School Readiness Checkpoint
It's that time of year again! The mid-year checkpoint. A time to review the goals and objectives you had made at the beginning of the year and ensure you're still on the right track to achieving them. A few of your plans may have changed or shifted from original goals, and that's OK. The important thing is to keep learning, making necessary, and moving forward in your professional development. It's also paramount to carry out individual check-ins within yourself to make sure you're still feeling fulfilled or challenged in your current role. Later, you can carry out school-wide or district-wide check-ins with your colleagues to better understand how everyone is doing collectively to make necessary changes.
Things we need to checkpoint within ourselves as early childhood professionals:
Am I maintaining a positive outlook and attitude?
Maintaining a positive outlook and attitude is essential to success as an early childhood professional. It means seeing the good in every situation, being curious and open-minded, and having an agile growth mindset. A leader with a positive outlook is also flexible and adaptable. Ask yourself:
★ Do I approach my work with a positive outlook and attitude?
★ Am I curious and open-minded?
★ Am I flexible and adaptable?
If you answered "yes" to all, you are on the right track! Keep up the excellent work. However, if you answered no to all, it might be a good idea to reflect on why that is and what you can do to change your outlook and attitude?
What can we do differently to be more effective in our roles?
As a professional, it is always important to try various ways of improving your effectiveness. For example, finding new and innovative ways to engage team members, being more responsive to children's individual needs, or increasing your knowledge in a particular area. Ask yourself:
★ What can I do differently to be more effective in my role?
★ What new and innovative ways can I engage with staff?
★ How can I be more responsive to the individual needs of children?
★ How can I be more organized? How can I be more efficient in my work?
★ What can I do to meet better the needs of my team?
Taking time to regard these questions will help you identify areas where you can improve your effectiveness in your role.
Am I achieving my goals?
Being an effective early childhood professional means setting goals for yourself and working to achieve them. Your plans can be short-term or long-term, personal or professional, but they should always be specific, realistic, and achievable. Ask yourself:
★ What were my goals?
★ Am I working towards those goals?
★ Do my goals align with the mission and vision of my program?
★ Have my goals changed since I made them? Why or why not?
Suppose you can answer these questions and are still on track to achieve your goals, then great! Keep up the excellent work.
Checkpoints for our schools and districts
As we draw mid-year, we must carry out check-ins within our schools and districts. These check-ins can take various forms, but some ideas for check-ins include:
Repair, Replace, or Refurbish equipment.
Make sure that all of the tools & equipment in your school or district are in good working condition for an effective learning environment. It is repairing, replacing, or refurbishing old or broken equipment. It is also essential to ensure all new equipment is installed and functioning correctly. Ask yourself: Is all of the equipment in my school or district in good working condition? Do we have any broken or outdated equipment that needs to be repaired, replaced, or refurbished? Is all of our new equipment properly installed and functioning correctly? If you answered yes to all of these questions, that's brilliant!
Update policies and procedures to ensure your policies reflect your growth
Policies and procedures are an essential part of any school or district. They help ensure that everyone is on the same page & knows their expectations. As your school or district grows and changes, it is crucial to ensure that your policies and procedures reflect those changes. Regularly update your policies and procedures or make more significant changes when major changes occur within your school or district. Ask yourself: Are our policies and procedures up to date? Do they reflect the current reality of our school or district? Are they accessible to all members of our community?
Modify emergency action plan if needed
Emergency action plans are an essential part of any school or district. They help to safeguard against potential disasters and ensure that everyone knows what to do in the event of an emergency. Ensure that your school's emergency action plan is updated as your school or district grows and changes. Ask yourself:
Is our emergency action plan up to date?
Do we need to make additional adjustments or changes to it?
Does everyone know what to do in the event of an emergency?
Are all members of our community aware of the emergency action plan?
Check-in on your team members and staff.
As your school or district grows, it is necessary to ensure everyone works together effectively. You can do this by regularly checking in with your team members and staff. By having one-on-one meetings, sending out surveys, or holding group meetings. Ask yourself:
How well are my team members and staff working together?
What can I do to help them work better together?
Are there any areas where they are struggling?
Don't worry if you're not perfect; we all have room for improvement! Just remember to keep communication open and keep working towards your goals.
Hopefully, this has given you some ideas for ways to carry out a mid-year check-in within yourself and your school or district. Just remember, the essential part of any check-in is to make sure that your individual goals remain aligned with the goals you have for your school or district. If you need help, don't hesitate to reach out to your supervisor or another trusted individual within your organization.
Open Edu. (2022). Changing school plans. Retrieved from https://www.open.edu/openlearncreate/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=57514&printable=1
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