As educators we constantly are talking about the idea of FAIL = First Attempt in Learning, and that being Life Long Learners is the goal rather than regurgitating information for a test, and the need for authentic learning and authentic audiences and... You can fill in this litany with your own school language, motto, etc. But how often do we as the adults fully model ALL that we talk about? I know that I don't. I am great at sharing my learning. And I am always giving pep-talks to the students about taking risks and seeing what they can learn from the fails. But publicly calling attention to my own fails? Not very often at all. So this recent conversation has allowed me to revisit the past two weeks through a different lens.
There are a number of projects in various states of "done". This is certainly not the ideal because my office is a direct support to the teachers. If I am not ensuring full support to them in the classroom, will they feel that I care? That I deliver on what I say? That the deadlines I impose matter? My initial answer to all of those questions is a resounding "NO!" I am frantic about meeting deadlines. It is how I can show support to the teachers, right? Well, perhaps not. It is one way, but not the only way.
So, with five significant projects all still "in progress", I am going to hit the ground Monday with a new plan. I am reassessing what the data tells me about the projects that aren't yet done. I am going to have more conversations with those involved in completing the projects as well as those affected by the projects. It might be that I have the priority list all wrong. There might be some road-blocks that haven't been shared with me affecting some of the projects.
If I don't ask, I won't know! And with more information, I can do a number of things. I can:
1. readjust my expectations
2. more clearly communicate with faculty, students, and parents
3. find new/different solutions to help move the projects along
All of this will be helpful, and it models the idea of iterating, responding to setbacks and adjusting. Flexibility and patience are challenging for me when I want to give the teachers what they want to do their jobs. But these past two weeks are a reminder to me that I never stop learning and I need to continue to work on "walking the walk".