Now and then Seth Godin offers us a framework for our work. Today his project questions make a good outline for any educator's work. I used his questions in the bold to look into my practice below. How would you answer the same questions?
"What is it for? When someone hires your product or service, what are they hiring it to do?"
When someone hires me, they are hiring me to help students and educators gain the skills, concept, knowledge, learning-to-learn attitudes/skills, and positivity to learn and teach children well.
"Who are you trying to change by doing this work? From what to what?
Rather than "change," my goal is to develop students and teachers by providing them with avenues for deep learning and teaching.
"How will you know if it is working?"
There are multiple ways to know if it's working. Student/educator project work, test scores, reflective feedback, attitude, and observation will allow me to know if my efforts are working.
"What does it remind me of? Are there parallels, similar projects, things like this that have come before?"
I've taught for many years. I build one year's work on the past year's successes. I continually try new avenues and keep the good while weeding out the old. I look for examples of good work as well in the work of others and embed their strengths into my work.
"What's the difficult part?"
The difficult part is that close attention to the individuals you work with. Making sure that you are providing the best possible individual response, support, and learning opportunities.
"How much of your time and focus are you spending on the difficult part?"
I spend a fair amount of time on personalizing the curriculum. As I write this, I realize though that I'd like to spend a bit more time on rubrics and other strategies to review and support individual's learning and teaching.
"What part that isn't under your control has to happen for this work?"
The part that's mainly out of my control is the time to meet and positively coordinate my work with the work of others who support the same teachers and students. We already have a fair amount of time for this collaboration, but we could continue to work towards even better process and time for this kind of work. Also, sometimes I don't have all the information about the efforts and philosophies that affect y work--greater communication would help the work I do.
"How much (time and money) is it going to take to find out if you've got a shot at this working out?
A daily commitment of three-four hours is a good amount of time for this.
"What assets do you already own that you'll be able to leverage?"
I could leverage more money with regard to training, and I already leverage lots of time.
"What assets do you need to acquire."
Greater detail and more specific targets would support these efforts.
"Project launches, new assets"
There are many new projects and learning events planned. The key is to leverage the time, study, and specificity to make these launches successful.
"From which people will you need help? Do they have a track record of helping people like you?
This is one of the most important questions with regard to the potential success of my efforts. Many help me to attain the resources I need to forward the good work that helps me reach my professional goals with and for educators and teachers. The close team of educators are all similarly invested and willingly share their time, ideas, and efforts, and this is a big plus. Deeper and more consistent process in other areas would support the work more, and I have to think about how I can access that support from the many I connect with online and offline.
"Is it worth it?"
Definitely, I continue to believe that teaching is valuable work that makes a positive difference in the lives of others when done well."
"Successful project organizers are delighted to engage in a conversation about all of these questions. If you're hiding from them, it's time to find out why."
I'm currently involved with one consultant group who is lending me great support in this regard. I need to continually reach out and in for that kind of support to continue to develop my practice both specifically and overall.
Godin always asks great questions and offers good insight as to how to develop and grow our work. I want to think more on the question he posed today as I move forward.