Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Silo Initiatives in Education

A few days ago, I watched a video resignation by a teacher, who lamented the number of initiatives that got in the way of her teaching. I used to feel just as she did about the tons of new initiatives that teachers are faced with today. However, most of these initiatives have very valid reasons for their existence. Unfortunately, most districts don’t handle the roll out of initiative very well. Case in point - many technology "initiatives". Instead, they introduce each one as its own initiative and don’t weave the new ones together with the existing initiatives. So, educators in the trenches see each as its own initiative instead of seeing how one can help the other. It’s the whole silo mentality. 

Why not make the instructional coach the master seamstress or tailor? Instructional coaches often have a big picture view of the district that no one else has – from both views – administration and teacher. If the coach position is truly that of a coach, it puts them in a position of strength. They can do the weaving of the initiatives and show how they support each other.They can be the one who helps a teacher to see that using digital tools for formative assessment makes sense. They can be the person who, in consulting with a teacher before a lesson, makes the connection between literacy strategies and technology.

The Common Core is one of those silo initiatives, and technology is a PERFECT fit!

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