I’m a huge supporter of the fb group, Focus on Fluvanna’s Future. They used social media to help make the change they wanted to see. I went to their meetings, got signatures on petitions, held up signs by the side of road, and asked teachers to demonstrate, speak, and vote in favor of candidates who supported their values. I take some jabs from FFF (the leadership comments really sting) but ultimately, I’m a big fan.
Their challenge to teachers is to lay out the problems we have and put forward solutions. I’ve been doing that for years, just not in such a public forum.
Specifically (and carefully, 2 months to go) I think one problem is teachers have little influence over professional and instructional decisions in Fluvanna. We need decision makers to understand that our input can lead to big improvements- for them, for us, and for the kids. My attempted solutions have ranged from quietly talking to administrators, to privately and publicly appealing to school board members, and now to helping teachers get it all out there hoping anonymous input is better than none at all.
Step by step, here’s what I think we need:
We need the school board to acknowledge there’s a problem.
We need their commitment to repair the problem.
We need a plan to address the problem.
We need a way to measure if we’re making progress and a new plan if we’re not.
Right now the closest thing teachers have to collective input is the Staff Advisory Council. I go to these meetings and they’re a little more staff and a lot less advisory than you might think. They include a (long) presentation by central office staff. The notice of our March meeting invited us to the school board auditorium for a presentation by the Curriculum and Instruction team about Meeting the Needs of All Students – Special Education to Gifted Services. Not exactly what I expected from a staff advisory group.
So, back to the future. If you’re not a member of Focus on Fluvanna’s Future, please check them out on fb. And hit the Like button for Teresa Ledford!
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