I received an email from a colleague today titled "Input". She was emailing a group of her peers, asking for input regarding a committee she was serving on, discussing "strategic abandonment". Interesting term, right? Strategic Abandonment. The district is looking for input from administrators, inquiring what can be taken off the plate. We all agree the plate is full and after some deliberation, my colleagues and I were able to come up with a short list of things we recommended for strategic abandonment. It was more difficult that it originally sounded.
As the day went on, this term of, strategic abandonment has stuck with me. It reminded me of the leadership meeting I had last week, where we discussed ideas and potential changes for next year. It reminded me of the after school meeting with our AVID site team, where we discussed this year's goals, our progress towards them and how we will continue to find success in newly written goals for next year. As we reflected, brainstormed and started making plans for next year, not once did I consider asking about strategic abandonment or what we should leave behind.
I and we (public school in general) am/are guilty for adding to the already full plate without considering what can be abandoned. It is a question worth asking. I would like to think that everything we are doing has a purpose, an intention and links back to our why, but that is what I think. Many of the "things" "we are doing" are really "things" the teachers are doing. I'm interested in knowing what our teachers feel needs to continue and what may need to be strategically abandoned.
Will new things be added to the plate for next year? Yes. It's education. If we are not changing we are standing still and if we are standing still, we are getting passed by. No one has time to get passed by, but as a general rule, for each new thing added or change, something else needs to go...right? If the plate is already full and we add without taking away, the plate is not going to hold. It is going to break. Our teachers are to valuable and dedicate to be broken.
As the year ends, join me in asking teachers about what we can strategically abandon. Seek their input, allow their voices to be heard and let's agree that for each new thing we add to the plate, we identify what will be taken away. Will it be easy? No way. Will it be worth it? I bet it will. Are you courageous enough to ask the question you may not want to hear the answer to? It may be difficult to hear, but success does not come easy.
Let's make the hard choices together! I look forward to sharing what we are going to strategically abandon and I look forward to hearing what ends up sliding off your plate.
What was your moment today?
Labels: #oneword, 2016, choice, Moment, strategic abandonment, teachers, voice