I was recently in a Principals’ meeting and the Superintendent described the school atmosphere of some of the district's school buildings as stale. He went on to say that the methods we were using were not benefiting our children and if we wanted to create change in outcomes we needed to be innovative. He challenged us to try new ways to do things. In order to institute change school leaders must be prepared to battle the naysayers. Try these tips to relieve staff stress around innovation.
Tell a story
This comes down to having a vision of what could be. This is the time to weave in hard facts about what has been and how those outcomes aren’t as good as they should be. The data doesn’t lie, but it can be misinterpreted. Use multiple data points to help show the need for change and to support your narrative.
A constant flow of communication surrounding the change is necessary. At every opportunity speak about the change and why it’s necessary. Use staff meetings, community newsletters and your social media outreach to prepare your community. Don’t rush into it and provide some time for stakeholders to wrap their minds around it. Communication and time are essential components of preparing for change.
As the Principal you already know that collaboration is key. Identify those key influencers on your staff and encourage their input. Use your student governing body to help spread the word and get those students on board. Give an end goal that you would like and have them come up with the means to get there. Having them participate and lead the way will help the other staff and students buy in. The more people involved the less effort you will have to put forth and the greater your chance of success.
Innovation is necessary to change the status quo. What methods do you use to usher in change? Share what you’ve learned in the comment section below. Join us in The Principal Entrepreneur fb group for The Principals' 20 day classroom challenge, sponsored by quickcashmi.com.
I'm a Principal and an Entrepreneur. I'm the former owner of a food venture Hustling Hoagies, the author of the children's picture books Detective Dwayne Drake and the Alphabet Thief, Detective Dwayne Drake and The Case of the Mathematical Misfit and the ebook Making it as a Male Model in Michigan. I've worked professionally as a model and commercial actor......