To Do List (Leading Well Reflections) #sol19
June 24, 2019
I read an article yesterday about publishing your To-Do-List on Instagram. It was by a social media expert #notme and a self-made entrepreneur #alsonotme, but as many things I read it started me thinking about public agendas. Her points were as I interpret them were that many people ask her how she manages her time and what she does each day, publicly stating her agenda keeps her own track and accountable. Her writing encouraged me to consider the idea of public agendas.
Last week in our wrap-up/planning meeting with our literacy leadership, the idea of what the role of the literacy specialist/reading specialist/literacy coach was explored. We broke up into two groups of 6 or so each. First we wrote what came to mind when we thought of the role. Next we silently sorted our ideas, talked them through, prioritized, and then gallery walked each group’s considering. At first look, the organization, areas, and even word choice between the groups seems disparate. One group lead with intervention and the other group lead with data. As we talked through each, they began to seem like just different doors to the same route.
This reflecting, prioritizing and discussion drove so many deep thoughts to the surface, the idea of student-centered work, the role of data in driving our work agenda, and ultimately how different the shape of that work can be from environment to environment, dependent on so many things. Ultimately, the large check boxes were similar; the use of data, the student at the center, the coordination of intervention, resources management, and professional development in all its possibilities. Today as I read in Leading Well, I was struck again about how the shift from a good learning community to a great learning community can seem easier on the surface, but can pose so many roadblocks to success as we consider changing things that seem inherently successful.
Here I return to the idea of a public agenda: a public agenda for the literacy coach in whatever name feels comfortable, the learning community of the school, and the learning community of the district. The agenda’s may seem clearer than they actually are, often there are more than one, and motive and actions may be misinterpreted depending on the stakeholders. My seemingly loose agenda ripples through my school, my work, and my colleagues to varying degrees. In that statement, it seems to give my public agenda a crushing amount of wait. However, I want to continue to view my work, my learning in the same context I wish the students to view theirs. We are moving forward. We are trying things. Things are going to be messy. Plans can change.
I’m an incessant list maker, note taker, crosser offer. Sometimes my lists are just thought dumping- all those things that I hope to finish and empty from my consciousness. Occasionally this is success, often it just leads to more lists, thinking, and to-dos. In my summer half-life, I am much more inefficient with these lists seeing at least more time stretching out before me. Leading Well causes me to desire to increase my intentionality, my collaboration, my movement toward a shared vision. All the things I strove for before, but now perhaps with a tighter plan.
So today my list shifted into sharper focus. My notes from last week, reflected upon today will develop into a potential plan. This week I’ll consider how to create an agenda for my work that seems more like shared work. In the next month, I read more, write more and think more about that public agenda and what goals it reveals.