Letter of Self-Evaluation

OVERVIEW:

We’ve fashioned the conditions for you to create something new, something no one has thought of before.

  • We’ve dismantled the hierarchy and devolved power.  You have unprecedented autonomy to decide the project you want to pursue and the pace and path you take to pursue it.
  • Your work radiates through time and space. It impacts those who have come before you and those who will come after you. It impacts our clients and artisans.

Your work matters. Your choices have consequences. And, you have assumed significant responsibilities.

It sounds exciting. It is. But, here’s the thing.

In the competition for your time, effort, and attention, your work with us goes up against classes with more structure and definitive standards regarding what constitutes an A, B, C, D, or F. In this competition, the work we do together tends to lose out. It’s not intentional. But, on a day-to-day basis, we all have the tendency to do what has to be done (because we have been told what has to be done by others). In your work with us, no one tells you what has to be done. You decide that for yourself. As a result, you may find yourself doing more work for your other classes. In the long-run, your work for us suffers.

It’s not that we abhor structure. It’s just that we operate in the real world. The real world is chaotic. And, imposing structure dampens our nimbleness and diminishes our ability to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. Anyways, you need to know that grading rubrics and fully articulated syllabi, are sirens singing songs of mediocrity. They insidiously erode your agency.

Yes, you will receive a grade in this class. But, it is not why we gather together. We are here to work.  We are here to transform ourselves into Change-Making Animals, through the work!

We do this work together. But, we also do a lot of work alone, in isolation.

Change-Making Animals work on the frontier.  They are going places others have not gone before. So, if we want to join them, then we must become experts at honest self-evaluation.

PURPOSE: Honestly assess your progress and the quality of your work without contributing to your chorus of self-doubt.

DETAILS: 2-page single spaced letter of self-evaluation.

DIRECTIONS:

Step 1:  Reflect upon your performance over the first eight weeks of the semester by reviewing the questions below. Jot down your thoughts. These thoughts will shape the content of your letter. Do not include specific answers to questions below in your letter.

  • Did you take the time to learn about La Ceiba (our ethos, stories, history)?
  • Did you push yourself to answer the hard questions like “Why am I here?”
  • Did you push yourself to fully explore the issues in the readings?
  • Do you take the time to adequately prepare for your presentations?
  • How do you carry yourself? Where do you sit?  How do you sit?
  • What you are doing during the class? Are you engaged in the discussions?
  • Have you missed any class?
  • Are you coming to class on time?
  • Are you leaving early?
  • Are your electronics going off in class?
  • Are you checking your social media?

Re-read our 11 Promises

  • Are you waiting for someone to tell you what to do, when and how to do it?
  • Are you leading when you need to and following when you need to?
  • How is your enthusiasm for your work and your team?
  • Are you committed?
  • Are you willingness to make a mistake?
  • Are you shipping?

Review your project’s vision, goals, timeline and strategic plan:

  • Are you on schedule?
  • Do you feel like you are where you want to be?
  • Do you feel like you are where you need you to be?
  • Have you bitten off more than you can chew?

Step 2: Now it’s time to start writing. Take the time to answer the questions below. Your answers will make up the content of your letter of self-evaluation.

  • If you’re making progress and doing incredible work, tell me about what you are creating? Why does it excite you? What about your work motivates you?
  • If you’re not making the progress you expected, tell me why? Go beyond “I don’t have the time”. What are you choosing to do instead of our work? Why? Be honest. Do not enumerate external conditions, constraints or things outside of yourself that are keeping you from doing the work. All of us reflexively look outside of ourselves for an understanding of why we do not realize our goals. It is a reflex we must learn to override. Look inside. What choices are you making that make it difficult for you to commit to your work? What would happen if you truly committed yourself?
  • What are you going to do next? If things are going well, what are you going to do to keep on keeping on? If things need to change, what are you going to do to change things up? Give me a plan of action.

Step 3: Remember, that any moment, you are free to choose the life of a Change-Making Animal! But, just know that the choice is free. The life…not so much.