To Coordinate: bring the different elements of (a complex activity or organization) into a relationship that will ensure efficiency or harmony. (Oxford Dictionary)
The educational landscape is changing rapidly, and student behavior is at or near the top of the list of concerns. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 84% of schools report a negative impact on student behavioral development due to the pandemic, and 87% report a negative impact on students’ socio-emotional development (NCES, 2022).
Educators are painfully familiar with having their work and priorities shifted at the will of new legislation and policies. State board educations establish state standards, federal and state policies guide requirements, and local district leadership establishes procedures for what and how teachers are required to teach. It's up to principals and campus instructional leaders to be a bridge for the teachers in understanding the purpose and rationale behind these policies and how they align with or influence your school goals.
When you ask an educator how to make sure Tier 1 curriculum and instruction are meeting the needs of all learners, their first response may be that they need new curriculum and/or professional development on instructional strategies. But will this really fix the problem?
In my middle school classroom, the introduction of a group project brought out mixed feelings from students. Many students loved being able to pick their groups and hated it when I assigned groups, while other students wanted to bypass the teamwork altogether.
When someone considers preparing a wonderful Thanksgiving meal, they can’t simply start cooking. They gather recipes, inventory their pantry, and create a timeline to tackle the multiple simultaneous efforts that will occur on preparation day. Furthermore, a novice cook will have a very different knowledge base than someone who has been cooking for their kids and grandkids for thirty years. We all come to such a project with a similar end goal; a lovely meal surrounded by happy stuffed friends and family. Much like cooking, schools come to Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports (MTSS) from all different places.
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.
Throughout my work as a teacher and then for years in educational technology, eventually, as the Vice President of Customer Success in the education division for a Fortune 500 education company, I lived and breathed education pilots and implementations for many years. I would find myself debriefing with my colleagues daily, discussing how we could improve pilots and implementations around the country. During these years, I trained my team, primarily comprised of former classroom teachers, to look deeply at each district’s and school’s protocols utilized during implementation.
As administrators and educational leaders, our intention is always to create and carry out well-developed goals for the upcoming year. We don’t just want to provide opportunities for our staff; we want to engage them, support them, and challenge them while still focusing on equity and accountability.
Meeting (meet·ing | \ ˈmē-tiŋ): An act or process of coming together, first used in the 14th century. (Merriam-Webster,n.d.)