Most businesses are dedicated to promote the delivery of high quality products. That’s the same for schools. However schools are now under the spotlights for improving their performance in many ways and many of them don’t know how to face the challenges. The community and parents are more and more demanding “customers”, the children have more needs –or at least we have diagnosed them with more disorders and we need to address the needs of these children, the government implements new rules and sets higher targets every now and then, and the boards of the schools also have their word to say about the way the schools are managed.
All the educational, governmental and social changes have shaped school in a completely different way from when we started learning or teaching. Now we need to define the factors that have an impact on schools and try to find adapted ways to tackle any issues resulting from these factors. We must systematically examine the factors and measure the impact these factors have on our teaching practice. Only then can we put in place strategies to improve the teaching delivery.
Building projects to improve the quality of schools can be tricky and it does take time. Before even thinking about a project, the staff in charge of it needs to collect data and analyze them. After that the process about the project can start. When building projects the teachers, managers and leaders have to work hand in hand. The good thing about building projects is that it gives members of a team a feeling of belonging. They share for the good of the school. When some teachers or middle leaders are in charge of quality improvement or closing the gap, they generally work with four or five people and each and every one of them will be given some task to complete.
The first step is to choose a project that will be suitable for the school. It should be in line with the mission and vision of the school. If you work in a school where behavior management is a constant issue, it could be a good starting point. If you feel your school needs to improve the provision for SEN students, here’s another idea. Developing the provision for gifted and talented students or for ESL are other options.Then narrow your project so that you can have a clear outcome. If you decide to work with SEN students for instance you may want to choose a project focusing just on dyslexic students. You must establish clear limits to your project as you will have to prioritize time and the implementation of ideas. After that, once you have the title of your project, come and meet people who know best about the topic. You will need to consult colleagues in and out your school, read a lot of articles and researches and you willvisit other schools to give you a clearer idea of what will be required of you.
The next step is related to planning. You will need to write an action plan with clear deadlines about actions you will take to put your project in place. The actions you will write on your action plan must be measurable and they must be small steps towards success. We often have the tendency to see the goal as the main achievement but all the small little non complex actions that we will take on the road are almost as important as the final result. These small little actions are important because they will help us to gain experience and confidence in what we do. It will prove that our project is doable and worth it. Action planning is really important as it is a tool which will help us clarify our projects and it should help us be more realistic about it. Here are the questions we need to ask ourselves when drafting our action plan: What is the purpose of our project? What is the expected impact of it on the school? What exactly do we want to put in place? Who will be involved? How much time do I need to do it? How much time do I really have? When can I start it? Which tools do I need? Which tools can I use?
You are not alone. Share the workload with others. Having ideas is great but you need the workforce to help you with the building of your project, No action can be done without a little help. Everyone should be asked to contribute. That is when you need to use your convincing skills to get people to help you. From teacher to senior leaders everyone must be part of the game to ensure the success of the project. Be as realistic as you can. If the goal is too ambitious, you need to redefine your priorities and narrow your topic a little more. Revaluate your project as you go through it. Ask people what they think of it as they will see it under a different angle and they may give you valuable tips.