Being a Chicago native, I am a huge fan of Phil Jackson, the former Chicago Bulls basketball coach. In addition to coaching the Bulls to six championships over nine seasons, Jackson has a superb resume, including being an excellent basketball player in his own right, and coaching individuals who are now known as some of the greatest to ever play the game of basketball. Three things are for certain. Phil Jackson…
Knows the game of basketball;
Knows how to build effective teams; and
Knows how to coach them to success consistently
One of the most challenging parts of my work as a High School Administrator was coaching my teachers and staff on the importance of making decisions based on assessment data. During my initial one-on-one meetings with my teachers and staff, I would ask them, “What assessment data are you using to drive your decision-making and instruction to meet the needs of your students? Most times, I would get a blank stare, or as my nephew says, I would hear crickets. Other times I would receive a response like this: “I did not need a test to tell me; I just know my students.”
As a former MTSS coordinator, I always anxiously awaited universal screener results. I wanted to know every single student who needed support and interventions. Optimistically, I believed that once all students on my high school campus had been identified as needing additional support, we, as a school community, would quickly begin creating interventions and support plans to ensure all of our students were successful.
When I think of the word "culture," I equate it with traditions and success that live on forever through generations, celebrated, embodied, embraced, and most definitely something to be proud of. A standard definition of "cultured" is to be characterized by refined taste, manners, and good education.