This academic year is all about change. A change in leadership slowly leading to different ways of doing things, including redefining our school mission and vision. A physical change to our learning environment to combine spaces leading to learners from different classes learning together in a hub. The expansion of the learning hub model leading to a change in our collaborative team. We will also be revisiting our planning process and our school scope and sequence. Most of these changes excite me, though we have had a few teething problems in our new team.
One of the biggest challenges has been changing our routines. Being part of an early years environment, we wanted to ensure we were valuing play. However, I felt like most days we were scrambling to meet our objectives. Our response was to make changes to what we were doing to make each day work, and I began to feel like all I was doing was chasing my tail. I felt like we had dismissed routines that had worked previously and replaced it with something that did not flow.
I decided to discuss this with my colleagues. Those who worked alongside me last year, felt the same way. We decided to revert back to our timetable as it was at the end of last year. As we reverted to this timetable, I explained what we did during each part of the day, and how we did it.
Then, several times in the course of a week, I had the opportunity to see Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle in a variety of contexts. First, through developing an essential agreement as a staff, and then when reading Taryn Bond Clegg’s (@makingoodhumans) post ‘Getting Parents Onboard.’ It inspired me enough to watch this Ted Talk.
I realized that we had spent so much time figuring out what to teach and how to teach it, that I had not explained why our timetable worked for us, or why we had made the decisions we had made in the past.
To an outsider looking in, it might look like we do not honor play because our morning has a strong literacy focus. However, we found that we needed this focus to meet our academic standards and we made sure that as much as possible, we provided a variety of fun learning experiences and gave learners choice. An outsider looking in might think that we did not value mathematics. Throughout the year, we tried many models and found that through math talks, a variety of games and some guided small group learning, our program worked. By the end of the year we felt we had found a balance between learning through play, developing social and self management skills, and mastering the required academic skills.
Going forward, I am going to not only honor learners, I am also going to honor the past. Change does not have to mean throwing everything out. Change and innovation should come about with a common understanding of purpose and frequent opportunities to reflect.
Bond Clegg, T. (2018, September 15). Making Good Humans. Retrieved September 16, 2018, from https://makinggoodhumans.wordpress.com/
Start with why — how great leaders inspire action | Simon Sinek | TEDxPugetSound. (2009, September 28). Retrieved September 16, 2018, from https://youtu.be/u4ZoJKF_VuA
Villis, A. (n.d.). First Wealth’s “Why” Day – The Golden Circle. Retrieved September 16, 2018, from https://blog.firstwealth.co.uk/first-wealth-why-day-simon-sinek-golden-circle