It is an undeniable fact that decision makers aim for improvements, they need standards that tell them what counts as an improvement.
So do school administrators, when it comes to articulating a framework to run a school. But, they typically lack a rich and sophisticated language for talking about values and articulating adjustments; maybe because they do not consider making a good decision-making team that too when educational decision-making involves value judgments.
Below, we bring to you a framework that your schools can consider to be good at decision-making.
Create a circle of people with leaders in each circle
You can have a circle of more than 5 people. Trust them, empower them, and check-in with them as often as you could. Also, you can create as many circles as needed and break them into three levels, to be better at decision-making:
- At the foundation, you may have a team of three or four teaching staffs include all teachers and their program directors. Organize them by grade level groups: pre-K, K–fourth grade, fifth–eighth grade, and high school.
- At the uppermost level, the team should comprise of Board of Trustees circle including parents, at least one teacher representative, and at least one administrator.
- The next level up in terms of responsibility and decision-making power should be a single-administrative circle. This should include program directors of each of the four-grade level groups, admissions, building, office, registrar and business, and executive leadership.
Teach your districts faculty and staff about how to achieve consensus
Do not confuse consensus with the same thing as consent. That’s a totally different kind of in-service workshop. Organize meetings in which everyone is invited to respond to the proposal, discussion prompt, or question at hand and have their vote. When reached to a decision then teachers and staff should be encouraged to ask clarifying questions or doubts, if any, and get truly on board before moving on. It may take longer to process, but it always means better decisions and less grumbling after a decision is made.
Use focused and collaborative meeting agendas
At the inception of each meeting, present the agenda, get it reviewed and allow participants to add items or recommend certain items to be tabled. This would help to craft an agenda that is honed, relevant, and thorough.
Weigh up the Risks Involved
The risk involved in decision –making is beyond expectations and at times, unpredictable. Therefore, districts must have a say of all the teachers, administrators and stakeholders in the decision-making process. They should consider the following points before landing unto a decision:
- Weigh up the Pros and Cons of the purposed decisions.
- What the risk of the worst possible outcome occurring might be, and to decide if the risk is acceptable.
- Not only how bad the outcome might be, but also how likely that outcome is to happen.
- The benefits of making the right decisions.
- The seriousness of the consequences of making the wrong decisions.
Decide on Values
In a circle, everyone has their own unique set of values: what they believe to be important. The decisions that they make will, ultimately, be based on their values. That means that the decision that is right for you may not be right for someone else; therefore, consider everyone’s values and then come to a conclusion.
Hope this written-post has set out one or more decision-making techniques that you may like to use at your educational institutions. But, remember, all decision-making involves individual judgment, and systematic techniques are merely there to assist those judgments and if in case any decision goes wrong, just revisit the decision, and then do. Or just simply, accept the decision and move on because not every decision can go right and in the way you planned.