During a break, someone politely asked why I was preaching to the choir. I replied, "Because some of you have stopped singing." The person explained some of the struggle in getting buy-in from classroom teachers who seemed to want to be dismissive of any student who stepped outside the expected requirements for all students. These teachers were quick to send students out of class, penalize their tardy performance, and expect the specialists to “fix” them. My point is that the collective commitment of a staff has to be built by the staff. When the choir stops singing, the silence is deafening. Collegial influence backed up by evidence of progress on the part of the student will carry more weight than any inspiration I might provide.
After I tweeted out the original comment, a colleague, Diane Goodman (@dianegoodman701) sent out another key reminder when she said, “and sometimes choirs sing out of sync with the director - creating noise, not music.” Another key component of collective commitment is to have the leader engaged, ensuring that the team is all using the same songbook and that the desired outcome is to make great music together.
Sometimes, choirs need practice too.