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How to Transform Your School in One Year!

As a school leader, you want to see your school thrive, and you want to be a part of that change. So how can you make the most significant impact possible in the coming year? I was always curious why educational thought leaders were of the mindset that it takes, on average, three years for real change to occur in a school. When I first became a school leader, I was guilty of following that false belief. When I realized the power of intentionality in my personal life, I wondered if those same principles could apply to my professional life- namely, as a school leader. While it's true that some changes take time, here are five steps we took to realize positive change almost instantly, and within three months, we realized exponential academic growth.

  1. Have a clear vision. You can't expect to get there if you don't know where you're going. Take the time to determine what you would like your school—and your personal trajectory—to look like in the next year.

  2. Take intentional steps. After setting that vision, ask yourself: "What steps do I need to take to make this happen?" Make sure each step is aligned with your ultimate goal, and don't be afraid to make adjustments along the way.

  3. Use data effectively. You know that education data can help inform decisions, but how do you actually use it? Look for trends in the data by breaking down performance over time, by category, or by subgroups. Then use those trends to set goals and create action plans.

  4. Use instructional rounds to see what's actually happening in classrooms and identify areas for improvement.

  5. Give yourself time to reflect and adjust your approach as needed.

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