Thursday, April 28, 2016

Smooth Systems

Is your teaching/learning work a smooth system or a bumpy road.

I'd have to say that my work is a bit of both. Everytime we embrace new learning, there's lots of unexpected events that occur. For example, the introduction of a number of small aquariums in our room has increased the expectations for no horsing around inside. Luckily, since the classroom is right on the playground, I can give the students a bit more time outside to run around so they get that movement. So there will be moments of challenge in any system that's dedicated to growth and development.

Yet, for the most part, systems that are well organized and thoughtful will have less upheaval and unexpected challenge. Instead these systems will run smoothly. Of course good communication, lead time, planning ahead, and efficient processes support this kind of work.

In looking ahead, I'm wondering how I can continue to work towards a smooth routine at work. The following efforts will help:
  • Spending good time at the start of the year establishing expectations and protocols with students
  • Explicitly displaying classroom goals and expectations for all to see
  • Regular communication patterns and places via the use of the website, newsletters, twitters, and in-house meetings
  • Keeping the calendar up to date and easily accessible by all in the teaching/learning community
  • Planning ahead and communicating new ideas and change so that the entire learning team, family members, students, educators, and leaders, can support the change with lead time.
  • Effective classroom organization
I can also work with colleagues to support this kind of work in our whole school or system work and effort. Systemwide efforts that support smooth, effective work include many of these same attributes as the classroom:
  • Regular, effective patterns of accessible information and communication share
  • Lead time and information with regard to new ideas and change
  • Easy to access tools, resources, and supplies
  • A sense of team and inclusion for all efforts and goals
  • Ready and accessible share of systemwide analysis, progress, goals, and vision
Smooth systems that are effective will have disruption and times of challenge and times of change, yet if these systems are run with a sense of community and positive connections, then, in general, these systems will promote the good work possible with regard to teaching children well.