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Wednesday, August 09, 2017

What Singular and Collective Vision will Lead Your Work This Year?

When I enter school this year, there may be or there may not be a focus on collaborative vision setting. Sometimes there are efforts to do this, and sometimes the vision is imposed on us as teachers. There are other times too where there is no talk of vision at all.

With my grade-level team, however, we started talking about vision last year as we assessed the year's efforts regularly. We kept a running file of ideas that we wanted to work on, and we'll meet soon to look over those ideas and how we'll respond with good action in the days to come.

Our vision, in part, highlights the need to continually build a more culturally proficient program that maximizes our sense of belonging, community, and team. I've read a number of books this summer to inform this vision, and I look forward to hearing about the research, reflection, and creative ideas my colleagues have been working on in this regard too. Together we'll elevate orientation efforts as well as look at our pedagogy and content to find ways to build a better sense of team, collective effort, engagement, and empowerment, and success for all students.

My vision also includes helping students to become mathematically fit by working with them to develop their mathematical thinking, problem solving, and understanding. It's clear to me that having a strong math foundation allows students to more accurately and holistically understand and solve meaningful real-world problems in all disciplines. Math, in many ways, trains the brain to deal with complex situations in successful, positive ways. I'm excited about working with students to build their knowledge and abilities in this area.

Also, my vision is to develop my ability to work collaboratively towards the common good with regard to the teaching/learning we do in the school community. I want to listen carefully to my colleagues with respect to their experience, questions, and knowledge as to how to teach well. I also want to contribute my outlook, research, and ideas when helpful. Further, I know that our collegiality and collective effort, when done well, will translate into a welcoming, dynamic, and nurturing community for student success and growth as well as community strength and pride.

And, finally, with regard to advocacy, my reading is pointing me in the direction to support more equitable, communal policies, laws, and efforts to continue to elevate our country in ways that matter to all people. Our preoccupation and prejudice with regard to differences is a huge obstacle that impedes our country's development. The contempt for one another so clearly exemplified by President Trump, his cronies, and others similarly obstructs the good work and camaraderie possible. I want to continually look for leaders who have the public good as their focus and work to support those leaders through writing and other forms of advocacy in the days ahead. As always I see tremendous potential and possibility all around me every day, and I don't want to waste my energy or our collective energy in ways that lead us down rather than up. There's great promise in our midst, and it's my goal to focus on that promise with action that contributes to the greater good.

When school starts, I'll focus on the vision I've created and the vision I share with teammates. I'll also listen carefully to the vision expressed by others and contribute in ways that I can to build a greater communal culture of relevance, meaning, and good work. Vision matters in our lives, and it's our opportunity to create that vision on our own and with others to create the strong communities and good work possible.