Strong Bias Towards Action
"It'll take about 3 years for systemic change," is our ususal response when school administrators ask how long to see the impact of our work in their school culture. And that's not usually what decision-makers want to hear. We need to be honest about the challenge before us. The way schools are today did not happen over night, and thus there is no 'quick-fix' pill will make that headache go away. The needed transformations will take a collective commitment, diversified co-leadership where all voices inform the solution, and are informed by the powerful changes that will begin to emerge.
In order to unfurl the transformation of your organization, you will learn to harness the CoLab's 3 Durable Practices as habits of action: Intentional Collaborating, Intentional Instruction in Disciplinary Practices, and, Intentional Critical Reflecting. And in doing so, over time they become your community's habits of mind. From this intentional and discplined perspective, we work with you to develop "strechy goals," ones that unfurl in phases across the school year.
The first phase involves helping you co-create a culture of intentional collaboration, where inquiring into your practice and looking for evidence of student learning, and using that evidence to plan instruction, becomes commonplace within the first month of school.
The second phase involves teachers transforming their weekly "PLCs" or "Data Teams" to become highly effective, and protocoled, places where teachers study data in relation to the kind of instruction that yields high-quality results. Here teachers learn to share their Inquiries Into My Practice, and, they can immediately innovate upon them. Every teacher becomes an expert by sharing the best of what they know, and, strengthening the areas of practice that are the weakest.
The third phase involves teachers, students, families and community leaders to begin tackling bigger questions about what is the role of schooling within the larger community where the school is located. Here you learn how to transform your school into an innovation space for community-members to bring problems they are facing in order to develop locally-driven innovations to solve those problems.
And you already know that the most important phase of any journey, is to take action. It's really up to you.