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.
* 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.