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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Education Trends I Value

There are always many trends occurring in education. Below is a list of trends I value:

Greater Teacher Leadership and Hybrid Roles
Rather than the old time top-down hierarchy in schools, I favor the movement towards greater teacher leadership and hybrid roles. Instead of hiring more administrators, I prefer investing dollars in increasing teachers' time and responsibility for leadership. This puts teachers in the role of making important decisions related to their work together. This also puts the people who work with students every day in charge of that work instead of hiring more people at a high cost who are distanced from children to make decisions. I believe that those who do not work directly with students should be minimized in schools, and instead the hybrid roles of leadership and educating together increase.

Re-Look at School Schedules, Roles, and Time
With regard to the regular school day, not before and after school program, , I recommend re-looking at time in school first. How can we re-think the way time is used during the school day. What time results in robust teaching and learning, and what time is essentially less valuable and potent. By re-looking at schedules and routines, I believe schools can include more substantial programming without extra costs.

Re-Look at Time and Money Spent for Professional Learning
Often professional learning efforts are met with a "check the box" attitude which means people go through the motions, but the work is not substantial. I believe that greater educator leadership, choice, and voice in this area will enhance professional learning and result in better service to students.

Think Ahead and Include All Stakeholders
Too often vision and decisions in schools are made by a few without much consult with the stakeholders involved. This results in less vigorous and successful programming. Using good lead time and strategic process, change in schools should be an inclusive process that includes all stakeholders.

Don't Wait to the Last Minute for Purchasing and Planning
Purchasing should be done thoughtfully with plenty of lead time. I actually feel that a whole-year purchasing effort should be in place to take advantage of the most cost effective decisions and organization. I believe that having a talented purchasing agent, system, and process can save schools money. Further, modern day tech processes will support more facile and cost effective purchasing too. Purchasing, like all decisions in school, should also be inclusive including the voices of all stakeholders.

There are many ways that we can improve our schools with greater lead time, inclusivity, and strategic process. I will look for ways to forward this kind of betterment in my own practice as well.