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  • Jim Mercer

SamTastic Weekly Tip – 1/17/22: Appreciate Your First Responders

Take a few minutes each week in your SAM Daily Meeting to consider the impact of your First Responders and schedule time to say thanks.

Many times we assume First Responders know that their work allows the principal to spend more time on instructional work with teachers and students. Taking time to recognize First Responders, and making clear the value of their work, can make a significant difference.

One SAM principal noticed that the time needed to discuss management issues during the SAM Daily Meeting decreased significantly over a two-year period. He realized this was because the First Responder system in the school worked like a clock:

  1. People requesting the principal’s time for management issues were validated by office staff and then offered help sooner from a First Responder.

  2. First Responders were trained and knew how to handle issues, when to ask for help and how to keep the leader informed.

  3. The school community knew how to use the First Responder system.

Time Change Coach Gena McCluskey reports several of her Missouri SAM teams identify a support staff person each week who makes a significant difference. They then schedule time for the principal to meet with the staff member to show appreciation. What a great idea.

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This week’s tip: Take the First Step Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Being a school leader requires faith. Improving a teach

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