June 11, 2021
It’s the end of the school year — our COVID year — and I don’t want the year to end anymore. Yes, that’s what I said. This is the first year in a very long time that I don’t want to stop teaching for the summer. I don’t want to lose my momentum.
Why? In a word: Agility.
This last quarter (nine weeks) of school was a game-changer for me. My friend and colleague, Jessica Cavallaro, asked me the question that would change my life: “Hey Ros, do you want to do this thing called ‘Agile’ with me?”
At that time, I had no idea what Agile was. But I know Jessica. I know that she, like me, is passionate about providing students in her class with real, authentic, challenging, and fun opportunities to learn and push boundaries. So of course my answer to her was “why not”?
Learning Agility is mind-boggling, but only at first. It’s a new way of thinking. You identify an objective, an end goal. You identify key results and outcomes that will show proof that your goal or objective has been achieved. Then the work starts. You have to establish tasks to do that and actually make those key results and outcomes happen. If your completed tasks work — great! Mission accomplished for that part of the objective. If those tasks don’t work — pivot, try a new alternative to reach the desired result. I know this seems to be common sense, right? But you honestly have to practice doing this, going through these steps to create that muscle memory in your thinking, so to speak. The visual interface that helped me get there was using Kanban boards through Kanban Zone. Kanban Zone is a website that helps you to organize your objectives and goals, using prioritization, categorization, scheduling, and more.
After a few training sessions with our coach, Jeff Burstein at L-EAF.org, on how to use the Kanban boards, things just started to click. No, I can’t see the green code from The Matrix yet, but I do understand the beauty of using Agile methodologies to reduce waste and increase the flow of achieving goals in my personal life. If it could work well in my personal life, could it be this effective everywhere? You know where…