Often in schools this is difficult given the constructs and systems we work with.
For example, as a school community, we grapple with the achievement gap, yet we rarely share ideas or change structure and effort to truly look deeply at that issue. I'm wondering what are people doing differently to make a difference? What are or have people been doing that's really working in this regard? What structures and constructs have we changed in the last many years to impact this issue? Where are we making gains and where do we have more work to do?
When I bring up the frustration related to initiatives that don't run full circle, I'm typically chastised by some with words such as Be thankful for what you have, We can't change all things, Just do your job and don't worry about everything else. . . .
Why does this bother me? It bothers me because I see potential for better work mired in lack of communication, constructs/structures that don't change, and little time or commitment toward questions posed.
Personally, there's always more that one can do, but truly, there are some issues and problems that beg for a collaborative approach--issues and problems that require more than the effort of single individuals as people alone can impact, but not necessarily create needed change.
In a perfect world, this is what I desire with regard to the big goals and problems we grapple with:
- An honest, open, realistic appraisal of where we are and where we want to be with regard to goals that matter.
- Data that demonstrates respectfully, fully, and with detail where we are making gains and where we have work to do?
- Stories of success--what truly has made a difference. Stories that others can replicate in their own work.
- Efficient, timely, inclusive, and supported systems of share.
- Details and resources that help us with the goal in mind.
- Regular updates related to the goals.
- Response to questions, ideas, and efforts posed.
- Realistic, forward moving constructs and use of time with the goal in mind. Rather than "super hero" constructs, manageable, real-world constructs that support the goal for the long term.
Often what looks good on paper is not a solution or better way in real time. I want to know more and dig deeper with regard to the issues that matter in education--issues that truly will help educators to teach every child well, and I want to do this with a positive, proactive team approach. It is in our good collaboration and communication that we can impact issues of import with strength. Onward.