“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” By Benjamin Franklin
If you are en educator you have gone through some-type of implementation process, be it a new initiative or program. In order to make growth in any type of implementation we need to look at what is going well and what is not going well. I like to call these, glows (what is working well) and grows (what do we need to improve on). This is a best practice reflection that should be used in all aspects of implementation from the classroom with students, to teachers at schools and with administration for the district.
How can you implement this in your classroom, school or district?
- First block off time and make sure to have these discussions often and regularly.
- Make sure to set up a safe environment so people will be honest and have authentic discussions.
- If you always look at only the grows, people tend to become negative. If you only look at the glows, you are not being realistic to making growth and change. Make sure you have a discussion about both.
In a classroom: Ask students what is a glow and what is a grow they feel about their learning experience. This helps not only the students reflect on their learning but also the teachers get an informal data point to see how they can maybe change their practice to better meet their students needs.
With teachers: Block off time during a staff meeting, and as grade level or individually discuss what is a glow and what is a grow of the school or of an implementation you are rolling out to see how you to best move forward.
As a district: Ask schools/admins what is a glow and grow of the district or of a specific implementation.
Below is the template I have used with students and educators I work with. To save time, I have also sent this to them ahead of time to fill out so when we are together we are having discussions to help improve us. (*This also helps model a best practice that educators can use with their staff or teachers with their students.) Reflecting on experiences encourages insight and complex learning.