I attended a meeting this morning. It was the weekly district meeting for all of the admins. I am not an admin, but I was invited by their boss to join in for part of the meeting. They will be doing a lit circle around Mike Schmoker's book: The Results Fieldbook. The idea is that the book will provide guidance toward using data more effectively within the school setting. And since I'm in a support role for all of the schools' improvement plans, it might be a good idea for me to know the basis for change this year. Mind you, my Boss Lady wasn't entirely clear about whether or not I was supposed to attend. I thought it couldn't hurt to spend 30 minutes checking things out.
I didn't have a lot to add to the conversation today. What struck me the most is just how little admins seemed to know about what was happening in other buildings. I had assumed (and I should know better than that) that there was some sort of regular communication about things. After all, they met every week. I posted a bit ago about noticing the same thing with teachers---but then we don't provide any opportunities for cross-district meetings.
So, what does it take to make communications happen in the 21st century? With all of the expectations placed on schools these days, we need to share more than ever. How come we can't figure out a (good) way to do that? It seems like such a shame that everyone has to make their own wheel.
I do wonder if technology is a help or a hindrance in all of this. E-mail and telephones in every room mean less "face time," even though more information can be shared. Would admins blog, perhaps? Or maybe we just need some good, old-fashioned bulletin boards for posting news. Are we too shy these days---afraid that the messages we give will offend or be taken as bad news? Is there just a lack of leadership---no one willing to make things happen?
If you're a regular here, then you know I don't have any good answers. But you can bet that I'll be thinking about this and trying to find some answers.
P.S. The "best" example of lack of communication today? Finding out I'm being sent to Denver for a training next month. Gee, didn't we tell you?