Year: 1996-1997
Month: December
Leader: Group I

Situation/Case Study:
SYSTEMIC POLICY ISSUE

Description:
The teacher comes in and starts to work. Announcements come up and interrupt thoughts and work. Overuse of P.A. system and phones on desk interrupt work. The teacher is also frustrated because of supervision assignments and interactions at staff meetings that evolve into attacks on each other. Teacher asks self " do I get involved with the staff issues or not?" Main question becomes how do you decide when to dig in or not? Should I become part of the solution, or if I choose not to get involved, does that make me part of the problem? Are staff relations outside the job description of teachers? When and how does a teacher choose to use their power? And if you choose not to, should you feel guilty?

Hypotheses:


Theories behind practice:


Impact on others:


Solutions:
Pick your battles and figure out a way to get the system to help you “pick” them. How does a teacher find balance in life - school/private? Work with what is in front of you. Let the rest go. What happens if no one volunteers to start action on a particular issue? Time pressures - what to do. What if personal schedule doesn’t allow for participating in “the battle”? Communications? Who knows what? How is it shared? Process for making change? Is it in place? Is it workable? Are we comfortable with ambiguity and patient with the process? Other buildings meet more often to resolve problems. Not wise to complain about how often we meet. Trust issues cause increased work. Do you trust committees to do the work? What if they don’t do a good job? Do you have a “can you live with it culture” or a “critic culture”? The critical nature of it removes the trust level and pushes peer out of the larger arena and back into the classroom. But what is the process for solving problems? Do we know the processes? Who knows the processes? Peer facilitators formed a new process. How will the rest of staff find out what it is? Peer facilitators will lay out the process again in January. People who are interested, will meet to investigate and bring back resolution to whole group for action. Alternative process: define issues and who can decide on them - define issues that go to committees. When problems arise, it is clear where they go and who does what. Peer group redefinition - how to make them work better. How do you make change comfortable? No clear connection between peer group to facilitator to whole group. Do peer groups really matter if people don’t attend? Confrontation - checking up on peer- holding peer accountable - management can put people on defensive or not. Whose responsibility is it to do something about people who aren’t coming to peer group? Administration or staff? Who has the power? Site management is supported by teachers taking responsibility for monitoring their own and each other’s behavior.

Comments:
Traditional format not possible for this discussion. These notes reflect the gist of about two-thirds of the meeting.