“The Answer is in the Room” (But are you honest about why you can’t or won’t see it?)
How many times have we said, “We can do this, the ANSWER IS IN THE ROOM” when we try to solve problems? So much, that it’s now a cliche, and maybe we need to reconsider what it actually means!
As we start another school year, we obsess over improving our practices, looking at student performance results, and trying to decide what to do next. While I totally believe in the ability of our team to come together to solve problems, this process is NOT as easy as it sounds.
“It’s true, the answer is right under our nose. It’s not that it doesn’t exist, it’s that you haven’t worked hard enough to make sure that you can actually see it.” These points from a video by Navalent hit me hard. And that was from a random search!
The answer may be one WE DON’T ACTUALLY WANT. It could be one THAT MAY HURT. The answer needs MORE INFORMATION. The PROBLEM MAY BE YOU.
Brutal, but true. Made me think of our school’s journey last year. We went into the year not meeting all of our Annual Measurable Objectives for student performance and ranking so far below where our school should be that it was like a slap in the face. I had to come to some conclusion that as the leader of the school, I AM RESPONSIBLE. It has to start with me. I HAD TO IMPROVE. Whoa! Not easy to admit, but so powerful and actually freeing when you embrace it like that.
Long story short, we rallied and the students and teachers pulled off nothing short of magic. This year we are going in ranked at or near the top and blowing every AMO benchmarks out of the water!
It’s fascinating to me that the “answer in the room” may be one that we are blinding ourselves to. Are you really being reflective? Are you being honest with yourself? Ask your colleagues for help!
As you dive into the coming school year and your performance reflections, consider what Ice Cube taught us: “You better check yourself before you wreck yourself.”