Summer Wishes: Some Ideas to Share with Administrators for What To Do (and What Not To Do)
It’s almost here. As you daydream about the possibilities for shorter work days, extended weekends, time to see your family and friends, read, hike, sit on the beach, we’d like to gently suggest some things we think are worth a bit of your attention and quiet thought time.
First, take a break. You’ve earned it. Any JumpRope-related tweaks, changes, and new ideas you have for the 2018-2019 academic year will likely find their best articulation if you let them marinate a bit. We have time to take care of them, no need to rush to it all as soon as the students are gone.
Once you do turn your attention to JumpRope-related ideas for 2018-2019, we think it’s good to ask yourself, “What were the big pain points?” If you can name some, don’t hesitate to ask us if we have ideas or solutions. After nearly nine years and hundreds of schools, we might have some feedback that makes your pain point a lot less painful.
Here are a few practice-oriented questions you might ask to help smooth out hiccups you’ve encountered:
Which parts of our standards bank were strong and gave us actionable data?
Which parts were less strong? Do we really need those?
Are our indicators/targets too broad or too narrow?
Which indicators/targets were assessed a lot and which were assessed less? How could that information help us tighten up our overall assessment strategy?
Could an analysis of what teachers have been assessing point to indicators/targets to omit or add?
Here are some tool-oriented help docs to consider as you think about ways to close the current school year and open the new year:
We’ve also come to see that limiting options for teachers within JumpRope can really pay off. We’ve found that frequently teachers are overwhelmed with too many options which increases stress and can lead to discussions that are not wholly useful. We encourage you to look for ways to reduce chaos so you get more reliable data which can help you embark on focused and meaningful discussions.
Here are some straight-up recommendations from us:
Take a look at the JumpRope Implementation Benchmarks to help think through your current questions, ways to grow, and new ideas.
Train another JR expert in your school or district to have another layer of support onsite.
If you are going to make some changes, do so with a great deal of transparency. We’ve seen that including teacher voice when changes are being made yields the highest rates of success.
Plan for, and then actually communicate the changes you make. In doing so, those people affected are clear on why the changes were made and how those changes will impact them.
Remember to marinate and to let others do the same. At JumpRope, we’ve backed off of going quickly with a software implementation. We’ve learned the changes will go more smoothly and everyone will succeed better if you move slowly and give them an opportunity to get on board.
If you are looking at a big change or an initial implementation, we strongly recommend starting with a pilot group of teachers who can learn quickly and thoroughly and who can also communicate effectively with colleagues.
Don’t completely overhaul your standards bank! If you are thinking about a transcript, an overhaul may forfeit the reliability of your data. It will also prevent teachers from easily reusing curriculum.
Tweaks are fine, additions are also fine. Big changes, will create a lot of headaches for you.