I had six (scheduled) meetings today…

It has become a little bit of a running joke at the Broderick house of how many meetings I attend… and, well, I’m getting a little sensitive about it.  Teachers have meetings all day long – and you call them classes. Your meetings foster a journey of learning, of a cohesive and consistent dialogue – and so do mine… and I decided this morning when reviewing my calendar that if they don’t, then I’m walking out.  I didn’t walk out of one. I won’t bore you with each and every one, but a sample includes…

  • 8 am: Team planning with M- and K-.  ENERGIZING.  Clearly, the agenda was an ambitious goal – as I couldn’t imagine how one could get through updating Rubicon (3 cheers!) and identifying the core learning for the upcoming units. We started big – really big – asking, “what do we want kids to walk out the door knowing and doing…”  and then we whipped out those Essential Maps in Language Arts and Social Studies (happily stored on “The Hub”) and began to assign and align to units. This is where I had to exit to the next meeting, leaving them to 3 more hours of work!  I know how difficult it is to find this sacred time for sustained planning that gives the space to move from big picture, to the details of the day, and back again. BUT I IMPLORE YOU to advocate for this time and I’m happy to serve the process.
  • 9 am: LLT (Learning Leadership Team) I’m not going to lie, I was walking the fence on this one for about the first 20 minutes. Was I really going to walk out? Then we settled in… and communication was a key theme. We investigated the statistics of the Gazette readership. Dauntingly pitiful. I celebrate this moment for many reasons. One, the greater role data is beginning to serve in our school to drive good questions. Two, deep reflection about what we communicate, when we communicate, and how we communicate at Graded — which certainly gave rise to reflection about my own communication patterns. Three, the power of group thinking to solve a complicated issue – we really are smarter together.

11 am… 1:00 pm… 2:30…

  • 3:15: Individual teacher meeting contemplating leaving Graded. Sigh. This is a stressful time of year for many as the deadline for the “intent to return” draws near. I have been plagued with a poor ability to make decisions (insert Prufrock’s “analysis paralysis” here) for most of my life and recognize the quandry of many. Graded (and Brazil) is a powerful place. I don’t know how to advise someone of when it is time to move on… I appreciate the opportunity to reflect, to dream, to consider powerful paths that have the potential to feed us personally and professionally – and I am always a willing listener.  As this teacher concluded, I’m not looking for a new job, I’m building a career. I recognize and appreciate hard decisions, and respect where you land.

I include these as part of a survey of today’s meetings because they share a theme and do give rise to my own (and hopefully other’s) journey of learning.  All of them included deep collaboration – whether in planning, problem-solving or processing, and I HOPE all of them contributed to a layer of the ongoing dialogue of the organization, from the classroom to the school to the individual…

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About Colleen

Senior Fellow at The Donnell-Kay Foundation Chief Learning Designer, ReSchool Colorado

Posted on November 2, 2011, in Curriculum, Leadership, Professional Learning, Structures and Systems. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. You are setting an example I want to follow. Congrats on the blog and this whole endeavor. Love the shout out.

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