Sunday, November 24, 2013

What I (try to) do to ask staff what school is for? #SAVMP

I hope that the title caught your eye.  I have been thinking about this question for over a week now and have come to this realization.  I can do nearly anything with staff but ultimately it is about what the individual staff members do after I meet with them or provide them with information that is of most importance.  Here is a list of some of the things I do with staff.

  • Face to face meetings (these can happen anywhere- classroom, office, lounge, hallway)
  • Weekly grade level meetings
  • Building Leadership Team (BLT) meetings
  • Response to Intervention (RtI) Leadership Team meetings
  • RtI Wednesday meetings
  • Staff meetings
  • Weekly "nuts and bolts" email
I purposefully put the above in the order in which I think I have the best opportunity to really ask the "What is school for?" question and really listen to the responses.  Face to face meetings are a time that it is just the staff member and me, no distractions, just a chance to talk about all things school.  My weekly "nuts and bolts" (see my latest example here) are sent to all staff, and some of my PLN in other schools, but I don't know how many actually read what I share.  There isn't a test as a follow up, nor do I think that there should be.  I use this email to take care of housekeeping items and to share thought-provoking messages.  If I receive an email response or a request to meet, that's great.  If not, there will be another nuts and bolts email the following week.
So, did I answer the question?  I think I did in a round about way, but ultimately, it is the professional responsibility of each individual staff member to determine what school is for, with guidance and suggestions from the students, their colleagues, and me.  What do I think school is for?  School is the opportunity to grow all students and staff members academically and behaviorally every day using a variety of learning activities.  What do you think school is for?