I like crossing things off my to-do list as much as the next chap, but let me tell you people sometimes I’ve completed a task and though Yeah, that took a lot longer than it should have. Usually that happens when trying or learning something new. In that case I often quickly forgive myself and try to do better next time.
In the video above, Terry Gilliam (famed director and Monty Python alum) talks about how he did his now famous animations for [The Flying Circus] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monty_Python’s_Flying_Circus). The video is a little long and does have some quick nudity in it so watch out.
The reason I put it on this post, is that watching him work was fascinating. He knows exactly what needs to be done and how to do it. He has made the process as effecient as he can and anything he does is to express his story not dazzle people with his skills. He also keeps it as simple as possible so he can focus on presenting his story (or jokes in this case) as concisely as possible. The workflow doesn’t get in the way with his creative process. After watching that I thought to myself That’s how it should be with schools! Of course without babies eating adults (watch the video and you’ll see what I’m talking about :)).
True ,Terry was working mostly by himself and schools are typically dealing with loads of people but it made me think. How often do schools actually revisit their workflows and policies for everyday activities, and how often do they try to improve them? How often do they sit down with their staff and ask the question How can we improve taking attendance? What changes do we need to smooth out reporting grades? How can we better manage students in the hallway? As technology grows, new solutions to old problems are presented (like using workflows to deal with budgets, or track discipline in a way that allows all involved to help monitor certain students?)
Most schools I’ve worked at simply find a quick answer to these questions and then never revisit it again unless they need to react to an incident. I think it is worth while for schools to sit down and take the time to revisit the nuts and bolts of the procedures and policies that help it function. They don’t need to do it every year but once every few years would be ideal. It’ll give people an idea of who is responsible for what and how it affects the whole school not just a portion of it.