Planning Good Change - Page 12 - Next Page

First Things First

"First things first" suggests that educational purpose is clarified before strategies are selected and systems or networks are designed. The best use of new technologies is to support curriculum rich learning experiences that are standards-based and likely to elevate the skill levels of participating students.

A poem is better than a tome.

If this planning process stands any chance of modifying or enhancing the daily practice of teachers throughout the district, the committee must translate the goals into a simple but compelling format that will "grab" all teachers' attention and then win their support by passing various tests of practicality, worth and reasonableness.

In all too many places, the planning documents are too long, too grand, and too imposing. They seem more like publicity documents than blueprints for change. They seem written to impress the outside community rather than inspire those responsible for implementing the changes envisioned.

Before moving forward with program design and network design, it makes sense to pause for a period of reflection, consideration and recruitment.

The driving question is whether or not the vast majority of teachers in the district will applaud and embrace the goals established by the committee. Drafting the document is merely an opening stage of an extended dialogue that must eventually convert skeptics and doubters into believers willing to work hard on translating goals into realities.

To skip over this recruitment and persuasion stage - as is typically the case - is somewhat like Noah pushing off from land before loading the animals.

"But why should we sail with you, Noah?"

"Because I have a great ark."

Unfortunately, promising great boats, great toys or great bells and whistles appeals to a very small group.

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Credits: The photographs were shot by Jamie McKenzie.
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