Move Your Bus
Imagine your school or organization as a bus with feet instead of wheels. Imagine a school bus propelled forward in Fred Flintstone footwork fashion. The bus has four types of occupants and a driver. Now consider all staff members to be occupants of the bus and the administrator as the driver. The categories of occupants on the bus include: the runners, the joggers, the walkers, and the riders. What kind of participant are you?
Riders traveling on the bus typically offer no power to the bus. They complain about most everything but offer no help to improve a situation. If the bus breaks down, they watch the others work on it, and then complain about not getting anywhere. Riders are typically deadweight and have a negative impact on the success of an organization.
Walkers are those staff members that pace themselves to get the job done, but really offer no extra power or advancing value. Sometimes they tend to spread negative energy about their organization or school, and consequently pull others around them down to their speed. They tend to focus on themselves, present themselves as victims, and feel they receive unfair treatment compared to other staff members that are doing more than just ‘riding’ the proverbial bus.
Joggers can get the bus rolling. They are dependable, steady, meet basic expectations, and accelerate when necessary. When assigned a responsibility, they are meticulous and get the work done. Joggers need praise and recognition for the work they do and want validation for their efforts. Joggers absorb energy from those around them whether it is high or low energy. Joggers tend to have a good balance between their work and personal lives.
Runners on the bus are a driving force for the bus. They don’t mind carrying the load to if it gets the bus to the destination of success. They have professional excellence and pride in their work, and they seek system-wide success. To achieve that success they work endless hours, neglect their personal life, but shine at work. It is also important the driver does not let his runners “burn out”, because they will. It is their nature. Runners are those people always volunteering to do the things others won’t volunteer to do. They are ambitious, creative, do what it takes to get things done. They are leaders.
Drivers of the bus, a.k.a. the administrators and leaders, ultimately can determine the mix of the staff, thus the success of the organization and ultimately success in student achievement. They should seek and motivate staff to be runners or at minimum joggers. To do this they need to know how to read and understand people. To keep runners running, they should not kill the runners’ spirit by focusing or pointing out and focusing on the mistakes. Runners do a lot and mistakes can happen when the load is heavy; accept that and know the runners hate the mistakes and will avoid making them again. Drivers should have good vision and know how to avoid problems. Drivers and managers have to deal with conflicts, communicate expectations clearly, and find ways to lift employees up.
Without people, energy, and fuel, an organization will go nowhere. There must be acceleration if there is to be excellence. People intrinsically want to be part of something special. In order to have something special, people of an organization have to have the motivation, training, attitude, and willingness to do what it takes to move forward. Move the Bus author, Ron Clark, talks about the miracle of expectations. Often times we get what we expect –good or bad.
Clark, R. (2015). Move Your Bus. New York, NY: Touchstone.
Teresa Berry | Adult Education
This is a resource build by the ESSD40 staff for to aid in transforming teaching and learning.
Inspire. Empower. Challenge.
Learning Out loud