Thursday, July 12, 2018

Organization of ideas... With a given planner

Sometimes you are presented with a new tool, a new way to do something, framework, or organizer that you must use.  It is the movement, different than what you are used to, but this is not optional, so you must figure out how to use it.  There are a few different paths one can take.  Choose wisely:



Path 1 - Complain, stare, ask questions or make comments like; "what is the point of this?"  "How is this going to help me?"  "This makes no sense, it is too much, and this will never work"

Path 2- Become completely overwhelmed and push it on to someone else.  This might involve you staring at it and working individually for a minute, but in the end just basically spinning your wheels.

Path 3 - (My chosen path) Starts like path 1 and path 2.  You become overwhelmed, want to say many things, stare for no more than 5 minutes and realize...

Find a partner or 2, not to work with, but to talk out loud too.  They don't necessarily need to respond, facilitate, question, or anything.  They are just there to hear you and you hear them.  I did use the word hear on purpose.  They are not really listening, which is totally fine and the point.  This is so you don't sound ridiculous or seem uncomfortable talking out loud to yourself.

You point and click, go back and forth, maybe complain a little to your partner about the length, the format, wishing it were printed up, etc.  Although most of your complaining would not really help, it does make you feel good for a moment.


You look at a provided sample which gives a little insight.  You look at suggested "evidence" or other sentence starters to give you another push.  You type a word on this page, a sentence on that, totally not connected, which at this point is still fine.  You say out loud to now partners, "what about this!"  They hear you, nod with a smile or say in some sort of way, "sure... go for it".


Two minutes later you have settled on one idea, one thing to get you going, but what you have really done is created a path to move forward.  An idea builds an idea, builds an idea.

You then find a facilitator of this work and you spit out over a 2-4 minute dialogue from start to finish about what you are thinking, how it might work together, and how you will set it up.  You are definitive, THIS IS THE WAY, THE ONLY WAY, there is no deviation in your voice from this!

Pardon my love for analogies below:



Then the facilitator asks 2-3 questions for clarification.... *poof* and you are... REALING... 

You are knocked upside your head... not down and out, but definitely woozy.  You hear the bell! Thank goodness... Your glad because you immediately needed that wake up jab.  It reminded you that this was going to go all 12 rounds, but you are prepared. You have done so much training, you want to push yourself.   


You don't think about it for the next 8-10 hours.  You wake up early and in your head is the outline of the perfect plan of action to use.  You think it will help get all your "ideas" that were grown from a different space (multiple meetings before this one with stakeholders) to fit into a new framework you are given.


The framework is not going to stop you from doing anything, but allow you to not worry about how and where you are going to store all your information.

Besides, that was the problem that your meeting with the stakeholders produced anyways.  You have posters and posters of sharpie and not much more.  Stakeholder meetings are great at creating ideas, not so great at organizing them.  That is done individually or in small groups to be tweaked by a larger group once a strong rough copy is done.

I choose path 3, it allows for me to be human, blame people for giving me more work (HA), and some processing time.  All the while still working next to colleagues and getting a good start on how to organize "ideas" to move forward with plans.  Plans are what we aim to start any school year with.  From plans come monitoring, observing, and feedback with eventual growth.  The evaluation should then be a celebration of the work, not a damnation of the situation. 

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