As educational leaders, every step toward change can feel like a heavy lift. The stakeholders are many: educators, students, families, community, and board members. Buy-in from each constituency is required for improvement strategies to have impact, but which improvement strategy should you focus on with each precious interaction? There is never enough time.
If you want change, you have to focus on what will make whatever you or anyone else in your organization is working on 10 percent better.
Over time, the returns are exponential, but in the immediate term, this simple technique makes immediate improvement doable.
Each week, I take this time to reflect and schedule my action steps. I send emails and calendar invites, so these are not just passing ideas, but commitments to improvements that I have prioritized.
Why be grateful? Because your team is awesome, and you should let them know that. The work we do is hard, but as educators we know the life-changing impact of a genuine kind word.
At ThinkCERCA, this dedicated time of reflection is on every team member’s calendar. Here are five reasons why:
This works well for every member of your organization (including students!) and gives those closest to the problems ownership over solving them.
Like everything else in an educational organization, put it in the calendar if you value it.
Eileen taught English for 15 years and was the founding English Department Chair at Walter Payton College Prep as well as the author of 360 Degrees of Text (NCTE, 2011).
As the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for over 100 of Chicago’s highest performing schools, Eileen became passionate about the role technology could play in education in the 21st century and left CPS in 2012 to develop ThinkCERCA to help all students achieve career and college readiness. ThinkCERCA is one of the top Literacy Courseware Challenge winners (Gates Foundation).