Where are we right now?
The idea that “improvement begins with I” is not anything new, but it does not hurt to be reminded from time to time that for change to happen it needs to start with ourselves. It takes a lot to ask your team to take a hard look in the mirror and self-reflect on how things are going, but by facilitating an open and safe space for this to happen, teams will start to feel a greater sense of ownership and understanding of how they plan a role in improving the schools. This can also help with building an environment that is more open to feedback - teachers are much more open to the idea of students giving them feedback if they are first asked whether they should give feedback to school leaders (Gehlbach et al. 2017).
It is also important to take a look at what is working and what is not. In the hustle and bustle of everyday school life, it can be difficult to evaluate which processes or systems are in place simply because “we have not had time to think about a better way”, or “that is how it has always been”. Getting stuck in habits that are not working to support student learning can be keeping you from helping them to achieve more.