Trying to boil the ocean

Today, cruising the Globe and Mail, and contemplating getting up to make a cup of tea, I ran into this quote from Ann Snowdon. The quote is from an article on health care reform, Why not try after-hours care the Dutch way. It entirely captures how I feel about the current ‘climate’ of education in BC at the moment:

Last year, I was very excited to attend a conference on RTI. The main message I brought home from that professional development was that we need to be much more systematic in our approach to intervention when students don’t learn. There was no prescription, aside from the types of questions we should be asking over and over as we build, LOCALLY, the responses our students need, at this time, in our school.

We know who our students are, and who we are as a staff. As a school and community, we exist in this culture, in this time, in this space. Solutions built elsewhere, based on research and best practice, can and must provide us with fodder and direction for our local collaborations. However, the best solutions will be designed here, implemented here, on the ground, if we are given the time and the tools to do it.

My training and experience also tells me that when solutions are grown locally, through collaboration, buy-in will be more likely to happen. Student buy-in, administrator buy-in, teacher buy-in, community buy-in.

Instead, I see a government working hard on an imposition of a new plan. I see provincial bargaining that cannot, by its nature, address local issues.

They are trying to boil the ocean. It’s painful.

Better still to make a pot of tea. Sit down together as a school and community, with time to think, with time to act, with time to ask what is working and what is not. Time well spent. Many pots of tea.

Time to put the kettle on.

Great Teachers are Great Learners

Great Teachers Are Great Learners – AITSL from Innovation Unit on Vimeo.

I am not sure that I find keeping my mind open tiring day after day. It energizes me. Sometimes I am frustrated by the lack of time to implement the things I would like.

What has really helped me out in the past is to engage in direct, planned, structured collaboration. This year I am doing another inquiry question with a colleague through the Networks of Inquiry and Innovation. I am really excited about that. Some great collaborating will happen. Structured deadlines are critical so intentions and ideas don’t get shoved to the bottom of an ever-expanding to-do list. Not to mention a messy desk. Looking forward to structured collaboration time in the timetable, as well.