Don’t waste your time striving for perfection; instead, strive for excellence – doing your best. ~Sir Lawrence Olivier
I was reminded last week that perfection is overrated. I agree, and at Benton we have never been about perfection. Those who think we are must be walking a very lonely path. I think we are about teamwork, and that work is hard work. As we begin our work to plan for next year’s improvement steps, we find ourselves in the midst of completing the cycle of improvement we are currently working toward. It causes us all angst. It challenges us. It causes us to question our progress, workload, and future.
Do not give in to the need for perfection. We all agreed way back in the dog days of summer that we were on a journey… a journey toward excellence. We knew our data teams work would be rigorous. It proved true. We are not perfect at it, but you have to KNOW that your learning was solid. That learning will pay off. Finish strong and do your best to complete the work we have committed to this year.
At this point in your data teams work, you should be solidly embracing the idea of your last few power standards. What is your data telling you? Are you able to identify students’ strengths and weaknesses? Are your identified instructional strategies for the differentiated groups working? These are the questions, plus many more, that we should be talking about during collaboration.
As we look toward the next year’s plan, do not be intimidated by the fact that we will all engage in the data teams process. What data will you consider to select your power standards next year? Did what you used this year give you the information you needed? Will you adjust your current standards or stay the course? What professional learning do you want in order to better facilitate our data teams process. Please do not hesitate to make recommendations for our PD for next year. And remember…we will do our best. Perfection was never our intention.
Week 26 – A Look Ahead
So, it’s a good thing we are not working toward perfection. Tomorrow is Friday and this information is only being shared today. It’s been a great, short week. I hope you had a great PD day and were able to learn what strong instructional leaders you are. I think we can easily identify areas for our improvement – please voice your ideas with your department chairs. It’s important to work on what we need most. And that, my friends, is how we improve.
~Excellence is a journey, not a destination.~