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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Evolving Process and Protocols

Good process and protocols evolve.

It's important to take an inclusive, regular look at the work you do with others and decide what will stay, what will go, and how the work will evolve.

As I think of this, I recognize that this kind of regular review is critical to the good work possible. When we don't make the time to explicitly discuss what we are doing and what we might do, we lose the opportunity to improve what we currently do and commit to.

How might this occur with collaborative groups?

For groups that work together often, I believe it's good to keep a running list of what works, what doesn't, and what can be improved. Group members can add to the list regularly, and the group can sit down and discuss items as time permits.

This kind of process also profits from a regular sessions during the year that focus in on explicit discussion of the program and direct response to the opportunities for change and betterment.

As I think more about this, I am thinking about the areas in which I work such as curriculum development, local union leadership, state committee efforts, and grade-level team work.

Curriculum Development
I believe that inclusive, strategic process that is well orchestrated including all stakeholders leads to optimal curriculum development. I would like to see the curriculum teams that I'm apart of make more time to develop and use good process for collaboration in this matter. I think if we do that we will really make positive growth with regard to the many curriculum areas we work in and the deep, thoughtful teaching we do. The key words here are strategic inclusive process. At present, most of our curriculum work is top-down which does not match the latest research for dynamic collaboration and share--the kind of collaborative effort that rises from modern day protocols and strategic process efforts.

Local Union Leadership
We have many protocols and routines in place, but it may be time to review, revise, and update those protocols in order to modernize some of the efforts we engage in as a local union. We have a strong, talented, committed educator group, and the more that we can positively update our processes to be inclusive, timely, and well-focused on our collective goals as educators, the better work we'll do. Updating and modernizing our efforts will depend on the contribution and time of many as well as the support of our state union leaders and representatives. I believe that educators are professionals who should have substantial say in the work they do similar to other professions, and our local/state unions offer us a positive avenue with which to have that say and leadership.

Grade-Level Team
Our new shared model gives us significant time to come together to review the program, revise, and add new elements as needed. We have many processes in place for share and improvement and we do keep a running document of ideas that we discuss regularly. This is the group I work the most with, and the group that regularly reflects and works together to develop what we can do to serve children well. Fortunately we all bring a growth mindset to our collaborative work, and I believe that we continue to develop this team teaching model in ways that matter and make a positive difference for children and their families.

State Committee Work
Though sometimes tough due to scheduling, travel, and extra work, my work with the state union and department of education committees provides me with positive models and information to bring back to my work at the district level. In my opinion, both the state and our state union are using lots of modern day, inclusive and streamlined processes to share information and collectively do good work. I am so proud to be part of both of these organizations and have the opportunity to learn from and contribute to the efforts they lead. My only regret with regard tot his work is I wish I had a bit more time to devote to this work, but as every teacher knows the day-to-day work of teaching and learning takes up the lion's share of my professional time.

How do the processes and protocols evolve in the organization where you work? How do you contribute to this evolution? Do evolving process and protocols respect the voices of all stakeholders, promote inclusive effort, and use modern day research with regard to the strategic processes and tools used?

It's a changing world, and we do best when we acknowledge that and regularly work to update the work we do on our own and with others in this regard. Onward.