Recently I returned from the College and Career Readiness Networking conference, the same one that Tom has been live-blogging from his sessions. One of my main focuses was on the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) and mentoring two colleagues in their learning of the LDC. In the sessions that I attended around implementation across disciplines, buildings, and districts, I kept hearing these basic ideas circulate.
Have students read. Provide teachers the tools for successful. Make sure you have a plan, a vision, and a common language.
Now, if you have dabbled in LDC either through a workshop, a district rollout, or in reading this blog, you’re aware that LDC is huge in its pieces, protocols, and writing. For some, that hugeness is very doable, but from the experts in the sessions, it sounded like implementation needs to be smaller in scale for many of the teachers. As I listened, I began to connect this idea with my past learning that “I should be committed to the growth of all others” from the Center for Strengthening Teachers framework.
True, I do not have an official position around literacy or coaching. I am not a district coach. I am not a principal. I am not a district official. I do not have a grant awarded for implementation. While I still see a tension and unresolved next step between successful implementation and my leadership position, I know that this work around literacy is necessary. If I am committed to the growth of my fellow teacher then at some point I cannot wait to be asked to lead or for “the call”. To this end, I find it reasonable to take the advised small step from #CCRS14 session to push myself and fellow colleagues to have students read and interact with a text.
- Start with a goal for the teachers and adults in the community.
- Provide supports through collegial groups to reach the goal.
- Provide explanation and understanding for all people involved around why this goal and why now.
- Here’s the key, at least to me: expect to fail but don’t accept failure.
Right now, I’m kicking around the suggestions to my new admin team. We could implement observations and surveys with our teachers around their needs and our assessments of Common Core needs. Then, set a goal based upon that information. Repeatedly, I heard that just having students reading in class at least 1x a week has made a difference for the LDC students. This may be a lofty goal, but I think making sure there is “some” expectation will be the necessary component for success. I’m more apt to lean towards collecting information and then assessing a goal/plan. For the rest of my summer, I’m continuing to seek out information about how systems successfully implement change and new practices. What sources have you read about making change? What best practices has your experience been?