What’s your why? And then what?

My Why.

My multitalented colleague, Elaine Smith, recently captured our first TLI (Teaching-Learning-Innovation) department meeting in her excellent blogpost. She described the two questions each member of the department might ask her/himself at the end of a day. A very cool idea we stole from Jason Kennedy. I personally love the idea for a number of reasons. It’s good to reflect at the end of the day. It’s good to have challenging questions to prompt reflection. Good questions and honest answers can create accountability. Personal and professional accountability.

My two end of the day questions are, “What did I do today to encourage/inspire educator learning?” and “What did I do today to support students?” I stick by, and do actually think about, those questions at the end of the day.

Our team did themselves proud with the far reaching and challenging questions each put forward.

And then there’s one of Elaine’s questions.

“Did the time spent today match my why?”

Huh. How about them apples? Lots and lots of educators spend a lot of quality time thinking about why they do what they do. Their why. This is a great thing to do. I’ve seen really poignant and meaningful answers to the question, “What is your why?” Good stuff.

Elaine jacks that idea up 9 notches. We get busy. We do a lot of things every day. Everybody does. But what a challenging, honest, and abrupt question to ponder at the end of a busy day. Did any or some or none of all you just did today match up with your purported ‘why’? Whoa.

If the answer is no and if the answer is no a lot, is your why real? Do you need to adjust your why? Or do you really need to take a hard look at your time spent each day. Those are good questions too.

So as I often do, I want to thank Elaine for challenging me. Again. And you’re welcome for allowing me to challenge you.

Does the time you spent today match your why?

Author: Jeff Nelson

Jeff Nelson Fife School District Assistant Superintendent:Teaching-Learning-Innovation 38 years as an educator. 16 years teacher 3 years assistant principal 12 years principal 7 years Assistant Superintendent BA, Washington State University MAEd, Washington State University Previous member of AWSP Legislative Committee Previous member of UW Tacoma PEAB, Administrative Certification Established and maintained Fife’s first website for 7 years Present work includes establishing the first Teaching/Learning/Innovation department in the Fife School District. Examples of responsibilities include: teacher/administrator professional development, assessment, TPEP, curriculum/materials review, 24 credit requirement, technology levy leadership, teacher/administrator bargaining. Initiatives underway in Fife, as a result of new TLI Department: AVID, OER, Curriculum and Materials reviews, Student Perception Pilot with CSTP, Google Expedition Cofounder of Educational Internet Communications, LLC. Marketed and sold one of the first online grade checking programs in the US. Consulted with Seattle Educational Internet Company for 2 years. jnelson@fifeschools.com twitter.com/jeffnelsonTLI

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