From New Year’s Resolutions to New Year’s Priorities
Many of us write a set of resolutions to help us plan for our start to the new year. This year I had a little help in writing my resolutions: our new NCSS Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan identifies five Priorities – Collaboration, Communication, Innovation, Inclusiveness, and Influence & Leadership – which speak strongly to me as more than just a pledge for our organization’s future. They frame my professional and personal commitment to social studies education in 2017.
Our Board of Directors approved the new multi-year Strategic Plan during our 96th Annual Conference in Washington, DC last month. After the conference, I spent much of December unpacking the five Priorities, talking about them with our team and partner groups, and thinking about the energies that could be harnessed around them. As the new year approached, I started to think that my resolutions could draw directly from the Priorities, affirming my focus on being a learner and a teacher. When I think back to lessons learned from my own teachers over the years, I realized how strongly the concepts of these five Priorities worked together to shape me as an educator. These Priorities have a synergy of their own – to be an effective collaborator, one must be a clear communicator; to demonstrate leadership, one must be inclusive.
My resolution is to embody these five Priorities every day with a goal of strengthening the social studies. I’d like to begin the new year by continuing to listen to your needs. What would you like NCSS to do to support your classroom practice and leadership every day? When I began at NCSS this fall, I started a “listening tour” and launched a feedback survey. I was fortunate to meet with many educators individually and in small groups at our annual conference in DC.
I continue to seek your feedback to these questions in the coming months as we begin to implement the NCSS Strategic Plan and a bold future for our organization. Please share your feedback anytime! Your partnership will turn our Priorities into resolutions we can keep.