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Why do you get out of bed in the morning?

So, not the advertised topic. But I never was one to ask permission, but I wonder - what do we take back into classrooms and corridors?
Lots is written about how to change education, but very little actually helps anyone to achieve it.  It's far too easy to wriggle out of good intentions and a sense of well being.  There's a gulf between theory (and rhetoric) and practice. So how do we get to the other side?
So what is the main thing?

What is often needed is a plan.  This helps maintain focus on the main thing (which is making teaching and learning better so that educational outcomes improve) whilst navigating the trenches of daily teaching. It helps avoid initiative fatigue. Whilst action plans take a while, they help sweat the small stuff.  When I took over a Geography department, I knew that I wanted to transform the place and turn it into a national centre of excellence.  I wanted to build the foundations upon clear and supportive schemes of work; ensure that expectations were as high as possible and that every lesson should be mega from lesson one of Year 7.  Thing is, we needed to figure out and what this was. Writing a plan also make a commitment. (the actual plans are available for 2008-2011 and 2012 - you can see the difference between them which reflected the change in culture.)

It was listening to Eddy yesterday during the 6 Nations that I was reminded by the importance of the plan.  I follow the format below.
If you visit the action plans, you'll notice that they were living documents.  The job is too full of other busyness to do things for the sake of it. 
To me, a detailed plan is what keeps me on the right road when distractions try to tempt or force me off track.  
Another example would be the research bursaries in my school at the moment.  It's far too tempting to just implement 'feedback' or 'metacognition' without any forethought or planning.  Too many times have I read 'It's all about brain, buddy, book, boss' or 'visual strategies' without the evidence within the school itself.
One final example is how to plan the implementation from blogs, books and training - these can far too easily distract us from our main goals and the effect can be a rather haphazard approach to change that leaves people confused.  I tend to consider each bit of new information within the context of current development plans - how would they add value? I also tend to ignore something if it's only from one source and am high sceptical of bandwagons, especially from the on-line world as it isn't representative of the real-world. Of course, plans cam be adapted, changed and enhanced, but whilst keeping the main thing the main thing. After each I reflect upon:
// What do I want to implement now?
// What's just background noise and won't fit into my style / plan / ambition?
// What one idea will I add to the plan?
This way, I come away and actually implement an idea - the rest is background.
 I'm interested - how do you project manage change?  Are plans important, or should we just wing it? What will you take away into the classroom tomorrow from this #digimeet?


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