Define the Work… Learning That Is!

Non-negotiables don’t mean much when the work is not defined.  That may seem obvious in most cases, but in the world of academia, sometimes it is unclear at best. I once hired a gentleman to install my hot water heater, and there was really no doubt what the work was, and I knew it was installed correctly when I had hot water.  Learning, however, is not that cut and dry. 

If I were to ask teachers or stakeholders to define the work they do, I feel they would say learning is still a big part of their job. It is easy to lose focus of the work when dealing with issues that can accompany human behavior.

How do we know when learning is the work?

  • When conversations on campus are around student outcomes, and not discipline, or some other topic not associated with the work. There is grave danger when conversations in the learning community or the lounge turn to discussions about poor behavior, rather than the work of student learning outcomes, whether that be student growth or benchmark success. When student success is the topic of conversation, you are winning.
  • When celebrations are around the work of learning, such as advancing thresholds. What we value is what we should celebrate!
  • When Social Media contains learning as the work.  What we publish also defines what we value. Social media that shows teachers teaching and students learning helps the culture define what is important.

Student outcomes are important to all of us, not just because the state gives us a rating, but because they impact earning potential and the trajectory of our lives. When learning is the work, we all win. Define non-negotiables in regard to how we do the work, and your culture will appreciate it.

Ty Duncan – MindPlay Business Development