Many language teachers may feel frustrated by a lack of support or understanding from the school executive. You work incredibly hard all year running excursions, incursions, overseas trips, speech contests and hosting sister schools. You spend hours filling in lengthy risk assessments and taking hundreds of photographs of incredible learning experiences.
Sometimes, despite all of these efforts, you missed out on elective class due to the executive’s magic minimum enrolment number. It is understandable you may be feeling less than love for your school executive. But now is exactly the right time to begin your 2018 advocacy campaign!
The reverse gap video
The school executive is often swamped staying on top of the school’s forward gap goals. This is the position where one sets goals for the future and works towards them. Unfortunately, once one goal is achieved, another slots in place and we can become despondent by our apparent lack of progress.
Dan Sullivan’s reverse gap theory asks us to instead, reflect on where we are now and where we have come from. What amazing things have you achieved this year? What fantastic things have your students done this year? Have you, as a department, sat down and reflected on this? Have you celebrated these achievements as we approach the end of the year?
If you don’t even take the time to recognise these efforts, why do you think the school executive or anyone else will?
The answer to this problem is the reverse gap video.
- Make a list of the amazing achievements you have done in languages this year and create a folder of matching photographs or video footage you have taken.
- Give said folder and list to either the video editing enthusiast in your department or student in your class, and have them edit it to create a videoclip. I would keep it short eg one to two song lengths. (Ben Lee’s song “We’re all in this together” off the album “Awake is the new sleep” is a good song for this or any other “feel good” track.)
- Save the video to your school’s drive or google folder and send the link to your school executive with a nice message to get them in like : “I appreciate it can be hard at the top to see always what is happening at the classroom level. Thanks to the school executive we have had a fabulous year in languages. Please take a minute to see what your efforts have enabled us to do.” Flattery will get you everywhere!
- Then offer the video up to the person who runs the Year in Review night. Sometimes they are looking for clips to play in between the prize giving. This is excellent exposure for your department if you can get on the play list for the evening.
- Offer the video up to the person in charge of public relations for the school. Many schools have websites and social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook.
- Send a copy out to the parents of your current students via a safe platform eg the school social media account.
- Show the video to your new stage 4 class at the beginning of Term 1 2018. Save it to your google classroom page and send an email home to the parents encouraging them to watch it to learn what their child will be doing in 2018.
To make the video does take time but I believe it is worthwhile when you consider how many platforms you can use it for. Your mantra should be “Be efficient by choosing strategies that are worth your time and that can be used more than once”.
You may not see immediate results but it could be the start of something unseen.