Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Anticipation, Transparency, and Share: Vital Elements of a Successful Learning/Teaching Team

When your clients are left in the dark, frustration occurs. This frustration is tenfold when it comes to clients who care and clients who want to be part of the team.

How might you foster that sense of team with a collective mission with regard to anticipation, transparency, and share.

First, anticipate. Anticipate your client's questions, needs, and interests. What will they want to know and when will they want to know it. For example, I'm sure my clients, the families I serve as an educator, will be interested in our system-wide PARCC scores since notice of those score releases are currently in the news. Parents will want to know, "How did my child do?" and similarly, I want to know, "How did my students do?" I'm not sure that parents or I have the privilege to see those scores yet, but in anticipation of the question, I want to be able to tell parents when they will be able to see the scores. Hence I wrote a note to the building administrator to find out more about the score release and systemwide performance data. I found this chart online which provides some information in this regard. Similarly we all want to know what tests we'll take in the spring and when those tests will be administered as those dates affect multiple plans and events. Knowledge about scores past and tests future will help us all to coach students positively with regard to these expectations.

Next, transparency. What are you doing and why are you doing it? Families, students, colleagues, leaders, and the community want to know what's happening in our classrooms, and when they know, we profit from their questions, collaboration, and support. Hence, we send out a newsletter every Friday that summarizes the events that have occurred with images and words, and also announce upcoming plans and events. This kind of transparency which includes the rationale for our work helps to build team, and that sense of team results in better support for each and every student.

Share is also important. When knowledge is treated as a commodity available to only some, but not to others, potential and possibility is lost, and even worse, a lack of team and support begins to arise. Yet, when there's open share, and knowledge is treated as a commodity available to any interested party in transparent, accessible ways, a sense of team develops, and the team that develops also results in ongoing conversation, debate, and questioning that serves to grow our collective impact and effort.

Most organizations are moving towards greater anticipation, transparency, and share which results in empowered, engaged teams that spend more time on forward movement and less time on back tracking and uncovering lost or missing information.

How does anticipation, transparency, and share positively affect your work and organization. In what ways are you developing to fluidly include this kind of work more to benefit the learning/teaching team? Where doesn't this kind of effort occur and why not? How does a lack of anticipation, transparency, and share this hinder possible progress and potential?

As I work with my colleagues to draft this week's newsletter and as I collect and chart data for upcoming parent conferences, I'll be aware of this need, and respond to it with those I serve in mind.