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Sunday, November 05, 2017

Legitimate Process

Yesterday at the MTA's Just for New Teachers Conference I shared Hattie's learning cycle, a cycle that begins with identifying success criteria, then assessment, and after that the step-by-step activity including reflection and revision along the way to reach the goal. It's such a promising process, one that many have promoted and used throughout time.

It's important that we clearly and openly use legitimate processes because that's the way we build trust and work together to make good progress and change. As I think about this, I'm thinking about how I can apply this perspective to my own work.

Politics abound both locally and nationally. This is one area that I can utilize Hattie's cycle--what is the success criteria with regard to my political action and effort? What is my aim here? Essentially I'm a political enthusiast who strongly supports what it takes to make strong, peaceful, caring communities, communities where people have ready access to good nutrition, quality education, needed health care, positive recreation, suitable housing, freedom to live as they desire with the exception of illegal acts, and a clean environment. I would rather see more regulations and greater equality than policies that support some and distance others from life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I also support leaders who are respectful, intelligent, caring, open, inclusive, and forward thinking. Though I generally lean towards the democratic party, I am open to candidates and political leaders from many other parties and perspectives too.

At school, I am a fan of good, inclusive process to make decisions, set goals, and lead our schools ahead. I'm not a fan of processes that are less transparent, logical, or well thought out. As I've written about numerous times, I support the movement towards distributive leadership in schools, a type of leadership model that lends voice and choice to all stakeholders with modern age, inclusive processes. In many ways these processes exist in the school system where I work, and in some ways it's questionable whether these processes do exist. There are many decisions looming, and I will evaluate those decisions with the following questions:
  • Was the process used transparent, inclusive, honest, research-based, and timely?
  • Are the decisions made reflective of the priority needs and opportunities that exist?
  • How will the process and decisions help us to create modern day schools that result in future-ready, happy, successful students?
  • Are we focused on the right questions?
For my own practice, I've set some high expectations for my own work and effort. I've laid a few steep challenges in my path, challenges I really want to meet in the years ahead. I know that if I meet these challenges, I will be able to elevate my service and leadership to my students, their families, and the colleagues I work with. I value the very personal goals I've set, and will work towards attaining those goals on my own and with a few good comrades. 

To build trust, to do good work, and to make a difference, we have to embrace legitimate processes, processes that begin with highlighting the success criteria we seek and processes that identify how we will assess the work we do to see if we're truly moving towards our goals. These processes outline the steps that reach for the goal, and stop to assess and revise the effort regularly. I look forward to the shared and personal journeys ahead in this regard.