Last week, I began sharing some of the thinking and work that I’m doing relevant to Race to the Top. As I began facilitating sessions with teachers and administrators last spring, my entry point wasn’t curriculum, instruction, or assessment. It was mind-set.
- First, we defined our vision of the graduate that we hoped to shape and our vision of the teachers we hoped to become as well.
- Then, we tried to imagine what could happen if we leveraged the opportunities inherent in RTTT in service to this vision rather than sacrificing our vision to a mandate.
- Finally, we considered school culture, and we thought about the ways in which our expertise and passion might limit us.
- The bottom line is this: creating the conditions that empower reform is critical to doing this work well.
And I have a lot to learn.
What happened once our visioning work was done?
We sized up the task before us and began to strategically plan. This looked a little bit different in each of the districts I’m working in, but one thing remains the same: the vision we created is on the table every time I design, work, reflect, or set goals with others.
Most of our first efforts involved unwrapping standards and designing the first drafts of CCLS units. As this phase of the work winds down, I’m returning people to the vision they began with.
“This is the portrait of the graduate you wanted to shape,” I’m reminding them. “This is teacher you want to become.”
“How did completing this work move you closer to that vision? Where did it pull you off course?”
“How can we create better alignment between our vision, our actions, and the work that we do as we continue moving forward?”
What do we need to study?
What needs to be revised?