I have mentioned that I am a member of a professional learning network that is facilitated by Dr. S. Katz. The intent is to develop a personal inquiry that is an “inch wide and a mile deep”. Katz reminds us that our inquiry should be something that keeps us awake at night and has a sense of urgency about it. Through questioning we refine the inquiry focus and plan our next best leadership move. So I begin: what is keeping me awake at night? I have to rule out the things that are outside the sphere of my control like the weather- yes, snow days this winter have created dark circles under my tired eyes! I have to rule out things that are not urgent like my budget and ensuring that I am the best steward of the funds the school has been allocated. So that leaves pressing matters that centre on students and teachers.
The midnight oil burns brightly when I am contemplate “why” questions. Why do we rely on traditional forms of assessment to evaluate students when we are experimenting with new, bold approaches? Why did that student act that way today? Why was there frustration at the meeting? I can not answer these questions alone, nor do I know how to approach finding an answer at 1 a.m. I do know that I am not alone in my nighttime contemplations though. The rest of my PLN admit as much.
That realization in and of itself lends power to the PLN process. What then is my next, best leadership move? Remain open to the questions that come from my peers at our PLN. Remain committed to the fact that many brains are better than one when it comes to solving a challenge. Persist in defining my personal inquiry so that I can contribute to making a difference at my school as well as furthering the learning of my colleagues. So I say: bring on the sleepless nights! (Read that with tonque-in-cheek!) Grant me insight into my own impact and remind me of the brilliance of my peers.😊