Why is sustainability important?
I believe one of the long-term goals of any program we initiate should be sustainability. Ultimately a program should be able to continue even if we are not involved. LandLearn NSW (2016) define sustainability “as an ability or capacity of something to be maintained or to sustain itself.” As Soul Action we don’t want people to become dependent on us, rather we desire for them to develop the skills so they can do something for themselves.
This is the thinking behind our education program, and why during 2014 and 2015 we invested time, resources and energy into working alongside Grade 2 and 3 teachers to support them in the teaching of English phonics. Through workshops and support visits the teachers developed the skills to teach phonics effectively. The teachers were resourced and are competent to teach phonics. But how do we ensure the teaching continues and is sustainable? I feel leaders are the key to the sustainability as they have the power to ensure something continues and to maintain standards. Therefore this year I am focussing my efforts on working with leaders from the six schools we have worked alongside previously. Through the year we will explore and consider how to support and motivate staff and how to monitor the progress of the children.
This month I facilitated the first workshop with these leaders and we focussed on assessment; what it is, why it is important and related this to phonics and what should be assessed
The leaders tackled some hard questions during our time together. It will be encouraging to see them putting in to practice what they discovered over the next few weeks.
Reference: LandLearn NSW (2016) What is sustainability? [online], Available from www.landlearnnsw.org.au/sustainability/what-is-sustainability [Accessed 16 Feb 2016]