Starting From Zero
All assignments require a fair amount of organizational consulting along with the program building, but in some systems it is such a colossal morass, that team building, shifting organizational culture and norms, managing school system and community political attacks, handling everyone’s emotional baggage connected with change, and bringing about a major paradigm shift dwarfs the time spent on developing actual interventions for the students.
When this happens, I feel like I’m hefting a lifeless elephant up a steep, winding, set of stairs, and around each corner there are only more stairs, no platform in sight, no level ground, no chance to put the elephant down and take a breath, roll the knots out of my neck and shoulders. Each careful and measured step I take creates an imbalance in the lifeless mass, a spontaneous shift in the tonnage that calls for a quick and dexterous adjustment in support of another toppling area. With each step I am waiting for the elephant to come to life, to gain more strength and greater control over its own body so there won’t be so many sudden shifts, and so eventually it can support its weight and I can put the elephant down, walk beside it and show it where to go.