Last year our district decided to switch form primarily using the SIS gradebook to using our LMS - Schoology Gradebook. To the other ITC and I, it looked like an easy switch. Boy were we wrong. We planned it for the second week of school - Mistake #1. Then we went over it with them and put the details in writing in the PD course - Mistake #2 with mistake #2 was also the fact we gave entirely too much information in one sitting. Now when we made the plan, it looked good to us. By the time we realized what a failure it was, it was too late. At that point, we regrouped and tried to troubleshoot and support as much as we could.
With this "failure" in mind we evaluated what worked and what didn't. How did we know what worked and what didn't, we talked to our teachers. What could we have done differently? What did you like, what did you not like? Using this information, last Spring we decided to completely redo how we would do things in the fall. Here are the things we did differently:
Step 1 - Break everything down into itty bitty steps
Pros - Teachers will not be as overwhelmed and will be able to immediately implement what we showed them.
Cons - Took much longer to reach everyone and show them everything they needed to know.
Step 2 - Create the logical progression of steps
This one didn't have any pro/con. We played with and practiced what we were showing them. We asked ourselves several questions - What is the logical 1st step, what do they need to know first, what are the essential steps they have to know now? We really evaluated what the priorities were.
Step 3 - Do not plan out month at a time
Last year we would set our month's schedule up all at one time. We would adjust it as needed, but planning everything out a month at a time did not allow as much flexibility. This year in the beginning of the year we were really lucky to get a week at a time scheduled. At the end of each round of trainings, we would talk to teachers, talk to administrators and talk to each other to see what was needed next. Do we need to do a week of appointments before the next round, did they get it and we can go ahead and show them the next step, etc.. Evaluating things this way let us plan weekly and our schedule was completely open to adjust. The only downside was it was almost 6 weeks before we got through the initial trainings. The upside was teachers were much happier and less overwhelmed getting it in small doses.
All in all, this start of the school year has gone much better. We will always evaluate what we are doing and make changes accordingly, but last years "failure" help set us on a great path so I am thankful for it!!!