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Thursday, March 02, 2017

Good Process: Looking Ahead

On Monday, I began a project with the students that many educators agreed on. The project did not go as planned originally

Last night I witnessed a meeting where the effort did not go as planned either.

What both events had in common was that the voice of the stakeholders were not effectively included during the planning time.

In the case of the project, we should have started the planning with a student conversation. We could have said to the students, "We're noticing this, and we're wondering if we do some projects in this area (naming particular area) if that would help. What do you think?" But because we didn't enlist student voice upfront, the buy-in wasn't as great as it could of been. We did, however, backtrack to include student voice which worked out in the end.

In the case of the meeting I witnessed, it's my feeling that the efforts to include stakeholder voice upfront way back when the initiative started were not inclusive enough therefore there wasn't representation from a broad group of stakeholders, but instead a smaller chosen group.

As I think ahead to the teaching/learning to come. I am wondering about initiatives that I will pursue in the coming weeks, months, and years, and how I might utilize good process in that respect--what can I do to promote effective effort and result?

High Needs Students
I want to continue to think about my work in this area. I reached out this week to a member of our teaching team who offered an idea. We'll begin putting that idea to work today to see how it goes. I want to think about more systematic efforts in this regard as well. For example, I'll meet with students to get their ideas with questions such as:
  • How can I support your learning more?
  • What would help you learn more?
  • What do you need?
I also signed up to attend ECET2Boston which is an event that is focused, in part, on this issue. I'm sure my team will continue to study, discuss, and work towards meeting the needs of these students in the days to come.

Cultural Proficiency
I'll soon dive into the Frederick Douglas biography and visit the African American Museum in Boston to prepare for students' field study. This is one part of our overall cultural proficiency effort. Further, my colleagues and I, will work with surveys we've identified to forward our work in this regard. Finally, we'll incorporate a lot of our work this year in this regard with the upcoming biography project, Global Changemakers, in ways that help students choose people to study that both "speak to them," and inspire them.

I want to think more about good process as I continue to hone my craft with relation to the math program and STEAM study too. I'll return to this topic in the days to come when I have a bit more time.