Wednesday, June 28, 2017

What Are We Aiming For?

Here's a little thought exercise I've been considering lately.

Imagine your district or region begins offering a Teacher of the Year award. A list of qualifying criteria is sent out to schools--things that indicate the dedication and impact of an excellent educator. Seeing the value of this criteria, one-third of the teachers in your building are inspired to try to win it.

How (if at all) would things change in your building?

A more interesting question to me is why would things change?

Maybe in your case this wouldn't make a difference, but I suspect many schools are aiming for something less than that excellence each day.

Every person goes through the day with a (most likely unspoken) standard of what's good or good enough in the work he or she does.

Where does it come from?

Is it important to raise that standard?

What would it take to raise it?

When we measure ourselves against this standard in our heads, are we doing it accurately?

I think we spend our time on hundreds of other things to improve schools, but real change starts with these questions. Which would you add to the list?