Ask the tough back-to-school questions.

For many, the end of July and the consistent passage of August signals a call back to the classroom. For principals and superintendents, it may instead signal the new season, one filled with hope and promise. Most of us are anxious and excited to get back to it, and we often swirl with questions: “who will be in my class, what is the new principal like, will there be changes to the schedule?” While these seem rational, these are not the questions that need to be asked as we get back into school. If you dare, try a few of these instead:

Teachers asking principals:

What will our staff be doing differently this year? Why?

How has the technology, to which my students and I have access, improved?

Will there be meaningful PD, differentiated for need and interest?

What summits or conferences would you like me to attend this year?

How have we revised the technology acceptable use policy to evolve with the times?

Are YouTube, Wikipedia, and social media sites unblocked yet? Why not?

Principals asking faculty:

What have you learned about your practice over the summer?

What new tools and strategies will you be implementing this year?

What valuable connections did you make through your Twitter or Edmodo PLN this summer?

What strategies have you in mind to make schoolwork meaningful and memorable?

How will you keep parents digitally involved this year?

Can you recommend and eTexts we can look at for students this year?

How will your students publish project work this year? What site will host it?

How will your teaching be better than last year?

Sure, these are questions with baggage, yet we need to be having at least a few of these conversations in our schools each fall, or stagnation results. Our students certainly deserve current best practices and innovative thinking.


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