It is always challenging when you are implementing a program as a whole school, and also when challenging staff to progress from dated methods such as Whole Language/Balanced Literacy to evidence-based programs and processes. Leadership has a huge job keeping everyone on-track and implementing consistent teaching.

The first six months are often stressful and can be the most time-consuming as you navigate through placement testing, set-up tracking sheets and establish routine in the classrooms.
The following are some tips for school leaders to support them when facing resistance or hesitant staff, particularly when giving tracking sheet or implementation feedback:

TIP 1 - Be realistic

The High Performing Schools research (Louden, 2015) suggests that it can take up to 5 years for staff and leadership to achieve consistency across classes/year levels. There is often a huge variation in teaching practice in a school initially. But with time and attention, this will improve over time.

According to the report, achieving consistency across classrooms and across year levels was the most challenging element of management.

TIP 2 - Relationships are important

Working with the staff to 'coach' their implementation is a good starting point.

It can be stressful for both new and experienced teachers and we are continually faced with the lack of knowledge and understanding that universities have imparted upon teachers within the classroom.

Ensuring staff feel supported is key. Schools are encouraged to use the School Support Coordinators as additional support also.

TIP 3- Deliver feedback personally

When giving feedback, PLD recommends providing information in person.

We understand that this takes time, however, is it particularly important for struggling teachers that feedback is given in a personal, supportive manner. Sharing PLD feedback to a whole staff via email can sometimes be taken as a personal judgment. Often, due to the volume of tracking sheets PLD provides feedback for, the comments are direct and clear.

TIP 4 - Identify ‘Lighthouse’ classes

Appoint high performing teachers as cluster leaders to nurture and model the teaching and implementation of PLD within the year level cluster.

You can use these high calibre teachers to share the load with leadership. These staff members can also be used as the point of contact for PLD and can share feedback with staff in their cluster.
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