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Monday, June 15, 2015

Project Success: Create a Start to Finish Plan

Today I recognized that a good idea did not result in a finished product. Why?

While the idea was good, it was rushed. The student/teacher/leader team involved with the idea didn't make the time upfront to sit down and discuss the final product, steps, and materials upfront. Also, while the idea remains a good idea, we thought of it as simple to do, when in reality to do it well required a fair amount of people, time, and some money too.

Now while this idea was an extra and had little to do with the regular school program, it remains a good idea, one that some may want to forward in the future with good planning, regular effort, and commitment. In general, however, this small event was a good teacher for me and others. It taught me the lesson, that "A job worth doing is a job worth doing well."

With a relatively new model planned for the new year, this is a good lesson to follow. It will be better for our team to focus on what's most important first, and do that work well. If we have the time to invest in additional, related efforts, perhaps we will, but it's first best to do the essentials which include fostering positing learning team relationships amongst students, families, educators, leaders, and community members, teaching the core curriculum in blended, student-centered ways with depth, and collectively tracking and reflecting on our progress with accuracy and attention to the overall goal which is to teach children well.

In summary, often when efforts don't meet the desired end point, it's because there wasn't enough time invested upfront to do the backwards design and planning necessary. That's a good lesson for every educator to employ as we think about the school year ahead. Onward.