The educators met to discuss curriculum. There were a number of similar and differing opinions. I was at a tough spot since it was a year when particular results were not as strong as years past. There were many, many reasons for this--reasons that extend far beyond me or my work. Yet, there's always more to learn, and I'm the first one to use good analyses to cull strategies to improve and move forward.
The general opinion by some was that if the results are not the best, you have little voice about your efforts, and it may be because you didn't follow the orders to perfection. Yet, my experience, reading, and research points me to a place where I have to dig deep and respect the work and research I've done despite the conjecture and finger pointing. It's rarely one or the other, and typically our best work is the work we derive from honest collaboration, transparent communication, and working as a community of teachers and learners.
When the fear factor and unyielding directives are thrown into the mix, it typically quiets the team and halts good collaboration and share. However, when the discussion turns to meaningful discourse supported by good process and honest facts and figures, the direction moves in beneficial ways.
No two teachers are the same--we all bring different talents, challenges, perspectives, and vision to the table. I believe it's our differences that make us strong and that maximizing the integration of that variety leads to a strong, dynamic team.
Team takes time, good process, collective goals, and loose-tight direction--a direction that's loose enough to respond to the large variety of students' interests, skills, and efforts, and tight enough to bring the team together and achieve good results.
It's good for process to focus on result first. What happened? What went well? Where were the challenges? Why did they occur? How can we make that better? Moving from big picture and vision backwards to the details typically results in good teamwork, direction, and result.
So I took the information we discussed. I looked at what I knew. I've made some decisions for myself and reached out with some questions to others with regard to their results. Too often we all jump to conjecture and conclusions without taking the time to use good process to unveil the truth of a matter, but when we do reach those truthful realities, we better prepare ourselves to move in fortuitous ways to betterment and strong teams. Onward.