One of the feelings that never leaves you when you work in a school, is the constant forward motion. We are always moving in a direction, and it is this direction that can often unsettle us. How do we decide where to point ourselves, where to direct our limited time and mental energies, and are we able to control this direction? I think that the myriad possibilities that confront us in our busy school lives tend to confuse the issue; there are multiple points to focus on, so which do you choose? It seems that we need to focus our energies on a couple of our core values & beliefs and incorporate associated goals on the journey. This may simplify our search for direction. For example, if the importance of a culture of inclusivity is one of your core beliefs, use this to create the context for the other goals – the many important aspects of your students’ education that you want to cultivate, such as increasing inquiry based learning in your classroom/s. An example could be addressing inquiry based pedagogical change within the context of developing a more inclusive classroom by focusing on the emphasis of the student’s voice in the classroom. It is a question of sorting big ideas and smaller, related ideas and playing with the pieces to see how they could potentially fit together – the precursor to a plan.
This sounds dangerously like the start of a strategic, action plan. Despite the irony of the name ‘action plan’ for a species of document that, at least in my experience, is often defined more by dusty, shelved, inaction, than active forward movement, I am interested in the link between values/beliefs and goals in the framework for action and will come back to this over the summer. The photo shows the value of defining clearly where you want to be, at the end of your action. It is in fact, where I am heading tomorrow morning. It’s good to have a destination. It’s even better to have one that’s worth the trip.