Monday, May 6, 2013

Finding Victory within a Loss

My last soccer game was last month. With my girls team there were lots and of ups and downs. There were days when we didn't play so well, while there were days when everything was clicking perfectly. As a coach it was my job to find the areas that needed improvement. Putting players in the best place for them to be successful was crucial, and in the end these decisions decided whether we won or lost.

When we win, it's real easy to celebrate, but when we lose, it can become a challenge. Players feel defeated. The coach doubts his ability to lead. In short it is difficult to find a victory in a loss, but if the team is going to make any progress, the coach must always find victories in every loss. The best way to do that is to capitalize on the strengths of every player on the team.

So translate that into the school setting. When the scores don't come back as you expected, how did you react as the leader or the coach? Do you see only loss, or do you see victory? Our nation and culture has condemned failure, especially when it comes to student achievement, and thus, we can find no victory in a loss. We must rise above the failure of edpolicy and move toward discovering the victory in our kids.

Here's three ways to find victory when you lose

1. Growth in Student Performance.
Looking at individual students or groups of students and how much they have grown is very helpful to find victory.

2. Growth in Skill Performance
Results by skill must be analyzed to determine how much growth occurred from last year.

3. Growth in Individual Teacher Performance
Teacher performance can be analyzed to find the growth that their students experienced from the previous year as well as the skills that grew in achievement. Finding these victories are critical for leaders as this is where coaches can find experts to help other teachers who didn't experience growth in particular areas.

Everyone wants their team to win, but it doesn't always happen. Excellent coaches or leaders don't overreact to a loss because they know every result has something to be gained from it, the victory within the loss.

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