The topic this month is challenges. I’d like to share some of the challenges that I’ve seen and how we may look at approaching these challenges.
I know that as principal of an elementary building, teachers would share with me their challenges to meet all students’ needs. Teachers that I worked with were enthusiastic, hard working, and knowledgeable. Teachers came to work each day wanting to do their best to meet student’s needs. Some of the challenges included changing their current curriculum to meet Common Core standards in the required areas. The next challenge was to conduct inclusionary practice in your every day practice. We also participated in professional learning communities (PLC). In order to conduct PLC’s with fidelity, one must set time to plan with all the necessary teachers so that you are on the same page. Another system that needed to be in place was Response to Intervention (RTI). RTI allowed children to meet their goals dependent on what type of level of service was needed. Within the RTI program, interventions need to take place each and every day. This may be a challenge for scheduling, planning and enough teacher support for interventions to be successful. Surrounding PLC, RTI and full inclusion was the importance of assessments. Teams used data to drive their instruction. Planning assessments, executing assessments, and analyzing assessments within your grade level team was necessary. This component of learning needed to be included in your daily practice.
Change is necessary and always occurring in the education world, but how to adjust to each and every change can determine the difference between making significant progress versus becoming scattered, not focused or overwhelmed. One can not do everything at once and do it well, but one can approach a new system by being successful one step at a time. I think as leaders we need to be aware of this delicate balance and determine priorities as well as put support systems in place for all team members to be successful in meeting each student’s needs.
The next post I would like to include the wisdom from Stephen Covey on how to determine priorities. This wisdom is not only effective in the business world but can work well in the education field.