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Friday, December 11, 2009

Is The Most Important Thing Really The Most Important Thing?

So there's something wrong with the system. How do we fix it? Maybe we need to scratch everything and start from the beginning. Easy enough to say, impossible to do.

I work on a class schedule every single semester and it is always a process to get a rough draft to the point that I am comfortable with it and ready to show it to the teachers.

First: I email everyone and get class days preferences, conflicts with other teaching assignments, and length of time per class. Then I usually start by saving a copy of the previous semester's schedule and putting in the new changes.

After about 20 minutes I always get slightly irritated because I realize that the schedule isn't coming together, it's not working, and it doesn't make sense.

So I start with a sheet of white clean paper.

I have learned that I work so much better when I take the ideas in my head and put them onto a blank sheet of paper, rather than trying to work them into something that already exists. Then, taking my very first draft, I can create, change, add, and delete to my heart's content until I find something that works for me. Once I am happy with the end result, then I can replace previous content with something I know looks good.

Maybe that's what we need to do? Scratch everything, the standards, the rules, the regulations, the traditional way of doing things, and start from the very beginning. Hand out markers and white posterboard to everyone and for the next week, work hard until something amazing comes out that everyone can look at and know will work.

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