- Writing for eSchool News, Brianna Hodges, the director of digital learning for Stephenville Independent School District in Texas, details the need for districts to ask themselves four questions when considering new initiatives.
- Those questions should include what the goals are, how the district can go about reaching those goals, who those goals are meant to serve, and why those goals are important.
- Using this approach, Hodges writes, allowed her district to step back and define six principles around a single core principle of "Developing the potential of every student, every day," noting that every individual in the district is a component of achieving that vision once their role is defined.
Hodges' core underlying point of detailing the role every individual in a district plays in its success is an important one for administrators to bear in mind. While classroom educators have the most hands-on role in helping students reach their potential, it's necessary to engage everyone from district administrators to cafeteria workers, bus drivers and janitors in shaping school culture while imparting important social lessons for students.
Additionally, the larger point of what to consider when weighing a new initiative harkens back to advice shared with us by Scott McLeod, an associate professor of educational leadership at the University of Colorado Denver, on the subject of adopting new technology solutions. Per McLeod, the first question schools should always ask is, "How does this empower students to do amazing things that make a difference in the world?"
"I get a lot of puffery but rarely an answer that causes me to lean in and ask more rather than raise a skeptical eyebrow," McLeod told us at the time. While a number of initiatives and tech solutions do have the power to transform learning, it ultimately comes down to staff members at all levels having clarity on how the goals are going to be accomplished.