Monday, October 31, 2011

A Renewed Approach to Walkthroughs in 2011-12

If last year is anything like the current school year, you are most likely swamped with a host of new priorities impacting your daily schedule. Attempting to see the benefits of your campus H.E.A.T./H.E.A.R.T. walkthroughs may not become immediately obvious, but over time, change will happen. And for the better!

We all want to see results quickly (me included), but sometimes, it just takes time. The website, But They Did Not Give Up, reminded me that others who have come before us have experienced similar frustration, but in the end, their efforts brought much needed fruitage. I particularly relished the story about Abraham Lincoln.

As a young man, Abraham Lincoln went to war a captain and returned a private. Afterwards, he was a failure as a businessman. As a lawyer in Springfield, he was too impractical and temperamental to be a success. He turned to politics and was defeated in his first try for the legislature, again defeated in his first attempt to be nominated for congress, defeated in his application to be commissioner of the General Land Office, defeated in the senatorial election of 1854, defeated in his efforts for the vice-presidency in 1856, and defeated in the senatorial election of 1858. At about that time, he wrote in a letter to a friend, "I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on the earth."

The change process takes time and does not happen overnight. Just know that the work you do now in terms of making conscientious walkthroughs, giving specific and timely feedback to staff, and using the resulting data to make decisions will provide your fruitage for improving instruction and student achievement in the classroom.