About The Thrivapy Blog


I created The Thrivapy Blog to share my thoughts and ideas about living a learning lifestyle.

For more, visit my website: www.thrivapy.com
Thank You,
Dr. Troy P. Roddy

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

It Is Not A Matter of Right or Wrong. It Is A Matter Of Effectiveness.




Procedures, specific action protocols, define the right way your school (or class) wants certain tasks performed. Arrived late? There is a procedure for checking in. Need to turn in your homework? The teacher has a procedure for collecting it from you.

However, there are times when procedure comes into conflict with reality.

Yes, you are supposed to place your homework in the class collection bin at the start of class, but you are leaving early and need to turn it in before you see that teacher. Procedure cannot be followed.

The example above may not be the best, but if you reflect for a moment on the school experience, there are many instances when right or wrong (a procedural issue) comes into conflict with effectiveness (an outcome issue). In these situations, it helps to know what matters most in that moment, being right or effective.

I would argue that in a world seeking more problem solvers than problem announcers, effective wins over right with the exception of unethical, immoral, or mission inappropriate action. As a matter of fact, one of my maxims of education is, "When in doubt, serve the needs of the student (literally or figuratively) in front of you."

Procedures are valuable. They define the expected action to take when faced with predictable challenges. However, not all challenges are predictable and not all predictable challenges follow the same context. There is a reason we call it an "exception to the rule." Rules cannot be written for every  situation, so exceptions need to be accepted - if you are seeking effectiveness.

If your goal is to be right, then by all means follow the teacher's guide to the letter. If your goal is to be effective, be mindful of opportunities to show you care and are willing to go to that space for your students.