“Driving” the Bus Together

Many times, adult learning at a school can seem fragmented and random.  You start out your year with a goal, but soon enough a new initiative or issue distracts you from collectively moving together on the same bus.  This year, at New Tech High, we choose to utilize the driver diagram protocol to focus our adult learning as a school.  The driver diagram protocol has deep roots in the medical field and public sector for helping derive a shared improvement plan.  As a school, we utilized the protocol to create a shared “bus” that would drive all of our professional learning whether it be system-wide, in PLC’s, or individually.

The Process

Our deeper learning team started the year with really examining what our aim was.  Collectively, we looked at our district goals, our schools mission and vision, previous years focuses, and our WASC action plan.  After pulling all the pieces together, we settled on this as our aim:

“Supporting deeper learning to prepare all students for academic, personal, and professional success.”

We then continued to dissect what primary drivers would systematically move us through the year together as a school.  We were quick to note that we didn’t want to just settle at adult learning.  Our primary drivers needed to be the same focus that we would ask our students to dive deeper into as well.

2015-09-06_00-55-52
New Tech High’s collective aim and primary drivers for 2015-2016.

Collective Capacity

After developing the primary drivers, each of our PLC began examining what secondary drivers and change ideas would impact their work.  It was important that each driver was actionable and measurable, so that we could constantly reflect and evaluate on our growth as a school.  We also wanted to make sure that PLC’s had the autonomy to connect secondary drivers and change ideas that were relevant to the work they were focusing on for the year.  Our school utilizes inquiry cycles to drive our learning and the driver diagram protocol supported the bias to action we were trying to create with utilizing these cycles.

Into the Future

We are 3 weeks into the year and the drivers continue to focus and guide our work so that we can collectively drive the bus together.  This protocol allows for enough flexibility and personalization that staff members can take their secondary drivers to whatever depths they like.  This is perfect, because all of our work is aligned to the same primary drivers in hopes to push us towards our aim for all students.  We will continue to reflect and revisit the impact that our change ideas are having on our drivers throughout the year.  What I do know though, is the road is paved for us to get this bus moving into the future of education.

Riley