Here are the 13 Questions to Ask when you as a principal are preparing to make a change or introduce an innovation into your school. The answers will help get you in the right mindset for leading school change.
- Why are we making this change in our school?
- Where is the change coming from, who is initiating it?
- Who is the change serving? How is it going to improve student learning?
- How will I lead that change? How will I participate in the change? How will I support the change?
- What is the plan for ensuring the change is successfully adopted/implemented? What steps are involved?
- How will we measure the improvements that this change brings to our school?
- How long are we planning it will take to fully implement this change?
- What strategy will we use to implement this change? Grade-wide, subject-wide, school-wide, start with interested teachers, etc.?
- What skills or capacities do administrators/teachers/students/parents need to have in order to implement the change?
- What training do admin/teachers/students/parents need in order to implement the change?
- What can we learn from other schools who have implemented this change?
- What could go wrong? What will the decision-making process be to adjust the plan if need be?
- How will we communicate this change to stakeholders throughout the school year?
The answers might not always be clear, but as you can see they cannot be asked or answered in a vacuum (alone); the answers have to be sought in dialogue with the school community as a whole. This process of questioning facilitates the collection of data both formally and informally in order to promote data-informed decision-making prior to, during, and after the change process.