Friday, February 08, 2019

Decisions made for you or with you?

There are countless decisions made in a school environment which begs the question, what decisions should be made for educators and what decisions should be made with educators? Of course as an educator, I believe that good, transparent process should enlist our voices in most, if not all, decisions that affect the work we do with and for students.

That being said, sometimes teachers are not interested in the outcome or put their confidence in other decision makers. For example, with regard to a recent initiative, I didn't get involved as I had full trust that one of my colleagues would carry it out with good decision making. I knew my time was better spent on other pursuits while the colleague was eager to invest in the initiative referenced. Similarly a decision was discussed with the whole school through a number of correspondences and invitations. I didn't get involved and because of that I made a mental note that if I was discouraged with the outcome, I would have to stay quiet as I had a chance to impact that work, but chose not to do that. Once again, I mostly chose not to get involved because I had great trust in those who were making the decision.

Sometimes with regard to students, teachers make choices for them. We're the adults in the room and it's our charge to make some of those decisions. However, we know that the more we give students choice over their work and effort, the better they do. So where possible we open up the decision making to students. For example with a recent fraction project, children got to make the choice about the topic they would use for the stories they are writing. They are more motivated with the project due to that choice. We also give choices about who to work with, what books to read, story topics, seating decisions, some scheduling choices, and more.

In today's world, I believe we have to think carefully about the decision making processes we use. I believe that better process will lead to better, more includive, and satisfying decisions. I am thinking about how to better processes with regard to the work I do with and for colleagues and students. I know that there's room for growth and betterment here and will continue to read, study, and try out new paths in this realm.

Decision making is an important part of the work we do as educators, and how those decisions are made is important to the good work possible.