I'm writing this in anticipation of a great day with many of my colleagues. Today we are working with the grade six teachers as we get set to launch our new progress reports (aka report cards) next year. It will be a day of training for the changes that lie ahead and a chance for us to share with each other as we prepare to tackle this massive job. As I drove in I was listening to my radio and as luck would have it, the DJ was spinning some of my favorite tunes from the past.
For some reason I started thinking about how music is kind of like teaching. There are songs from the past that just stand the test of time, songs from the '70s that are right at home today. There are also many new songs that I love as well, songs that are a reflection of today's society. Teaching and educational leadership also have their "blasts from the past", practices that have and will always stand the test of time. These are the practices that are the foundation of our craft. Planning, assessing, building relationships, and communicating are just a few of the "songs" that have always been important to our job. Today we still do these things, however we are continually adding new "songs" to our "playlist" of skills we bring to work with us. The impact of technology is just one example of something that has caused us to adapt and change some of our music.
This is not unique to schools though. Think about your profession. How have things changed in the past 10, 20, 30, or 40 years? What songs from the past still apply to your role? What new ones have you had to write? To be an effective leader you cannot be stagnant, a person needs be able to adapt to meet the needs of the 21st century. Is your dial stuck on the '70s station, or do you have many different years locked into your presets?
As always, comments are welcome!