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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Does Role Equity Play a Role in Meeting Education Success for Every Student?

Yes, you shouldn't compare yourself to others. Every job has its ups and downs, but in truth, there sometimes is inequity with role expectations.

There's many ways that you can look at this.

Here are some questions to guide your analysis.

1. How much time does the educator spend in direct service to children? This varies substantially in education settings, and in truth, when educators are with children, they don't have much time for choice and voice since serving those children takes all that time. Therefore when thinking of role equity, minutes of direct service is an important consideration.

2. How many children does an educator serve at a time? For example a teacher who has five or more hours a day with large groups of students, certainly has little time for decision making, analysis, or voice, and less energy too since working with large groups of children takes a lot of energy. For teacher leadership to grow, it's essential that these numbers are considered.

3. What is the intensity of the work? It could be that a teacher is working one-to-one all day with a single child, and perhaps, this child is very challenging to serve. While this educator works with fewer children, the intensity plays a role too.

4. Does the teacher have substantial free time in the day--time without designated duties or expectations? Yes, there are schedules that are sparse. Now it could be that those seemingly sparse schedules are filled with substantial, positive effort and expectation--the kind of effort and expectation that moves programs and people forward, but it could also be true that the time is not well spent. That's important to consider.

5. What is the trickle down effect of expectations? If a teacher has little time-on-task with students, does his/her time make a substantial impact on student service? How do you assess that?

6. How distanced from impact is the educator? For example if groups of educators are spending most of their days in meetings making decisions for educators on the front line providing service to students, is that a good use of time? Does the work of those attending endless meetings impact the day-to-day service to students? How do you rightly assess that? And if the current trends towards teacher leadership are correct, then systems need to work towards bridging the distance between decisions and impact.

There are many ways to look at effect and affect in schools when it comes to substantial, meaningful, and proactive service to students? How do you assess and analyze school roles? Where do you find that the most substantial effect is taking place, and where could the effect be greater?

For schools to be more reflective of the knowledge age we live in, effective, and impactful, roles have to be analyzed for effect.  I'm sure that each of us can assess our own roles with regard to impact. I'm certain that we can all find better ways to serve, ways that impact student learning more. It's important for us to do that and to speak up too in order to receive the kinds of conditions that lead to excellence for every student. In many ways, it's our current education structures, roles, and routines that are holding us back from the potential possible.