Add Sriracha to your Welcome Back PD

The school year is right around the corner and you know what that means. Welcome Back PD. But Teachers and staff don’t want want no boring and bland ass meetings. Skip the 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 now led 6 of these. 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.

So don’t be bland.

Good thing you got a bottle of sriracha in your kitchen.

Here Are 20 Things you can do:

  1. Bring in a parent or student speaker to ground everyone
  2. Share your equity commitment
  3. Tell a personal story
  4. Have your returning staff tell the story of your school to your new staff, with charades
  5. Start the year with celebrations from the past year, with trophies
  6. Share a compelling vision and big goal for the year, write a poem
  7. Pass out a staff book or reader for the year (here are a few good ones)
  8. Infuse your meetings with the culturally responsive pedagogy you want to see
  9. Give your staff a challenge, scavenger hunt, or mystery to solve. Infuse some PBL in there.
  10. Show a video, play some music, use quotes, and poetry
  11. Give everyone a list of 15 families to call and say hello and how excited they are to see them
  12. Have your teachers create or learn a dance to perform for students
  13. Ask teachers to share their projects or field trips for the year to spread the excitement
  14. Ask teachers to lead Ed Talk workshops and let people choose what they want to learn more about
  15. Take your staff on a community walk through your neighborhood
  16. Send postcards to your incoming students
  17. Pick the right data to share and inspire
  18. Find some bright spots from the past year and highlight them
  19. Raffles are always nice
  20. Bake something sweet from scratch

Lessons Learned

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 as much time as possible 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 you can get involved the better. Less is more.

Good luck!!


  1. Slide Deck for opening Staff PD
  1. Sharing your Equity Purpose
  1. Breathing life back into your meetings
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