Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Goals and Objectives

I had the thrilling opportunity to watch a video clip from Stephen Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It was a cute clip of young children playing soccer, the ameoba affect in full swing. After one of the girls finally scored a goal, in the correct net, Covey came on to discuss some principles for effective organiztions.
His focused on achieving the overarching goals of that organization and how many reasons contribute to a failure to reach said goals. Ever changing goals poorly communicated goals often results in the organization not reaching its potential. Additionally, Covey mentions that when participants in an organization know the goals and buy into them, the individual is then free to meet those goals creatively. Interestingly, this point was ignored by those running our first faculty day.
We had convened by content area with the three other high schools in the district to, I suppose, get those district goals. I would suggest that the goals were simply the ones expressly stated by the State of Washington's Essental Academic Learning Requirements and Grade Level Expectations. We specifically focuses on those items that apply to writing.
Very little time was dedicated to actually creating ways to achieve these goals. Much of the talking centered around brief anectdotal stories with little substance.
It is difficult to not be negative when writing about professional development days. There is something about most of these days that just doesn't fit with what we really need. But, while I struggle to find much value in what we did today, I recognize the importance of a district wide plan. What I don't know for sure is, what do I really need to better my instruction. It seems that there is very little the Central Office has to offer in terms of making me a better instructor in the long term.
I need goals and objectives for improving my instruction. Unfortunately, I don't believe there is anyone in the Central Office who could offer me something I am not already aware of. You may interpret this as arrogance, and though I certainly am to an extent, it mostly rests on the disconnect between the classroom environment and the educational confrences these people attend. They can talk about the ideas and make them sound great, but they can't help me implement those ideas.


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