This is true with schools, too. Our destination should be more than just the work we do: taking attendance, direct instruction, providing practice, reviewing and assessing work, providing feedback, etc. Why are we bothering to do this work? For that matter, how do we know this is the right work to do?
A fundamental and critical component for the success of any large-scale school change effort is the thoughtful creation, and formal acceptance, of a shared vision for that effort. Education for what? Why bother? A vision tells us what our desire outcome is, and a shared vision has a lot of buy-in, because a large cross-section of people connected to the school were involved in creating it.
The series of posts linked below both explores the need for having a shared vision, as well as describes an easy to implement process for working with a stakeholder group to create your own shared vision.
- The Need For a Shared Vision
- Building a Shared Vision Part 1: Where To Begin?
- Building a Shared Vision Part 2: Where Will They Be?
- Building a Shared Vision Part 3: How Will We Get There?
- Shared Visioning in Action
I like this process enormously.
I like it because it is quick and dirty: it can be accomplished in one or two afternoon or evening meetings. And I like it because it gets right to the crux of the matter: what is our preferred future for the children we care about and what do they need to be doing right now so they can get there?
I know this process is effective, because it was introduced early in the implementation of MLTI and I have used with a variety of schools and districts across the country since.