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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Working for Others: What is Important?

In many ways, educators work for themselves. In a large part, educators are on their own in the classroom or specialist office engaging in their craft with students.

Yet, as we move towards greater collaboration and outreach, we find ourselves working for and with others more.

The most essential questions in this regard are, "What's important to you; and what can I do to help you?"

Often in education those questions may lead to some debate since ultimately what we do for a colleague or leader has to be something that we believe is right and good within our sphere of helping the children we teach and serve.

As the school year draws near, I'll ready myself to respond to the questions below to work well with others.
  • What overall mission and vision will the superintendent share at the start of the school year, and how can I embed that vision and mission into my work with students?
  • What main goals will the principal express, and how will I make those goals visible in my daily work with children and colleagues?
  • What will matter most to my colleagues? What will they expect from me, and how can I exemplify those efforts in our new team model?
  • What will parents prioritize with regard to the school year? Our team will ask parents this question and others in a start-of-the-year parent survey?
  • What do children want? I'll survey children too through paper/pencil or online surveys and class meetings.
As I hear the responses to the questions above, I'll synthesize those answers with my priorities which include the following:
  • Helping every child master the skills, concept, and knowledge outlined on State and system-wide standards' list in blended, differentiated, child-friendly ways.
  • Teaching every child learning-to-learn mindsets and behaviors. 
  • Teaching with positivity and supporting an "I can learn" attitude and behavior in every child.
  • Supporting and affirming children's interests, strengths, questions, and passion.
  • Creating a warm, inviting, "home away from home" learning environment. 
There's lots to learn and share in education, yet what remains most important is the way we care for and teach children each day. That's the bottom line in this profession.