During the first few weeks of the 2008 CASTLE book club, participants like myself were challenged to reflect on whether or not we had an influence strategy and if not, what we could do to develop an influence strategy. Most of the reflection questions asked participants to think about our organizations. I’ve been rolling around ideas about influence for a few weeks now, but I keep hitting a stumbling block; I’m not sure how to define my organization.
Is my organization my classroom? Is it the university where I teach? Is my organization the public school system(s) where my future students will teach (and where I once taught)? Does the edublogosphere constitute a virtual organization? Am I a part of it? How I define my organization partially determines the realm of my potential influence. It may even determine if I am brave enough to attempt to influence anything at all. Am I willing to take on the entire U.S. educational system?
For now, I’m going to focus on the influence that I can exercise within my classroom. Practicality dictates this. However, my long term career plans will require me to answer some of the more difficult questions soon.