Yes, I, along with every other 6th grader, knew Vanilla Ice and could most likely still rap his songs today. While I never thought I would be referencing his lyrics (except for the lesson I used to do on plagiarism), some came to mind when I recently sat down with a scheduling committee in my current district.
A few months back, at a BOE meeting, I announced a myriad of changes for realigning the upcoming 16-17 school year, one of which was a complete revamping of the elementary school that feeds into the middle school. In addition to all of the other changes I announced, I proposed a schedule and then found myself two steps away from being burned at the stake. Folks wanted a committee which was formed the next day by the administrator overseeing the building.
I wanted to stay out as much as I could. This committee was not my decision; it was the building administrator’s. The team met and established several goals to be implemented into the schedule. They came up with some ideas, I gave the administrators some input, and a schedule was made. When it was presented at the next board meeting, it was met with another round of boos. Afterwards, one of the parents came up to me and said, “You are hearing us, but you are not listening.” That was a very powerful statement.
Two days later I called the entire committee together and gave some parameters which were conducive to the requests that parents and teachers were making. Once I gave them the feedback from the BOE meeting, I simply said, “Get to work.” They did, and they did well.
This new schedule will be presented at the next BOE meeting, and I am hoping it will meet an easier crowd. Mostly, I am hoping it will show off all of the hard work that the committee did.
I stopped; they collaborated; all of us listened.