Structure is something I have been working on this week. Outside of my team work (which is on PLP development, structure, and implementation) I have been reading different modules for the Organization Strand.
I have been teaching in a middle school for many years and I am going to be entering my 12 year on our 6th grade team. For 12 years, we have struggled with many challenges. As I was reading Achieving Teaming's Full Potential: A Leadership Challenge by Sally N. Clark & Donald L. Clark, Editors I was forced to reflect on my team. I had to ask myself questions like:
- How effective are we being together?
- How can we make changes in our communications so that we can elevate our quality as team members, collaborators, teachers, as well as supportive peers?
- Are we knowledgeable enough? Is there ever "enough"? What can/should we do to challenge ourselves to be more knowledgeable about our content? our student needs? technology?
In the article, it states that for a team to be highly effective, the leaders must be "...high-quality, knowledgeable and skilled leadership is essential." (pg 52) As I was reading through this article, my thinking was validated, but it left me with another question which is, "how can I/we improve our 'skilled leadership'? In grad school, UVM opened my eyes to the fact that leadership is not always the person at the head of the table (Principals/Superintendents), but it can be teachers as well as students. The article talks about the leader as being the principal, but I have to think about it in a broader way. Yes, my principal is a very important part to the puzzle and it is at his pay scale to make some decisions, but it is also at my payscale to make challenges and choices to help our team grow and strengthen.
As a goal for this coming school year, I am going to focus some of my attention on increasing the communication within my team. This is going to be a challenge, but one that needs to be tackled.