Friday, April 27, 2018

If It Matters, Take It Seriously

There's nothing worse than the feeling you have when you don't give a serious matter the attention or time it deserves. When you're met with the final results, it leaves you feeling awful. If you face failure  in a situation when you did give it your best, that's a bad feeling, but not nearly as bad as the feeling you have when you don't give an important matter the time, energy, or focus it deserves.

Sometimes in the school house, issues that are seemingly less important, get lots of attention while issues of great import are not given much attention. More often, there's debate about priorities--some may think one issue is of greatest importance while others are moved by different issues. That's why having really good processes for collaboration and goal setting are critical to high functioning, successful organizations. Organizations without these processes can be seen as wishy washy or or mediocre.

When it comes to schools, prioritizing is not a simple process as there are many competing priorities, that's why having good process is essential and critical to developing good schools.

Sometimes what's deemed most important in writing, is far less important when it comes to action. For example, let's say a school prioritizes play yet only allows students a 10-minute recess each day. That 10-minute recess isn't evidence of their priority, but perhaps the school has a lot of other play-based events throughout the day. What you see isn't always a good indicator of what is really happening.

I'm a big fan of clear identification of goals and priorities. I like to this to be a ground-up process that's inclusive of all stakeholders including students, families, educators, administrators, and community members. Obviously there will be many priorities in a school or school system, and all of those priorities will get differing amounts of time, staffing, money, and attention. But, in the end, if it matters, then you have to give it the time and attention it deserves whatever the goal or priority it is.