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Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Elephant in the Room: Lack of Inclusive, Timely Strategic Process

No one asked or listened to the teachers regarding the new initiative.

It was an add on that didn't fit need or desire.

There was some value in the idea, but the way the idea was translated into schoolhouse action became the elephant in the room--the oversized, unwanted, and rarely used resource/initiative. In fact rather than helpful, this effort created more work, work that didn't relate to helping students or teaching better?

Why did this happen?

Most of all this happened, I believe, because the idea was shiny--it looked good on paper and sounded just right for the times we live in. Also the idea lifted work off of others' shoulders--work that might be thought of us cumbersome, risky, detailed, and unattractive.

What could have happened?

Instead the money, time, and effort for this new resource/initiative could have been well embedded if an inclusive, strategic, ground-up process was used.

First, educators could have been consulted with a question like this, "Hey, we noticed we can improve in this area, and we have money and an idea that we think will help. Here it is. What do you think?"

Then, the responses from all who would be impacted would be published, reviewed, analyzed, and discussed until ultimately a use of the funding, time, and idea was revised and redesigned to truly match the needs that educators expressed as well as the desires of the idea originators.

Later when the idea was implemented, there were stopping points to further analyze, review, and revise the initiative/resource so that it truly did empower, engage, and elevate students' learning and teachers' efforts to teach well.

Too often money is spent and ideas forwarded without inclusive strategic process. When this happens time and money are wasted and potential is lost. It's better to utilize money when inclusive strategic process, authentic data analysis, and earnest focus are in place.

We have to steer clear of ideas just because they are "shiny" and instead look for the rich, forward moving, and rightfully created ideas and intent--the ones that really make a difference in the lives of children and families.


Note: Rather than refer to one idea, this post refers to a mix of initiatives which originated outside of the school I work in, but created to impact the school I work in. I write this to advocate for more inclusive, ground-up efforts with regard to implementing school reform measures and ideas.