Sunday, September 15, 2013

One of Many

A challenge for children in classrooms is that they are one of many--one of many who needs the teacher's help, one of many who want to use a particular toy, and one of many waiting in the lunch line to get their lunch.

Similar to students, teachers too are one of many.  One of many who wants to share an idea, one of many who waits for a leader's time, and one of many who stands at the copier before school to copy that last minute inspired lesson for the students.

As we move forward towards greater collaboration in schools, we have to consider this "one of many" factor--the so many times that you have to wait your turn to be heard, use a tool, or ask a question.

This can be troubling, and can serve to encourage strong wills or silence.

The key in this regard is to take a look at the waiting time both teachers and students are doing in school--when is it necessary and when are there other ways to deal with the situation.

With regard to committee work or student learning, when is the team too big for voice and choice?

With regard to leadership, when are the numbers to lead too many?

When it comes to coaching and support, is it clear who a child or teacher is to report to, consult with, or ask when issues arise?

Streamlining and defining systems and supports in school well can take that "one of many" issue and manage it well so that when the important question, issue, or need arises, it's your turn or at least it's your "one of a few" turn.  What do you think?  How do you solve this issue?