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Friday, December 02, 2016

Making Decisions for Educators

How many staff members work together to make decisions for teachers. Is the scale tipped in favor of staff/time to make decisions for educated professionals or is the scale tipped in the favor of teacher choice and voice. Perhaps the scale is balanced with a good decision maker/practice ratio.

Over time as an educator, I have found that when educators are respected decision makers in the school house, the teaching/learning is elevated. When educators are left out of big decisions, decisions that cost lots of money and are supposed to have strong impact, the efforts typically wane since it's very difficult to make good decisions for teaching and learning from a distance. It's good to make these decisions with honest understanding of the teaching/learning context, students, needs, strengths, and interests.

In the best of circumstances good strategic process is used to make decisions with and for educators--educators are not left out of the decision making process. The kind of team building that creates authentic, successful instructional decision making teams results in better work. I heard a story about how these teams work in a nearby system, a system that is a very successful teaching/learning system.

Who makes the decisions about teaching and learning?

How are those decisions made?

Who is included?

Who reports on the efforts and is the reporting accurate?

How are the programs evaluated and developed?

Is there a long range plan that's created by balanced teams and utilized in strategic, positive ways?

Education is a team sport, and when the team is valued and works together, then there is good progress and effort. When education is looked at as a competitive sport where some win and others don't, the progress and efforts are not as good, and in my opinion, lots of time is wasted.

Today I have many opportunities to team well with colleagues and leaders to forward our collective efforts to teach students well. I'm fortunate to have this opportunity and will think deeply about how I might maximize this opportunity to develop what I can do with and for the students and families I serve. Onward.