Although summer vacation is over, parents know that any car ride still carries with it the possibility of hearing the old, familiar and much dreaded plaintive cry…”How much longer till we get there?”
Moms and Dads can find many ways to quell the commotion coming from kids, but school leaders who find themselves asking themselves the very same question as the new school year begins have no source of comfort! The road stretching from September to June is long and winding…and, often, full of delays, detours and difficulties that are not even on the radar screen on Labor Day weekend! Gertrude Stein observed, “When you get there, there isn’t any there there.” True enough…or in today’s vernacular…”true dat!” If only getting “there” in schools were as easy as plugging in a GPS destination!
In the past, schools and their leaders had a clear cut sense of what they needed to do in order to achieve their goals: teach the reading, writing and math fundamentals that would allow kids entrance into either higher education or trade/technical school. Communities valued the concept and delivery of education to children. Parents operated with the belief that “the teacher is always right.” Teachers entered the profession recognizing that their salaries would be low but their respect within communities would be high.
None of that sounds like America in the 2014-2015 academic year…does it?
Schools must envision their own “end game”, balance the shrinking budgets with expanding expectations, brace for the burgeoning national conversations about tenure, accountability and performance…and do it all with less parental involvement. Explosions of alternatives to the traditional school model abound: charter, cyber, home-schools, private, parochial, etc. Each of these has a place in the large dialog about the best way to educate kids, but the sheer number of entities has ratcheted up the volume of dialog about what schools are, what they should be and what they need to do in order to be successful.
Being able to clarify the actual questions that should be posed at the beginning of a year is not always easy.
But NOT being able to ask salient questions insures the probability of confusion standing in the place of clarity and negatively impacting both performance and morale.
The ability to survey the school terrain and isolate the most pressing issues for administration and staff is a skill set that may not come naturally to leaders.
However, it is a skill that can be learned.
TregoED has an unparalleled ability to teach school leaders HOW to assess their immediate environment and, subsequently, how to prioritize the pressing questions so that all stakeholders feel validated . When school leaders discover how to harness the power of process via situation appraisal, they are better able to focus on the destination AND chart a reasonable way to reach the common goal.
In other words, the trained facilitators at TregoEd can help school districts and school leaders determine where their institutions are headed…and how to get there asap!
We may not be able to ride along on your next vacation, but we surely can help your next faculty planning session feel less like an unending car ride and more like a non-stop, first class flight!
Please reach out to us…no passport needed!