I like my planning and research to stay about nine months ahead of implementation. I find that when I'm ahead, I can seize opportunities such as grants, conferences, seminars and more that help to enrich the work I do.
In some cases, this forward movement is hindered by guessing games. Guessing games arise when questions are posed and unanswered. Guessing games arise when information is not forthcoming and plans unshared. Guessing games stand like a wall that hinders forward movement, and guessing games, for the most part, waste a lot of precious time.
Why do guessing games occur?
I'm not sure about this. Perhaps questions are asked before others have thought about the topic. Perhaps people feel that some in the trenches can't handle news of future plans and information. Perhaps there's a worry that if questions are answered, more questions will be asked. I'm not sure.
Now, guessing games don't occur in all parts of my work and learning. The state of Massachusetts and the teachers union for example are very good about sharing information and letting us know what's happening. They invite voice and provide some choice. I don't always agree with the state or union, but I do always appreciate their information share and invitation to take part by sharing ideas and doing what you can. In fact, their share is so good, that I have to prioritize about where I'll get involved and where I'll leave it to others.
In other areas of my work, it's always a guessing game. I pose questions and no one answers. People meet and the information is not shared. I watch the school committee meetings, read the newspaper, and read other memos and information posted and try to piece it all together to see where we might be headed in those arenas. I make my best guesses and try to align my research and work with what I guess to be the direction of effort. I also try to share my research as one way to impact direction, but I rarely receive response, so I have no way of knowing if that research is impactful or not in a transparent way, but again I can guess as I watch efforts take place.
In the best of circumstances, I'd like to replace "guessing games" with good communication, the kind of communication the state and union pride themselves with. They share regularly with the students and teachers in mind. They are open to my questions and suggestions and typically respond in good time with logical answers--answers that help me to understand where my research, questions, and work fit into the bigger picture. This kind of respectful response leads me forward to greater research and effort. It's a win-win in so many ways.
For now though, with regard to the guessing games, I'll tie my work to the information I know and continue to research, study, and work towards betterment and development in the areas where I have the greatest responsibility. Hopefully one day most guessing games will be replaced by terrific communication and share cycles, the kind of communication that empowers people to work collaboratively for truly terrific work and endeavor. Onward.