Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Win-Win-Win: Leaders, Educators, Students/Families

Today I'll be involved in a meeting related to a system-wide effort.  As I think about this meeting, I am wondering about the following question:

How do we create systems that connect rather than divide, streamline rather than complicate, and promote rather than demote ideas, learning, collaboration, and positive action?

I offer the following thoughts:
  • Develop knowledge and understanding.  I'm realizing more and more that a lack of understanding or knowledge often sets the stage for confusing, unsuccessful, cumbersome initiatives. Work to create, then share the common knowledge, questions, and understanding that are essential to an initiative.
  • Decide what's important, and what is not important. Make all less important and unimportant efforts and information a minimal consideration if any, and save the effort and time for prioritized issues and efforts--actions that truly make a difference.
  • Truthfully assess. Sometimes assessments, in the end, read like fiction because the data collection, analysis, or timeliness are not accurate or useful, hence the end analysis does not serve the cause. Find quick, accurate, and thoughtful ways to assess.
  • Be inclusive. When only some are involved in the decision making, action, and effort, the result is diminished. When all involved are invited to be part of an initiative in ways where they can contribute in meaningful ways, ask questions, and offer insights, the initiative thrives.
  • Transparency. Keep a running log of an initiative's efforts and actions. Make that log accessible and interactive. The more that everyone can be involved in the information in transparent, open ways, the greater time there will be for meaningful, important conversations, decisions, and actions related to the initiative's focus. 
In many cases, most initiatives in schools can easily be win-win-win for leaders, educators, and students/families.  When we put students center stage in the effort--that win-win-win becomes much more accessible to all because that's our central, common focus in the work we do. 

I'll now apply this thinking as I prep for the meeting.  I'm excited about this event as I believe our efforts can work to better our collective efforts and actions related to teaching children well.  Let's see what happens.