Thursday, July 2, 2015

Recipe for Success

I promise, my next post will not start with a quote from Mara Sapon-Shevin's Widening the Circle:  The Power of Inclusive Classrooms.  My next post.   This quote she uses to draw a parallel between implementing desegregation and implementing inclusion:  "attempts...implemented without thoughtful planning and consistent monitoring are unlikely to succeed."

So, in addition to desegregation and inclusion, it almost seems like a no-brainer that should widely be applied to anything brought to the table, specifically in the realm of education.

I have long said that my least favorite word in education is initiative.  The word itself carries with it the implication that the newest, latest, and greatest idea, innovation, or reboot will be initiated, begun, launched, started.  The word itself implies a distinct lack of follow-through.

So when I joined a project that will pilot interdisciplinary learning over three years, and examine data upon completion, a project that will not begin until a year of planning has happened, I could not have been more excited.

My work on the PBIS Team at my High School I find very meaningful, because we are heading into our eighth year, we are constantly examining data from a variety of resources including student attendance, discipline and academics, and attitude surveys of staff, students and team members.  Our decisions are directly influenced by the data and feedback, both formal and informal.

I also work with the School Improvement Team, which meets regularly to evaluate our annual plan which fits into the district's five year Strategic Plan.  This team of teacher leaders and administrators is responsible for driving professional development in the building, as well as making sure all PLCs and teams within the building are working toward the same goal.  More "thoughtful planning and consistent monitoring" leading to successful implementation and more often than not reaching of our goals.

What teams or committees do you participate on in your school?  Are they meaningful to you?  Are you able to effect positive change?  If not, are parts of the "inclusion model" missing, can you change that, or is it time to revisit your participation in exchange or something where you can make a difference?

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