Hello Friends, Colleagues and Fellow ACSS Officers,
A new year has started... Winter break and the change of another calendar year have been times of deep reflection and soul searching on my part. A good portion of this thinking has been focused on our Alaska Council for the Social Studies and what our new slate of officers has and hasn’t accomplished in the first semester of our tenure together. I’d like to share some of those thoughts with you and get your feedback now...
Ideas for growing our organization this year...
We are all busy people, working full time professional educator positions and most likely participating in several other important activities and organizations as well. Our time is a very precious non-replaceable commodity.
Yet, despite our busy lives, we have all volunteered to serve as leaders for this state professional council in the field of education that we love and have dedicated our professional lives.
We took these positions of leadership not as a feather for our cap but in order to help our council to achieve its' stated goals. So we must have been prepared to put dedicated time and energy into leading these efforts. The question then is how do we get this volunteer energy organized better to achieve real results this school year?
It seems to me that up to now, I haven’t done a very good job working with AK-CSS officers and helping organize people’s energy. When I reflect on this, I think my main problem is that as president of a voluntary organization, I haven’t been able to understand the border between coordinating energy and pushing to generate new energies that increase contributions for our organization... Chalk this up to the project management learning curve that I am climbing and not wanting to seem “pushy”...
Now I understand that it would help us greatly as an organization to know this boundary better. If we were all on the same page in regard to how much time and energy the members of our leadership group are willing to pledge dedicated time to furthering council projects each month, than we could plan and budget our collective energies much more productively.
We all understand that this is our voluntary time, so there is no pressure on officers to pledge any specific number of hours of AK-CSS energy commitment per month. Our lives are different and our weekly situations ebb and flow. We all know that. Still, a month is a longer, more stable unit of time, where estimates are professionally possible. What is important for our understanding is accuracy, not quantity of hours projected.
Still, there can be a strong personal motivation found in pledging something to a group that you belong to and respect. And there is collective power in having a good understanding of how much time and energy can be wisely budgeted to furthering our projects.
For planning purposes it would be much better to state your minimum commitment that can be counted on, rather than any average of monthly “over and under estimates”. More energy is always possible and welcome, but less can have large negative effects in terms of group productivity.
My own commitment... There are over 100 waking hours of conscious time for the vast majority of people in each week. That means there are 400-500 hours of conscious time in any given month. As president of this organization, I am willing to pledge at least 10 of them to our AK-CSS organization. I believe that there will be many months in the coming year when I will gladly be contributing double and triple that amount, but in months when time is scarce and precious, I can still be counted on for that.
Sorry for the length of this missive, but I am galvinized now. It is time to get some good things done now, or step down from my position. This note to you is my attempt to start that generator and get it roaring...