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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Value in Knowing

A colleague presented a challenge to me. I listened and responded that there was so much to know about the situation and that the more knowledge and experience that we have in this area, the better we will be able to navigate the challenge's potential.

There is value in knowing.

How do we collect, embed, and apply the knowledge that we need?

With this challenge, time is critical because reading, studying, trying out, and understanding the new knowledge takes time. There will be missteps since the knowing is new.

Are there experts in our midst that can mentor us in this regard? I suspect that these mentors do exist, but they are not readily available. It will take a bit of work to identify these masters, and then it might even cost money to access their knowledge and skill?

All around us are people who have grasped parts of this knowledge, and how do we bring all of these people together to maximize our "collective genius" in this respect.

Is knowing in this situation worth the time and effort it will take? Is this a challenge worth pursuing?

Like most challenges in school, it's a challenge related to potential, promise, and betterment. If we successfully navigate this challenge, we will be able to teach better and serve more students well. This is a good goal.

Breaking down the challenge work, the knowing, includes the following steps:
  • Read and research.
  • Organize the work into manageable, accessible parts.
  • Listen to the knowledge of those around you.
  • Collaborate.
  • Strategize the application steps--how will you apply the knowledge to meet the challenge.
  • As the knowing is applied reflect, review, and revise. 
  • Be open about the novelty this knowledge brings. It's okay for others to understand that this learning is new. 
  • Keep the mission of what's important up front throughout the process. There's always the worry that with all the work that a new challenge takes, the mission will be lost. Turning a mission into a catchy phrase or sound bite is one way to keep the challenge's goal up front.
Good work takes time. Good knowing takes time. Meeting meaningful challenge takes time. 

There is value in knowing, and when we work together to know well and apply that knowledge with direction and care, we do the good work possible.