Launching something new? Step 1 - Get Buy In!

The end of the school year always seems to soak up all the free hours in my day. As many educators can commiserate, there seems to be endless grading, organizing, and cleaning. Now that we are into our first week of summer, my reflective juices are flowing and I am looking forward to a restful and educational summer.

I have had the pleasure to be apart of several launches during my time as an educator. I have watched others launch, I have been part of launch teams, and like every classroom teacher I have launched countless projects, events, lessons, and new ideas in my class. As I sit back and reflect, each of these launches has something in common, they all require buy in.

Let me give you an example...

In my first year teaching, I went to NSTA's national conference. I saw Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams present. I knew as soon as I saw their presentation, that I wanted to flip my class. When I cam back to school, I launched one lesson and the following Fall, I completely flipped all my chemistry courses with my own content.

Now what you might be thinking is "that's not a launch of anything because all you did was shift something in your classroom". I would argue that is not correct. I launched a new pedagogy that required getting my students, parents, and administrators to buy in.

I personally believe that decisions made for the right reasons, after doing appropriate research, and are honestly communicated to stake holders are the most successful. I was honest with parents that I was doing this because it would let me interact more one on one with their students. I was honest with my administration that I had done my homework and research showed increased student learning and engagement. Getting that initial buy in, and from every class since, has helped my classroom continue to thrive.

Getting buy in is vital to the initial and continued success of any program. Your stakeholders need to be reminded of the passion and commitment that drives you to continue to grow. If you are passionate, honest, and well informed before making decisions, the sky is the limit!


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