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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Board Reflection

This may sound more like a self evaluation, critique or a campaign speech rather than a reflection. 4 years ago did I know why I wanted to become a trustee? Did I know what I wanted to accomplish? All I knew was that I had a desire to try. I had developed a passion for education.
To grow one has to step out of their comfort zone. Becoming a trustee is a little different than sitting on an ARC or being a School Council Chair or PIC member. Could I do it? Did I know enough about the System? Was I about to rise to my level of incompetence?
As trustees we are responsible for Policy & Procedure and leave the operations to staff.  What aspects of operations do we need to know to evaluate the effectiveness of our Strategic Plan & Board Improvement Plan? The questions we ask, even the stupid ones, with their answers increase ones knowledge of the system. The questions challenge and the answers verify what the Board is doing.
Maybe going off on a little tangent here but we all too often hear the word accountability. Who is accountable for what and to whom? As more and more, depending how or if you want to say it, control or power is becoming centralize the bureaucracy may overshadow the goal, education. This raises the question frequently being asked “is the role & responsibilities of trustees and even of local boards pertinent?” The further the leadership is from the base, the school & all,  the further it is from the implementation and the observation, what works.  On the same note the more voices a voice goes through the more the voice will change.  What is said, heard, perceived, implemented and meant may not always align. We all played the game where the first person in a group is given a phrase or sentence and it is repeated through the group to the last person. Is the original message ever the same as the last message? There has to be common understanding of roles & authority for the system to work. Everyone is responsible/accountable to everyone.
I recently saw this title. ‘The Shift from Learning to Read to Reading to Learn’.  I thought to myself how appropriate this is and complex. Lets change it to’ Learning to Learn to Learning to Learn.’ When we begin something there is always apprehension but when that journey is successful there is happiness. The happiness continues as the desire continues. What happens when the desire wanes? Does the Happiness? Go back to the original statement,’ Learning to Read’. Most kids enjoy reading as they grow up. It is for enjoyment/pleasure. What happens when that reading is associated with something else? The same can apply to learning. We all remember those inquisitive & passionate but annoying WHYS of our kids while they were kids.  What happens when we go from the how & the want to learn to learning for learning? What do those WHYS sound like?
We have 5 words for that. Engage, Inspire, Innovate...Always Learning.