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What We’re Reading: Process Before Program

Author: Judy Yauch
October 8, 2014

As a former educator, I have seen many programs come and go. (I’m sure you can relate). Although there may be enthusiasm in the beginning, programs don’t seem to have the “stickiness” to be around long. That is why I’m passionate about working with The Leader in Me process.

A process, by nature, has a start but no end. By focusing on the process, time is built in for alignment; it isn’t one small change, it is monumental change. When systems, routines, and paradigms change, the results are transformational and sustainable.

I recently read an Edutopia blog post titled “Focus on the Process and Results Will Follow” that addresses this shift in focus. Nathan Barber, a current administrator in Texas with 20 years in education, wrote the post. Barber has spent some time researching what teachers can learn from sports coaches. He found that many coaches attribute their success and the success of their athletes to focusing on the process of growth and improvement rather than on the results of scores and statistics.

The success came because of focusing on good habits, consistent performance, and increased ability instead of winning a game or getting a trophy.

When business leaders, parents, community members, teachers, and students are asked what they want to see in a graduate, they talk about initiative, interpersonal skills, teamwork, communication skills, and inquisitiveness, to name a few. They don’t mention test scores, grades, or school ratings. Focusing on ratings and “winning” may sound like a good end in mind, but does it prepare our students for the world in which they will work and raise a family?

What are your thoughts?

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