Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Some Of What I Learned

We're rounding the end of a rough year.

A year in which we did a lot and learned a lot.

Here's some of what I learned.

Hit the "read more" link to see them.

In my experience, these things are helpful in the work to save, renew, and rebuild Adult Education:

*  Clear information about the current situation.

*  Clear information about how we got here – big picture – context.

*  Clear information about the choices we have available now.

*  Clear information about possible results.

*  Press coverage – radio, newspapers, online, TV – both English and other languages.

*  Ask for and listen to suggestions about everything.

*  Thank people for their suggestions.

*  Give people the opportunity to make choices – both big and small

*  Share the work.

*  Give people the opportunity to invest time, creativity, energy, and money

*  Honor choices.  Respect yes and respect no.  Respect fast and respect slow.
*  Thank people for their effort, talent, contributions.

*  Take breaks and have fun.

*  Remember why we are doing this work.  The reason for the work fuels the work.

*  Build and care for a strong, healthy school community.

*  Build and care for relationships with local community members.

*  Build and care for relationships with other schools.

*  Build and care for relationships with local School Board, City Council, etc.

*  Build and care for relationships with local Legislators.

*  Build and care for relationships with press, unions, professional and other organizations.

*  Keep the message simple.  Use pictures & symbols.  Use the same key words & phrases.

*  Try to be unified with other schools in message, symbol, key words, etc. so that the larger public can see and understand the big picture when they see a little piece of it.

*  Real person stories make our needs, situation, and value real for people.  Tell them.

*   Music is GREAT!  We need more music!  A song about Adult Education, a dance, flash mob dancing, etc.  Skits, music, theater – all good.  Our own Welcome Back Kotter or Night Court type sit-com would be superfragilistic magic.  (Owen & Karen:  Can you make one?)  The creative arts carry the message in a way nothing else can.

*   Taking a step back reveals the details you missed and the context they're in

*  It's not a matter of playing the long game.  It's a matter of understanding the game is longer than you.  It's a team game.  Do your part.  Let others do theirs.  Be grateful for the team and the chance to play. 

*     Enjoy life.  Appreciate others.  Be kind.  Be respectful.  Accept loss.  Do your best to see the best in humanity and create a way for it.  

*    Soften your words as needed with others. 

*    As much as possible, be truthful with yourself.
And have fun.  Did I mention having fun?
It really helps with the burnout.
Happy New Year, Everyone!

Rest and Re-Creation.







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