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February 1 is just around the corner and a key date for A&P educators who are interested in being considered for promotion. I am so happy to see a steady flow of draft three-page narratives and nominations*. Terri and I expect this to continue leading up to the deadline and want to make you aware of what comes next in this post.
If you haven’t or don’t plan to submit this year but want to learn about the A&P promotion process, please review our November 18 blog post. Terri Fisher has also posted resources focused on educator expectations, writing your narrative, the timeline and review process, and step by step instructions online.
Initial review - February 1 to March 1. Your supervisor, assistant director/s, and associate chair will discuss eligibility and accomplishments illustrated in the draft narrative. This review committee will determine whether you move forward after which you will receive notification (and further instruction) from Terri Fisher. A member of the review committee will contact you regarding suggested revisions to your three-page narrative, if applicable, as well.
Final submission - March 15. If you are invited to move forward this year, you will submit your final three-page narrative and evaluation documentation, including peer evaluations of teaching and annual performance reviews.
Review committee recommendations - April. Committees will meet to consider documentation and render recommendations to the Extension Director. Your supervisor will author the review committee recommendation letter addressed to the director of Extension on behalf of the associate chair. You and the Director of Extension will receive this letter by May 1.
Final determination - May 1-15. The Director of Extension will make the final determination on promotion and notify the candidate regarding the promotion decision which becomes effective September 1.
Please remember that much of this process is new. Please feel free to work through it in ‘evaluation mode’ with me and Terri Fisher and share feedback and suggestions for improvement at any point you see fit!
*The nomination is as simple as a note to Terri Fisher (fisher.456 and cc’d to the other team members) stating, “I would like to nominate XYZ for consideration for promotion.” Should you nominate yourself? That’s not my ideal, but the option exists in cases where your review team members don’t feel able to do so. Let me know if you want to talk more about this. Three-page narratives should be sent to Terri Fisher (fisher.456 and cc’d to your review committee members).
Last week we discussed key questions about the A&P Promotion process. Go here to see that post. I’ve read a good number of draft narratives the past couple of weeks that inspire me to focus this post on telling your story in the three-page narrative.
We most often report our work as individual, stand-alone events or creations. For example, we might report teaching ‘Leadership Styles’ on January 12 with 22 learners. And we report writing about grain markets for a column in the local paper published the week of October 5. Or we note writing a newsletter that we sent to subscribers in December.
For no fault of our own, we make a long list of such items. These lists are important, but how do all these things translate into value? That is, how do they all work together to help others grow personally or professionally, capitalize on opportunities, address a widespread concern, or in some way improve a situation? We want to be able to report these things too.
If we think of each of the activities and accomplishments on our lists as ‘dots’, the point of authoring a narrative is to connect them. If that seems easier said than done for you, try this: Take a step back from your list, a step back from the work you do every day…What do you see? Ask yourself what ultimately have you been trying to accomplish? Where do you work? What is your assignment? Who is your audience or audiences? What are their needs and their opportunities that in partnering with them you can help address? What have you accomplished in carrying out your work?
Look at you go. You do some really important stuff with some pretty amazing partners when you stop, reflect, and see the bigger picture. Inspired by this, what would you like to do next to help strengthen people, organizations, and communities? Write that down too to make it feel more real. Look at us go now, you have set a course for future efforts. Try to practice seeing both the trees and the forest!
Early January means we are on the verge of full-on A&P promotion season. I am so excited to be able to engage so many colleagues in this process of professional growth and advancement! I am also excited to really get focused on promotion in these blog pages. See the changes to the process in our November 18 blog post. And see web-based resources focused on educator expectations, writing your narrative, the timeline and review process, and step by step instructions online (thank you, Terri Fisher!).
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions to date. Feel free to follow up with me (davis.1081) or post a comment if you would like more info.
Who nominates and what does that nomination look like?
Ideally, the nomination isn’t a “surprise” for any member of the team… i.e. they have been in communication regarding educator performance, readiness to move forward, etc.
The nomination is as simple as a note to Terri Fisher.456 (and cc’d to the other team members) stating, “I would like to nominate XYZ for consideration for promotion.” This nomination triggers the important next steps Terri handles for us, always with a most pleasant smile (e.g. arranging team review meetings, setting up folders/files, tracking recommendations, follow up, etc).
The educator or any other members of the team can nominate (e.g. area leader, assistant director, associate chair, and/or director of operations in cases where the educator is also an area leader).
Who should send the draft 3-page narrative and to whom is it sent?
Educators are encouraged to submit their draft narrative. Why? To reinforce a sense of team, ownership (see final question below), personal responsibility, etc… Educators are also encouraged to submit the final 3-page narrative should they be recommended to move forward by the review committee.
Three-page narratives should be sent to Terri Fisher.456 (and cc’d to the other team members).
Regardless of when you plan to submit, I would encourage you to maintain a draft 3-page narrative that you update every so often as a way to help you see the “big picture” of your work.
By when do the nomination and draft narrative need turned in?
February 1… Based on what Terri receives, she will scramble to align review team calendars such that we can meet to make the determination regarding the educators moving forward.
What are the other key dates?
March 15 is the deadline for educators (who are to move forward) to submit a final narrative, peer evaluation of teaching letters, and annual performance reviews.
April 1-30… Review committees will be meeting throughout April to make formal recommendations to the director of Extension by May 1. The candidate’s supervisor is tasked with authoring the review committee recommendation letter addressed to the director of Extension on behalf of the associate chair. To aid in consistency, a recommendation letter template will be provided.
How does one reconcile the draft 3-page narrative feedback and guidance?
Well, remember that feedback and guidance is generally shared with the best of intentions, and…
At the end of the day the author is ultimately the “owner” of their narrative. Their work, like their 3-page narrative, belongs to them. As the author, what you decide to do with feedback is your choice. As the well-intentioned colleague, don't take offense if your suggestions don't make the final cut.
Thank you for continuing to establish and strengthen our lines of communication with team members. The level of interest I have seen in working together more as a team strengthens my belief in the notion that professional growth and advancement is best approached as a team sport! It is truly uplifting to learn more about the difference we make across Ohio.