Why do I get away from things that I know are important?
Why do I whine to others or to myself about things when I can be using that time to do the things that I know are important?
These are my guiding questions as I reflect upon a recent time period that has seen me get away from my blog and drift away from my vision.
I’m motivated to write by a couple of blog posts that I read this week on the need for principals and leaders. The links are below.
The reminder about what my job should entail was much needed. Over the last few weeks, I had gotten away from my vision of providing educators with the clarity, structure, resources, and ongoing support essential to their success. For the first time all year I missed being present at three of the four morning collaborations in a week (Both History and one Science). I wasn’t sleeping in or checking my email during this time. I was at two other meetings and having a conversation with my principal before going to another meeting. These other meetings (maybe not the conversation with Carla) could have been done at another time and I allowed them to creep into my sacred time.
What did I miss? I don’t know and that is the problem.
On Friday, when I returned to Science I observed a great collaboration on ungraded rubric from a common assessment. The cohort planted the seeds for their focus for next school year, discussed the importance of skills and content versus the work habits and connected the rubric to their grading using the rubric for the remainder of the year. One member mentioned the importance of an example from high school science in an upcoming article that we will be discussing at our next PD. I was present and can now share what I observed with other teachers and administrators. There was energy and focus from the teachers. They used the tuning protocol to keep focus and to keep track of time. I was able to hopefully add a little insight during the 25 minutes. I know I learned a great deal about our students and our teachers by being there. When I left the room there was no question that the Biology students in their classes would be learning more due to that collaboration.
Did I miss the opportunity to witness that type of collaboration the other three days because I couldn’t schedule properly? Maybe. Did I miss the opportunity to learn something different? Yes. Was nothing going on because the teachers believed that no one cared about their work? I hope not, but I don’t know. Did I miss an opportunity to let a team of teachers know that I care about their work? YUP! Lesson learned! I’ll be returning to being present and returning to completing more walkthroughs so I am aware of the great work that is being done.
I am going to schedule it to ensure that I commit to it! Time to reconnect to my vision and to make sure that I am using my time for the purpose of improving student achievement.
On a side note, we met as a group of district administrators last week to get some much-needed Category B Training on the new MASS DESE Teacher Rubric. We need to start to norm our practice. I always leave those trainings amazed at how much I learn from the other administrators in my district. The sharing of practice and the opportunity to reflect on it helps me improve. We didn’t get to norming our practice but I hope we can reconvene a few more times before our next training in June. Completing learning walks, non-evaluative walkthroughs, comparing write-ups of walkthroughs and discussing what is proficient will only make all of us better leader. As a better leader, we should be able to set structures to improve teacher practice and increase student achievement. We should work to get together more often for this purpose.