I’ve been doing a ton of writing lately for my fourth book — a title set to tackle the five frustrations of a Professional Learning Community — and thought you might be interested in a few of the quotes that I’ve stumbled across while researching.
The first comes from school change expert Doug Reeves, whose most recent title — Finding Your Leadership Focus — is a must read for school leaders.
“In other words, educational leaders and policymakers can make a large number of changes to improve the lives of teaching professionals, but if they fail to address the fundamental issue of focus—giving classroom teachers more time to focus on fewer priorities and giving teachers a voice in what those priorities are—then that failure to focus will undermine every other reform.” (p. 76)
NOTHING could be truer, y’all. When classroom teachers have the time to focus on a small handful of priorities, remarkable things happen for students and for schools.
Reeves goes on to recommend that EVERY school and district complete an initiative inventory every year, warehousing projects that aren’t making a measurable impact on student learning no matter how essential they seem to be:
“For school leaders enduring the withering assault of initiative proliferation, the challenge of focus may seem insurmountable. After all, they are near the bottom of the hierarchical pyramid of a traditional of a traditional school system and, along with classroom teachers, they bear the brunt of multiple demands of policy, procedure, and prescription…
By asking the right questions, focusing on the factors with the greatest leverage, guarding a culture of success, and embracing the power of teacher leadership, school leaders can be at the point of a diamond rather than at the bottom of a pyramid.” (p. 65)
So here’s a simple question for you: What one initiative are YOU going to ditch tomorrow?
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