The school year is right around the corner and you know what that means. Welcome Back PD. Teachers and staff are coming back ready. This time, don’t make it a series of dry PowerPoints. Add some sriracha to your welcome back PD. You want these to be moments that matter, and that takes intentional planning. But sometimes it’s blander than boiled chicken.
You better put some sriracha on that thang!
I have led 5 of these and attended at least another 8. I look forward to them like a kid looking forward to the first day of school. My tie tight, google slides right, and success in sight. It’s a time for leaders to set the tone and further galvanize the crew.
You want these to be powerful moments!
This time is crucial to launch into a new school year, and you want it to be memorable. You want your staff to leave feeling energized and inspired.
Good thing you got sriracha on your side.
Here Are 20 Things you can do:
- Bring in a parent or student speaker to ground everyone
- Share your equity commitment
- Tell a personal story
- Have your returning staff tell the story of your school to your new staff, with charades
- Start the year with celebrations from the past year, with trophies
- Share a compelling vision and big goal for the year, write a poem
- Pass out a staff book or reader for the year (here are a few good ones)
- Infuse your meetings with the culturally responsive pedagogy you want to see
- Give your staff a challenge, scavenger hunt, or mystery to solve. Infuse some PBL in there.
- Show a video, play some music, use quotes, and poetry
- Give everyone a list of 15 families to call and say hello and how excited they are to see them
- Have your teachers create a dance to perform for students
- Ask teachers to share their projects or field trips for the year to spread the excitement
- Ask teachers to lead Ed Talk workshops
- Take your staff on a community walk through your neighborhood
- Send postcards to your incoming students
- Pick the right data to share
- Find some bright spots from the past year and highlight them
- Raffles always are nice
- Bake something sweet from scratch
The year is long. You don’t have to squeeze everything or give a preview to everything. Don’t share an idea that isn’t fully baked. People want to connect and people want to plan. Make sure you build in time for teachers to get into their rooms, especially if all you have is 1 or 2 days for their classroom set up. The more voices the better. Less is more.