1. George,

    This is the post that no administrator with a new initiative wants to to see, but must read and consider. Especially important is the point you make about discussing what can be taken off the plate, or often more possible – what can be made more efficient. For example, all of the schools that are going 1:1, or moving toward that environment, must face this question in the area of professional development and ensuring effective of instructional practices that are enhanced by the technology. This can be a major paradigm shift for many teachers and will certainly take time. Hopefully, the same school is taking advantage of how being a 1:1 school can eventually make some things more efficient, thus freeing up time for the teacher. I hope in 1:1 schools teachers are no longer spending 15 minutes a day at the copier printing packets. Often times, there may be more efficient ways to assess learning and record that data, I.e. student information systems that can seamlessly interact with online assessment applications. Your point is an excellent one that we cannot simply say there is not enough time to improve our practice, but it is equally important for it to be clear how the administration is supporting that need.
    Great post, you are making me think on a Saturday!

    • georgecouros

      Thanks Jason 🙂 I know we are moving ahead with some initiatives in our division and I think that it is essential to think about how we communicate this so the important work gets done. If we pull together, it is amazing what we can do. Getting everyone to join in though is a lot easier said than done and I think that falls on the shoulders of leaders first.

  2. Hey George,

    Great post, again. I think that it is inevitable that at various points we will come across staff who don't agree with the priorities. What to do? Well, I guess that depends on your approach. I think we are too quick to label those folks as "resisters" — an oversimple generalization that doesn't seek to find out where they are coming from in their thinking. I agree with you — it comes to communication. We need to be prepared to approach setting priorities as a team. I can't tell my staff, "these are the priorities" and assume that everyone is going to jump on board. Listening to those who disagree will often provide new insights that weren't part of my initial thinking. Ideally, when the priorities are set by the team, there is going to be more participation and commitment. Asking everyone to check their assumptions (for instance, regarding how much time the learning will take), and modelling checking our own assumptions, might create an environment where more people are willing to try something new.

    Just my thoughts – thanks for the post.


  3. Hatcherelli

    Great post, George. So true, as administrators we definitely need to examine our priorities. Once priorities are established, it becomes much easier to decide how to spend one's time. For me, like you, relationships, family, and health are high priority.
    When someone tells me that they don't have enough time to exercise, I ask them if they were to get paid $100 for every workout…could they find time then? The answer is usually yes, to which I reply, "then you have time now…and your health is worth way more than 100 bucks a day"
    Thanks for the words, George. As always, you hit the nail on the head and wrote exactly what I was thinking.

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  5. Maureen Schlemko

    Hi George!

    The old excuse…time! When a school/district has a strong mission/vision then it is much easier to decide what important and what is a priority. Everything a school does must align with the mission/vision and when it's a shared vision with stakeholders then it is much easier to move forward.

    thanks for the post!

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