React to Reading
I enjoyed Chapter 12 that covered Assessing and Planning Skills. When I was reading about Gantt charts I found them interesting – but at the time I was much more interested in the Pareto and Impact Analysis Charts. Perhaps my background in sales and marketing led to my attraction to those two types of charts over the Gantt chart. The Pareto chart immediately gave me solid numerical data and listed a breakdown of contributing factors. The example showed a school's climbing dropout rate. It gave a straight forward big picture view of the dropout rates for this school. The breakdown of contributing factors also gave the campus and school community clear targets for improvement such as more education and interventions in regards to drug and alcohol abuse and teen pregnancies. This chart to me quickly gave information and a suggested target plan. In sales and marketing this type of chart would have dictated targets for my advertising budget.
I was also drawn to the Impact Analysis Chart. I think once again this goes back to my business background. In my last management role I managed 32 people. We were the marketing, recruiting, and sales team. It was a great team. However, any time we faced a big change we could potentially lose one to two weeks money due to the difficulties that some folks faced with serious change. I would have loved to have had a tool like this to decide the best way to approach the changes and how best to support those through it. It would have been a great tool to share with them to show how much care, concern, and consideration was taken before in advance of upcoming changes. Clearly this also carries over to the school environment - which is not as fast paced and not as flexible when approached with change. I would love to know that my administrators studied a chart like this before the implementation of iPads into our school community. I think they would have faced much less resistance had our "old school" teachers seen they were considered in the process of thought.
Reaction to Class Activity on the Topic
When Christa and I sat down to do the Gantt Chart I asked if we could work on a real problem so we could really see the how to use the Gantt Chart. She agreed that would be a stronger exercise if we did. In the past Christa had shared her concerns over how collaborative teams and has pointed out stronger and weaker teams. So, I knew she would be interested in helping me come up with a plan for stronger collaborative teams in our school. We looked at the three collaborative teams I work with and I shared with her why I think some are stronger than others. It became so clear once we began to put it on the Gantt chart that there were clear major oversights for the success of collaborative teams on our campus.
We initially started with a simple plan to make sure add collaborative PLCs to core curriculum team meeting lineups. Currently teachers typically have an Advanced Placement (AP) English PLC...