As a principal and teacher, I’m sure my students and co-workers got tired of hearing me say the word “expectations”. When writing teacher evaluations, I used the word over and over because I truly believe that explicitly setting clear expectations is one of the most important things we can do as educators. Douglas Reeves’ book Leading Change in Your School helped frame my thinking around setting and communicating expectations when implementing a change initiative. He poses a challenge to leaders who have implemented major change, and highlights his challenge with an example related to reading. Reeves encourages those leaders to ask their teachers and other administrators questions such as:
What is good reading instruction?
What are the five most important elements of good reading instruction?
Once those responses are collected, leaders should evaluate them for consistency. If there is a lack of clarity and consistency, it is likely that the change initiative has not been communicated clearly.
After reading Reeves example, I realized how applicable his example is to a change initiative such as a 1:1 initiative. With that in mind, I’d like to pose the following challenge to you. If you’re a teacher, pose the following question to the team of teachers you work with regularly. If you’re an administrator, pose the question to all teachers at your school.
What does effective technology integration look like?
Would all educators in your school or your team answer that question similarly? Obviously, responses can and will vary by school because simply integrating technology is not the goal of most schools. In most places, technology is integrated in an attempt to meet another goal. By answering the question above and having questions about what effective technology integration looks like, you can help your entire team!