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It may be tempting to roll out a full slate of new expectations and role adjustments for your staff from the first day. While there will be some changes made out of necessity, attempting to make wholesale shifts with all staff members from the start will likely lead to disaster. For now, consider limiting major changes to those aspects that will most directly impact the learning and health of students.


At the same time, there are likely a number of staff members who can help to grow experience, explore options, test tools, and develop practices that will move the strategies you are identifying forward. Every school district has these people. You might call them scouts or explorers. They are often eager and fearless when it comes to trying something new. They are not afraid to make mistakes, change direction, or challenge assumptions and traditions.


Enlist this group of scouts or explorers to assist in identifying options, testing approaches, and exploring the landscape that lies ahead. Now is the time to engage these educators, if you are not doing so already. They can test, modify, and solidify what later can be rolled out for more or all of the staff. They can also provide important reassurance, modeling, and coaching as larger groups of staff learn and implement longer-term shifts in practice to align with the vision and strategies you are developing now.


In fact, gathering some of these key players now to share your thinking with can offer added benefits. They may have valuable ideas and insights to assist your planning. They may also be in a position to try out and gain experience with tools and approaches yet this summer if you have a summer learning program. You might even pair them up with some learners who need additional support to be ready for success when school starts in the fall to gain some early experience and insights.


You know your specific circumstances. Just be sure not to ignore this important and potentially helpful resource as you think through the challenges you face and the changes you need to make. You will be glad you did.

Thought for the Week

Simply pulling a strategy “off the shelf” or defaulting to the most recently read article or staff development session topic may not generate the results we seek.

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