What I Live, What I Love, What I Learn

These go hand in hand with the job of teaching. This afternoon, I had the unusual experience of encountering and observing three examples of the ups and downs of these in the school environment. Let’s face it, schools are built on these! At times these can seem incredibly restrictive. At other times, you know that things just wouldn’t happen at all if they weren’t there. Often, they save the day whether we like to admit it or not.

That said, I’m not having a whinge or declaring that doing the right thing and not speaking or acting is the way to go. Rather, I’m sharing my feelings on how frustrating these can be on either side of the coin and the irony of what happens when:
– you don’t follow these and get a negative result;
– you do follow these and still get a negative result;
– you play no part in the process but are unhappy with the result.

Process

At the end of the day, you are then left with the odd feeling of trying desperately to find the silver lining of the situation anyway because that’s what we do, right?

Example 1

Going over someone’s head and blowing a situation entirely out of proportion and not following process.

Outcome
Completely ticking people off!
Ultimately, ending up with a larger problem that you had initially because you have now placed yourself in the centre of the situation, rather than being a constructive part of the solution. Despite sometimes being frustrating and drawn out, processes are almost always there to ensure fairness and equity and, in theory, to ensure each party is supported in the matter.
Disrespect the process and disrespect from others will soon follow.

Silver Lining
Hopefully, learning not to do that again and having a little more faith in the process.

Example 2

Following correct process in an attempt to alleviate a potential situation but the desired outcome is not achieved.

Outcome
Initial reaction – “Well that just sucked!”

Silver Lining
Transparency – and remembering how important this is in establishing, maintaining and enhancing positive relationships. This is definitely one of those big picture things and not all about the little victories.
And, although not always comforting at the time, knowing that you’ve done the right thing.

Example 3

Disengaging from the process entirely.

Outcome
A situation that is unpleasant and possibly untenable but with little recourse or authority to change it.
Process, procedure and protocols are in place to manage situations for the best possible outcome. But choosing to be oblivious to the situation, one which demands your action or involvement, will often lead to disappointment and disharmony.

A really good metaphor would be great here but escapes me at present so any suggestions are more than welcome to express this!
What I mean is, if it doesn’t involve you, fine.
If it does, but no action is the best action, fine.
If it does, but no action leads to no action at all and a poor result, nothing good can be gained in the long term!

Silver Lining
There really isn’t one in this situation. A choice, or rather an apathetic choice not to act, has been made.
Choose a better course of action next time.

However, maybe the overriding theme of common sense and thinking before acting should just rule the day. But common sense is not always common.

I think a lie down and green tea are in order.

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Comments on: "Processes, Procedures and Protocols – Both sides of the coin!" (2)

  1. Hey Clarinda,
    I fully empathise with your post. I’ve lived and breathed those situations (or variations of such) throughout the last semester. A couple of things I’ve taken away have allowed me to emerge bruised but positive. One is that by modelling a positive and resilient approach to trying to solve or deal with the situations, people see the third way (“maybe”), rather than just “yes or “no”. Kids notice everything – the modelling is important fro them to see too.
    With your third example, I have a cutesy saying that has become our mantra for exactly the same situation – “the standard you walk past is the standard you accept”. Swearing, litter, bullying, staff actions – all fit under that really nicely – and the maxim can be applied to the kids too. Nothing like a bit of guilt to set people thinking :-)
    Great post – I loved it coz it means I’m not the only one feeling that way!

    Jonesy

    • Hi Jonesy,

      Great points you make! I fully agree with the points you make. Particularly on the importance of role modeling.

      If you are not being true to your own values in difficult situations, it will be very hard to be satisfied with the outcomes – positive or negative – and to have ownership of the situation.

      Clarinda

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