Thursday, April 21, 2011

“Where do you want to go?” – a follow up to “Why are you here?”

West Cork feature_______ Signs of West Cork.I recently wrote a post in which I describe an exercise I had with students titled, “Why are you here?”  That post had the most views in one day than any I have written since starting this blog.  Since then, I have wondered if the actual question is the attraction or the exercise involved in reflecting and trying to answer the question.

Contrary to “Why are you here?”, this post is not an example of something I have done recently, but it is another example of a question that I believe will spark conversation, especially among teachers.

“Where do you want to go?”

This is an important question for a number of reasons.

First, this is a standard question to answer in order to establish a strategic approach to realizing your school’s preferred future.  If you do not know where you want to go, you’ll never get there.

Second, in order to answer this question, you also must reflect on where you currently are.  The assumption is that there is some distance between these two points.

Third, the distance between the two will help clarify your goals and benchmarks.  The difference between where you are and where you want to be must be articulated in manageable and systematic pieces in order to recognize progress along the way.  Do not forget to celebrate progress.  Often we want to wait until we get to the end to rejoice.  You still can, but the little victories along the way add up!

Fourth, the question is applicable to both groups and individuals.  “You” can refer to either and the conversation needs to include both.

Fifth, the entire conversation also implies movement from one place to another.  Movement implies action.  This conversation and the answers it uncovers are only as valuable as they are put into action.

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