Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The “It takes a village” discussion

Teacher team October 24, 2007

In another all-day session with the district we managed to cover almost every surface of the membership room with butcher paper I think I recognized as a small forest I pass on my way to visit my folks on the Iron Range. Nonetheless, what we lost in trees we gained in identifying ways we can solve the workload issues we have been bringing up. Our discussion of how professional development has been implemented and how we want professional development implemented sparked a great deal of discussion and creativity, too.

Some magnificent ideas were brainstormed but we had no opportunity to determine what it would take to implement some, or what the feasibility would be of implementing others. This must become our priority if we are ever to come to some resolution about our workload, especially as it is affected by the district’s ambitious professional development goals. I must be confident that it will be a priority in November so we can bring some closure to workload and address some other topics important to the interests of teachers and SPPS as we work to meet the needs of St. Paul students.

We also spent a great deal of time recognizing the powerful role the community plays in our schools and the powerful role the community can have in our schools. In this case “the community” was not merely code language for ‘parental responsibility’ but a serious and creative discussion on how the city, parks, businesses, affinity groups, parents, and other public servants could be tapped for learning opportunities that would make St. Paul even more resourceful. While a great deal of this discussion fell outside of the opportunity to negotiate in our contract language, it was worthy to bring up in order to determine how and where we start to have conversations once our contract is settled and we get back to exclusively doing the work of delivering a world class education to every child.

No comments: