BHAG – My Big Hairy Audacious Goal

This post is week 5 of 8 in the 8 Weeks of Summer Blog Challenge for educators.

This week Penny asks, “What goal is so powerful that you are compelled to move toward, yet respectful of its immensity?”

A big hairy audacious goal–the idea of BHAG, which was new to me today, is from Jim Collins’s book, Built to Last.  

I do have big goals, which include:

  • To finish strong at my school, where I just have one more year to teach, helping all my students grow in English acquisition.
  • To build our English department and curriculum, so it will continue as staff changes occur.
  • To improve student growth of English acquisition in the elementary department. Over the years, we have seen marked improvement of those making adequate yearly progress–from about 25% to 50%. That needs to grow more!
  • To hire more paraprofessionals, so we can have two adults in every literacy period.
  • To hire a reading specialist.
  • To assess all students in concepts of print, phonological awareness, and phonics at the beginning of each school year.

Is my goal hairy and audacious?

From what I read about BHAG and the example of Boeing bringing commercial air travel into the jet age, my goals so far aren’t easily articulated as one BHAG. It is not a vision statement that will fit on a t-shirt, for instance.

Jim Collins explains another BHAG about getting to the moon in the 1960’s: “…the goal itself—the mountain to climb—was so easy to grasp, so compelling in its own right, that it could be said one hundred different ways, yet easily understood by everyone.”

My list may be the smaller steps to reach a bigger goal. As yet, it is not easily understood by everyone. Perhaps they are the many steps to get to a BHAG that I have yet to articulate.

I need to think about this, and perhaps read Built to Last.

What do you think?

Can you see a BHAG for our school emerging from these literacy goals?

4 thoughts on “BHAG – My Big Hairy Audacious Goal

  1. Denise, I can see a lot of work ahead of you. Sounds like it all works together to create a BHAG! 😉

    1. Thanks, Joy! Even if I don’t know how to explain it in a sentence so everyone can understand, we definitely will be doing the work of the BHAG!

  2. Denise,
    There were years when every classroom at our school had a teacher and a paraprofessional: that worked wonders for building a community because two adults together can see who needs support and who needs to stretch, and will be able to provide it.

    It made such a difference for helping kids stay focused too; they knew someone was available almost immediately so they didn’t phase out and quit or act up in frustration. I hope that part of your BHAG is achieved, and each one you’ve stated is important.

    You’re trying to build a positive and collaborative learning environment for everyone, teachers and students. ~ Sheri

    1. Thank you, Sheri. I have never been able to see the benefit of having a paraprofessional in every classroom, like you have. From my limited experience, though, I just know it would be great. You have been part of it, and have seen the fruit. I hope we can too.

      Thanks for sharing here,

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