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  • Writer's pictureallisonjolester

The Sprint Runner's Guide: Tips for Planning & Implementing an Practitioner Inquiry Sprint



Hello education dynamos! Time to lace up your metaphorical sneakers, because we're about to embark on a journey towards effective planning and implementation of an education sprint. Remember, we're in this for the thrilling journey of discovery and learning, not just the finish line!


Sprints, as we discussed in our last blog, are quick, iterative cycles of experimentation in teaching. With a focus on process over product, a sprint involves picking an educational challenge, devising an approach, testing it, reflecting on it, and making necessary adjustments.


Sounds like a lot? Don't worry! Here are some helpful tips to get you through your educational sprint.


1. Select Your Sprint Goal: You're in the sprinter's block, but what's the finish line? It can be anything that enhances your classroom experience. Maybe you want to improve student engagement, perfect your grading system, or - like our friend Ms. Patricia - refine your questioning techniques. Make your goal specific and achievable!


2. Research and Plan: Once you have your goal, it's time to do some recon. Research strategies that others have tried. Sketch out a detailed plan. However, don't let this step overwhelm you. The sprint is about learning as you go, so it's okay not to have all the answers upfront.


3. Test Your Plan: And they're off! Implement your plan in the classroom. Remember, this isn't a leisurely jog - it's a sprint! Don't be afraid to dive right in. Give yourself a set timeframe, maybe a week or two, and then go for it.


4. Document, Document, Document: You're running the race, but don't forget to keep track of your journey. Take notes, collect data, snap photos, record your observations. These will be crucial for reflection later.


5. Reflect and Revise: Crossed the finish line? Not so fast! Your sprint doesn't end when you've implemented your plan. It's time to sit back, catch your breath, and review the race. Look at your notes, consider what worked, and what tripped you up. This is the heart of the sprint - learning from what you've done and using that knowledge to inform your next steps.


6. Repeat the Process: One of the most significant parts of a sprint is realizing that it's cyclical. With your newfound knowledge and reflections, you adjust your plan and take to the starting line again. Every cycle brings you closer to your ultimate goal.


Now, the final (and perhaps the most crucial) tip: Remember to Celebrate Your Progress: Each sprint, no matter the outcome, brings growth. It's a step forward, an accomplishment in itself. So make sure to take a moment to appreciate your hard work. This is a marathon of continuous improvement, after all, and every little win along the way is worth celebrating.


A sprint may seem like a whirlwind, but remember, it's not about getting it perfect the first time around. It's about embracing the process, learning from the journey, and gradually refining your practice.


So there you have it, the ins and outs of planning and implementing your education sprint. Are you ready to take your mark, get set, and go? Let's sprint towards the horizon of continuous learning and growth together!

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