You might see that acronym BHAG and be thinking......"what in the world does that mean?" Well, Cole Elementary has brought BHAGs to their school (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) as a way of having "unrelenting focus, clarity of thought, consistent communication, alignment of resources, innovation, discipline, and teamwork" (Sparks, 2007, p. 13).
Cole Elementary started the year with a literacy BHAG and decided to create a BHAG for math. To create the math BHAG, they used the collaborative inquiry process during grade level team meetings to get teacher voice about the math BHAG. Once the teachers' BHAGs were compiled, the leadership team met to finalize the math BHAG. Then, on November 16th, grade level teams are meeting to collaboratively develop action plans for achieving their math BHAG.
To read more about their BHAG work, go here: www.mnpscollaboration.org/cole-elem-bhag-fall-2017
Cole Elementary also participated in the SEL Culture and Climate Walk-through. On November 6th, the collaborative inquiry process was used to help them analyzed the data and discuss actions they might stop, continue, and start to continue working on the culture of the building.
To learn more about that exciting work, go here: www.mnpscollaboration.org/cole-elem-culture-and-climate--2016.html
If you have a collaborative story to share or would like to request assistance, please contact Margie Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sparks, D. (2007). Leading for results: Transforming teaching, learning, and relationships in schools. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
To read more about the meeting and access resources, please click HERE.
If you have a story to share about using collaborative inquiry for empowering educators OR would like to learn more, please contact Margie Johnson at email@example.com.
One theory I now see in practice often is Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. The premise of Maslow's theory is we need to have basic needs met BEFORE we can be in a psychological state for learning. Not only have I seen this theory in action at MNPS but with one of my own sons. Hence, the reason I'm excited about the work that the MNPS SEL department is leading in our district. Schools that are working to develop a safe, welcoming culture and climate are well on their way to increasing student success.
I share about this collaboration not only to applaud them for their work in supporting student basic needs to foster learning, but to highlight how they have embedded the collaborative inquiry in their work. If your school chooses to have a culture and climate walkthrough using the tool that the SEL department developed through collaboration with national experts, then the collaborative inquiry process is used to analyze the data and develop next steps.
To see an example of the collaborative inquiry process in action, please see the below minutes from Goodlettsville Elementary school's walkthrough. Babs Freeman-Lotis, from the SEL department, facilitated the discussion.
Do you have examples or ideas for how the collaborative inquiry process might be used? If so, please feel free to contact Margie Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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