • Do children feel empowered in the classroom?  Do they work and act as if the classroom belongs to them?
  • Have children met the standards set forth by state and system-wide frameworks?
  • Have children increased their attitude and skill when it comes to "learning to learn?"
  • Do children persevere and ask questions to lead their learning?
  • Have children learned new knowledge that has served to broaden their lens in meaningful ways with respect the world they live in?
  • Are children inspired and able to follow their passions and continue learning?
  • Have I worked with family members to help them encourage and coach their children?
  • Are children building positive, effective collaborative skills and a sense of team?
With regard to system-wide roles, I imagine the following questions:
  • Have I served to empower, engage, and educate those I work with to better effect a positive education for all children?
  • Have I communicated my teaching and learning efforts effectively and inclusively to the learning community on a regular basis?
  • Am I open to critique, assessment, growth, new ideas, and innovation in an effort to grow our collective practice, a practice focused on student engagement, empowerment, and education?
  • Is my time spent well? Do I plan and target my efforts so that I am maximizing my impact and support?
  • Do I implement streamlined, effective systems leaving most of the time for targeted discussion/decision making and direct service to students and teachers in ways that make a difference?
  • Am I an effective team member who works with others with transparency, differentiation, and care to move schools forward with effect?
  • Do I change and revise my role to better reflect the needs and interests of students today?
Good questions have the potential to move our role definitions and practice ahead with respect to serving children well.  What questions would you add to this list as you think about role revision and change?