Envisioning the Top

What is your vision of the graduate you hope to shape?

What is your vision of the professional you will become?

Envision your students at the very top of their game.

Envision retiring at the very top of yours.

What will this look like?

How will you know when you’ve arrived?

How can you maximize every learning opportunity that you are given in service to this vision?

And what will happen if you begin the Race to the Top before you establish clear responses to questions like these?

Over the next four years, I’ll be serving as a Network Team Equivalent member for Lockport City School District. I’m also facilitating Common Core alignment and curriculum design initiatives in several other local school districts and continuing my work as the founder and lead facilitator of the WNY Young Writers’ Studio. Each of these experiences puts me in daily contact with teachers who are striving to create significant change inside the systems that they come from. The stakes are high, time feels tight, and no one knows if they’re doing it just right.

And that’s okay, because we began our work together by contemplating the questions above. Before we looked at the Common Core Learning Standards, before we considered what quality unit design would entail, before we thought about establishing inquiry teams and using assessment in new and far more meaningful ways….we began defining our top.

I’m grateful to Joanne Picone-Zocchia for helping me understand the importance of vision and teaching me how to consider unintended consequences. It has served me well in my professional life over the last several years, and it has also enabled the groups I’m working with to begin this race on solid footing. More to come…….

Photos taken by Angela Stockman with an iPad2 and modified using My Sketch.

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