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Sunday, May 07, 2017

Communities of Care: Look for Opportunity

I recently was involved in a conversation that focused on limits rather than possibility. The conversation lacked imagination, creativity, and an open attitude towards change. As I listened, I didn't see the same blockades, dead ends, and lack of opportunity. Instead I saw many, many ways to deal with the situation in a positive way.

As we look at problematic situations, we have to think strategically, dissecting the situation to look for creative ways to solve problems. Typically when problematic situations are dealt with too quickly, the best solutions are not considered.

So as I think of the many communities I belong to, I want to be cognizant of the following points:
  • In general, the intention of all that I work and live with are positive and well meaning.
  • We all have value to add and limitations too.
  • Together, we mainly do better.
  • Focus and prioritization are essential.
  • Good communication, transparency, and share are critical components when it comes to doing good work.
How does this thinking apply to my focus areas?

Local Union Work
Our local union team is committed to representing members in ways that matter. Members' issues and concerns are considered with care. Our leadership provides one bridge to administration as well as a bridge to the state and national union. I've learned a lot via my work on this team, and I am focused on learning more and bettering what I can do to support the membership in ways that matter. My specific focus is to take notes and keep the website up to date. I also watch school committee meetings online and take notes about the meeting discussions and focus.

Math Education
Mainly, I have to increase my knowledge in this area as I look at the potential to elevate the program for all students. I have many books an articles to read. I also have substantial analysis to perform.

STEAM and Science
Our team is going to re-look at how we use time, resources, and the environment in order to build our work more in this area.

Cultural Proficiency and Community
Our team is collecting and working on a number of ideas to boost this aspect of the teaching/learning program more. We keep a running list of ideas, and stay attuned to our students, their families, and colleagues' efforts and needs to in this regard. We have done good work in this arena this year, and already have ideas about how we can further boost our efforts.

Contribution to the Greater School Community
I want to contribute by researching and sharing information about good teaching and learning as well as looking for ways to create a learner-friendly school environment with furniture, signage, and organization that boosts student investment, success, and love of learning. There's an opportunity to write grants to support this kind of work.

I have a small role on both of these committees. I like the fact that I learn a lot on these committees and I am able to bring that knowledge back to my colleagues in real time and online. I am also able to contribute needs, interests, and information from the classroom to the work these committees engage in. These committees offer me and my colleagues substantial learning, contribution, and advantage.

Personal efforts involve the goal of contributing to and continuing to building a happy, healthy family life.