One of the things that makes me laugh out loud is when folks say, “Oh I would love to be a teacher, all that vacation and fun with the kids sounds so wonderful!” (Don’t you just want to gag and roll your eyes at the same time? I do!)
Why is that statement so gag-inducing? BECAUSE TEACHING IS VERY HARD WORK AND ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE LONGTERM AND CONTINUE TO FIND JOY IN THE WORK!
Now I tend to think that teaching is hard, FUN work, but sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who thinks of it as fun. I wonder if sometimes we’ve lost our way. Or lost our oomph.
I worry about educators who are going through the motions, who, as they say, “teach the same year 33 times” – no innovation, no reflection, no adjustment…no joy or oomph. I don’t think that because you’ve lost your way you can’t find your way back, but sometimes getting back on track and remembering our purpose takes some work. The work is not just spent on what I’m FEELING, but what I’m PRODUCING. In other words – my success as a teacher starts with my attitude but ends with my performance.
When I work to coach educators who have lost their way in their school or on their team or in their office, I oftentimes start with the FACTS so that we don’t get mired in the emotion of it all (though that is an important part and next step to re-committing to one’s purpose).
I wanted to share with you the questions (they’re pretty technical, but so is teaching) that I usually start with. Once I’ve identified the baseline data with a client, oftentimes they realize that the problem they THOUGHT they had wasn’t really the problem or the problem that they thought they had wasn’t actually as severe as they originally thought.
So, whether you think you’ve lost your way or whether you’re raring to go, you can use these guiding questions to help you reflect on the results of your passion or purpose! Check ‘em out:
- What grade level has the most clearly defined and executed model? How do you know that they are faithful to their model?
- What grade level has the farthest to grow in defining and executing a plan of action for Tiers I, II, III? Why have they not progressed in the past in following a plan?
- What grade levels are on their way, but need support in further refining their model?
- Does your support staff know their role in providing instruction for students or support for the classroom teachers or specialists?
- How do you currently match materials with the needs of students?
- What is your success rate with “exiting” students from intervention? Is it a life sentence once they are intervention candidates?
- What work needs to be done with the classroom teachers so that they can maximize their Tier I instruction, therefore reducing the number of students receiving additional instructional support?
- What materials are you having the most success with? What aspects of the model are you having the most success with? Are there stakeholders who are not currently participating in differentiating instruction, but could be tapped to provide small group instruction?
- What is your expectation, from a leadership perspective, about the growth of the students receiving Tier II and III instruction? How do you know that they need to be exited?
Did one particular question stick with you?
Come over to my facebook page (www.facebook.com/jacksonconsulting) and post the question on the wall and see what others think about it!