OneThing11: oey . . . me achin’ capacity

A non-shrugging Atlas

“We have some changes to make, and we need you to help.”

Tell that to 11 board members, 43 employees, 61 corporate partners, 281 students, and several hundred parents and guardians.  Each hears a slightly different thing:  why do we need to change? is something broken?  how much do I have to do? isn’t this your responsibility? you’re right, let’s get going! You mean, things are not OK?  will I get paid extra to work on that? you’re right, things need to change, but you’re way wrong on what to do.

I get it.  In the classic definition of carrying capacity, we focus on a population, its vital resource, and pressures for space. Here, among an cadre of teachers and staff at an urban high school, I am thinking about the stock of will to change, a sustaining spirit and camaraderie bolstering that will to change, and the pressures of moving things at the right pace.

In such a two-stock model, where ought my energies go?

How do we balance collective will and the pace of change?

To the camaraderie, yes?  The esprit de corps keeps a team believing it can tackle huge tasks and change the world.  And we are trying to do this – change destinies one student at a time.

And planning, so that the pace of change is appropriate:  not too fast so that large scale curricular changes remain just ahead of the annual and unit planning that teachers would normally do, but also fast enough so that sufficient change occurs to keep people engaged in change.

It’s a lot to carry.  Done right, I am sure, there are a lot of people who will do the lifting.


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