It’s basic human nature to want to take care of things that truly belong to us. We spend time cleaning, maintaining, painting, and decorating homes we own to keep them in good shape. But we likely don’t go to such extremes for a hotel room or a vacation house - they just aren’t our concern in the end. The same is true for change initiatives. Those we own, we’re more likely to nurture and champion whereas those we aren’t invested in might not get our full attention.
If school leaders are intentional about gaining and maintaining teacher buy-in with Kickboard and school culture initiatives, schools are much more likely to achieve the positive outcomes they desire.
Here are four easy strategies you can incorporate right now to help your staff become more invested in Kickboard and your positive school culture goals.
Teachers need to realize the need for Kickboard before they’re able to use it with fidelity and there’s no better way than to use data to help open their eyes to the need. A simple mandate of “We’re going to use Kickboard this year” will not be as effective as guiding teachers to realize the need themselves. Did your staff have any input in your decision to adopt or continue Kickboard? Did you and your teachers use data to identify behavioral pain points? If the leadership alone made these decisions, you can still take steps to help staff realize the need.
Make sure you provide time for dialogue and reflecting upon the data. Then, collaboratively determine a school-wide goal to achieve together this year. Here are some goals our schools have used successfully in the past:
Giving staff the voice and the opportunity to come to the same conclusion you did will go a long way toward gaining a critical mass of teachers invested in the improvement efforts. Working together toward a shared goal will boost the synergy for improvement even more.
The beginning of the school year is always a good time to reflect on potential changes to your Kickboard site as well as to make tweaks to your internal positive behavior support systems. Teachers are closest to the behaviors in action every day, so put them in the position of expert and offer them the chance to give you their advice.
Here’s a simple activity you can use for getting teacher input on which behaviors to track—download it here and use it for revising behaviors from last year or generating a new list altogether. Friendly reminder: make sure you act on some of their recommendations! Nothing frustrates teachers more than spending time on something and then learning that their recommendations didn’t make a difference.
If you strategically light a few sparks about Kickboard throughout your campus, you will soon have your whole staff on fire about it! Start by selecting a group of key influencers to serve on your Kickboard Culture Leadership Team. Empower the team to set the school’s climate and culture goals, plan campus climate and culture initiatives, help ensure consistency, and be the continued voice for their colleagues. Be sure to calendar out regular check-in meetings where you analyze school-wide data trends and progress toward your goals, plan ways to motivate staff, check on school-wide positive incentives you’ve initiated for students, and make necessary action steps to continue the progress.
The most powerful way to build teacher investment in Kickboard is to get your staff to a point where they can’t live without the data. Schools that use their culture data systemically, find that buy-in isn’t even an issue anymore.
Teacher buy-in won’t happen without intentionality and true school-wide transformation won’t happen without significant teacher buy-in. But once leaders take action toward helping their staff become true owners of the change, the magic can begin!