Thinking about CHANGEd: What if we valued teacher teams as much as sports and music teams? 60-60-60 #5 and reflecting…
My Sixth Graders knew that etymology made me giddy. We’d often take out our list of 15 Wordly Wise words and find the most interesting “word history” or the most unexpected connection. Now, wordcentral.com (created for kids) is my favorite place to go even as an adult when I’m curious about a word and don’t have much time to spare. The post about teacher teams, practice, and rehearsal got me thinking about the word rehearse.
Merriam-Webster’s Word Central site presents an interesting and unexpected “word history” of rehearse:
In the Middle Ages, French farmers used a tool they called a herce. This was a triangular wooden frame with sturdy pegs or teeth on one side. It was pulled over plowed farmland to break up the soil in order to make it smooth for planting. The early French verb used to describe this action was hercier, which meant “to harrow.” In most cases the process had to be repeated over and over, so the word rehercier was formed, meaning “to harrow again” or “reharrow.” In time, rehercier came to be used with more general meanings like “to go over something again (and again),” as in repeating a school lesson or a story. The word came into Middle English as rehersen, meaning “to say again, repeat.”
If “school transformation will happen when we commit to rehearsal and practice,” what must we break up — repeatedly — in order to create fertile ground for teaming? As an administrator, I think it’s essential to both model and experience what is asked of faculty. The kind of teaming that Bo reflects on is certainly a positive thing, but sometimes practice and rehearsal is difficult. What must administrative teams disrupt in their own practice and habits in order to create truly exemplary teams?
One school chose to shorten their administrative meetings by thirty minutes every week which opened up two hours a month. Additionally, the team committed to collaborating for two more hours a month. Thus, every other week SCOPE meetings were born which allowed for in-depth exploration and work around a specific topic. The SCOPE team (the Standing Committee on Program Excellence) is a group of administrators, committed to “practicing” every other week for two hours. Committed to disrupting habits and old ways of doing things. Committed to rehearsing.
I like that.