The Educator's PLN

The personal learning network for educators


My previous post (Leadership FOR Confidence) emphasized that leaders need to balance the hard and the soft – the structure and the soul – of leadership.  Too much hard and we end up pushing at all costs; too much soft and we feel great about going nowhere.  This is especially true when we consider implementing a new practice, policy, or routine. 

Whenever something new is being implemented, it is important to make sure that the appropriate support is in place.  Over my career I have seen many new initiatives; some have come and gone, while others have remained.  The difference between the ones that last and ones that fade away is typically not about the quality of the idea itself.  I have seen more than my share of innovative,award-winning, research-validated practices shelved in favor of something else.  If I have learned anything about implementing something new, it is this:

Effective practices are only as good as the systems designed to support the teachers who use them.

Practices are the things we do directly with our students; Systems are the necessary structures and routines put in place to support the teachers implementing the new practice.  The lack of a system – a support structure – for teachers is often the reason why so many research-validated practices fade over time or don’t get off the ground at all.  We don’t often think this way since it’s much easier to blame the practice or program.

Systems create predictability for teachers by taking the guess-work out of what to do, how to do it, and when the next step is required.  Without systems, teachers will feel as though their implementation is happening in isolation.  This is why, as leaders, we are responsible for establishing these systems that show teachers that there is a routine around the new practice we are establishing; this builds their confidence – the expectation of success – because they know they are not alone.

Systems can also account for scenarios where things don’t go exactly as planned.  If we can predict some possible errors in implementation we can plan for our most likely responses. If, for example, a teacher is implementing a practice of not reducing scores for late work, the system developed would identify a replacement routine – what to do instead, how someone else (administrator) can assist, and how everyone accesses support.

As leaders, we can make sure that no one gets left unsupported by establishing systems that support the implementation and sustained use of the best practices for our students.

 

(Originally posted on February 1, 2011 at http://tomschimmer.com/)

Views: 71

Comment

You need to be a member of The Educator's PLN to add comments!

Join The Educator's PLN

About

Thomas Whitby created this Ning Network.

Latest Activity

Shawn Mitchell replied to Katherine Maloney's discussion Leveraging the Potential of Personal Learning Networks for Teacher Professional Development - Doctoral Research Study
"In a time of exponential change, affordable and high-quality professional development for teachers is an urgent need that the Private Learning Network (PLN) promises to fulfill. The purpose of this qualitative case is to (a) examine, understand, and…"
Aug 11
Alexander Loew updated their profile
Jun 17
Shawn Mitchell replied to Janet Wilkins's discussion Essay Writing Structure!
"Essay writing is considered to be one of the most important things when it comes to writing skills, and so many students struggle with it. It’s hard for them to understand the basic essay writing structure and to help them with that, the…"
May 28
Shawn Mitchell replied to Tata Nech's discussion Hey People
"i hope you are good in this time. and you can learn new things about tech & e-learning and too many things. And i want to read more blogs about it."
May 7
Shawn Mitchell replied to George Danke's discussion Integration with The Latest Technology in Education Field
"Condition is worse due to Covid we cannot go anywhere and even universities and research labs are closed. Hope the situation will be normal soon. Then we can think about something else"
Apr 29
Tata Nech posted a blog post

More Than a Sport: A Look at Scootering’s Evolution

Too many people do not have a clear idea about what is a Scooter; and much less than there is a sport based on it. Besides, it is a sport that has evolved a lot from its beginning, but if you do not know too much about the sport is hard to see it as more than a kid game.However, this sport is more than just kids and young people making scooter tricks in a square; scootering is a kind of culture and a lifestyle that has more than 20 years growing to become what it is today.For this reason, we…See More
Apr 24
Shawn Mitchell replied to Rob Schoonveld's discussion Twitter vs Edupln
"My preference is this website is best. Twitter is used for social purpose and EDUPLN is used for professional discussion which you cannot discuss on social platforms."
Apr 14
Shawn Mitchell replied to Shanshan Ma's discussion Personalized learning network and social media
"Hi, There are too many platforms of social media and the member of those platform discuss so many things and participate. So it depends only on you where do you want to discuss."
Apr 14

Events

© 2021   Created by Thomas Whitby.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service