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Saturday, March 10, 2018

Long Term Planning: The Benefits and Detriments

My brothers sometimes cringe when I call them to save the date for an event months into the future. They joke about my long term planning. Similarly when I called my eldest son to plan an event in April, I could hear the sigh in his voice. I know that he was thinking that he doesn't even know what he's doing today never mind next month. The reality is that when you're on a tight budget and you have a busy schedule, long term planning ensures that you can afford the time and money for a few really great events.

For example a year ago January I planned a family event in the mountains. Almost all family members came and engaged in a memorable family hike, cookout, and other events. It was a good time, and without long term planning, we never would have had that good time.

The same is true at school. It takes long term planning to change the program and make good gains in the teaching/learning environment. For example our team is planning a week-long Global Cardboard Challenge event at the end of the year. This long term planning has helped us to access the needed recyclables and supplies to support the project. It's also given the students a reason to forge ahead with some of the less exciting learning with the knowledge that there will be a whole week dedicated to creativity and teamwork coming up. And by having the date on the calendar, there's less likelihood that others will plan different school wide events for that date. Long term planning last summer and during the year also enabled us to write and then receive good funding for environmental learning/teaching and potentially as a way to elevate our Global Changemakers project in the weeks ahead.

There are some detriments to long term planning, and the greatest detriment is the potential of lost serendipity and the ability to take advantage of last minute opportunities and events. So with your long term planning, you have to be ready to sometimes forego those long term plans if something better comes up. This isn't always a good idea and must be a thoughtful decision when this occurs.

So in light of this post, I'll make some time today to plan some special events both at school and at home in the weeks ahead. It's good times that give us the fortitude and energy to power through the challenging times and hard work that help us to achieve and live in ways that matter. Onward.