Putting FACES on the Data: What Leaders and Teachers Do!
After a Professional Learning session this week, I worried about
1. those leaders and teachers who didn’t come;
2. those leaders and teachers who didn’t stay;
3. those leaders and teachers who came only to “show the flag”, and then left. I wondered when they committed to system and school improvement on behalf of all students, who set expectations, made demands for and monitored the attendance of school leaders and teachers with their school teams at PL sessions? I noticed again this week that the teams with few leaders and teachers present, or with the leaders and teachers who left, were left floundering.
I worried again this week about those people at every organizational level who apparently don’t take responsibility and accountability for the downward trajectory of the results in their Systems. Consciously or unconsciously opted out? The work of system and school improvement is too hard to have anyone missing-in- action. They do not know the FACES of their learners. They are definitely not worrying about them like I am and have been. Years of improvement work done in some jurisdictions has made no or little difference. Worse yet, many schools - thus hundreds of students are going backwards in their systems.
I worried that many leaders really don’t know how much effort and commitment it takes to turn around a system/school in trouble. No first-order changes are good enough – you know, the technical ones like: paint the buildings, put in new furniture, change the role descriptions and position titles, buy new technology, restructure, etc. It takes the energy and commitment to move to second-order change to succeed. That is, those changes that demand proven, high-impact classroom practices that increase student achievement and that empower strategic leadership. In other words, knowing the details of system and school improvement, implementing them and monitoring the evidence of improvement.
I worry about those systems. It is especially perplexing to me that the neighbouring jurisdiction, with the same kids, from the same neighbourhoods, is working with me on a structured, systematic plan for improvement, implementing the 14 Parameters (Sharratt & Fullan, 2009, 2013) courageously, diligently and deeply - and their results are soaring in the same amount of time.
What IS the answer? It’s not that easy, the answer inconveniently is both simple and complex (‘simplexity’). It involves knowing and paying close attention to the execution of every nuance of the 14 Parameters of system and school improvement. The 14 work together, in concert, with the impact focusing concern on increasing all students’ growth and achievement.
The 14 Parameters are described in the attached article.
We know and have demonstrated that it is possible to make real progress and raise performance and achievement using the 14 Parameters as a lens over improvement. “Where educational systems have developed their collective capacity and worked collaboratively, the achievement of students has increased more than in schools that have worked individually” (Sharratt & Fullan, 2009, 2012, 2022). How can we not choose to commit to an improvement plan that works?
Putting ‘FACES on the Data’ with CLARITY is our ‘Forever Work’!
Dr. Lyn Sharratt, 2023