On Being in Transition

I just now finished eating lunch with two thoughtful colleagues, and we were discussing the many big issues facing our school right now.  Our school is in the midst of implementing a thoughtful strategic plan that is focused on the academic environment of the school.  A number of big issues are in front of the school community: student requirements, faculty workload, curriculum, schedule.  There is a lot to dig into as we think about the school we want to be moving forward.  We are in transition.

To address what our curriculum of the future will be, we first started with the question, “Does the AP curriculum serve the emerging goals laid out in the strategic plan?”  Clearly, we are in transition.  The part of our lunch conversation that sent me running to my keyboard was the idea of transition.  Shouldn’t a school always be in transition?  We should always be moving between something as we work to best serve our students and grow our faculty.  I don’t mean to suggest that we should be chasing fads, but I do feel that being in transition promotes the innovation and creativity that are ever the buzzwords in education today.

The important part about being in transition is that it doesn’t mean that what you are transitioning from is necessarily “bad” or “ineffective.”  However, to be a school of consequence – one that makes a meaningful and permanent difference in the lives of our students and our community – reflection about what we do and where we want to go is imperative.  We need to allow good ideas to come into the community, take root, and grow.  We need to ask ourselves big, messy questions.  We need a diversity of opinions and experiences, and then we need to move ahead.  We need to be in transition.

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