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SamTastic Weekly Tip: 7/13/20 - Take A First Step

This week’s tip: Take A First Step


We are mid-way through Summer and many SAM teams are going back to work soon. It would be easy to put off doing anything when there is so much uncertainty: what school will be like, when students will come and if the political leaders will do the right thing.


The SAM Process centers on one step at a time. Scheduling your work, management and instructional, ahead of time and talking about it after. So, now is the perfect time to begin taking “first steps”. Here are five to get you started:

  1. Schedule time for the management work you know you need to do. Doing a bit each day will make it easier to move forward. This work is not predicated on whether you will have remote learning, in-person or a combination. It is work that needs to be done, regardless.

  2. Update your staff list in TimeTrack. Delete staff who have left, add staff who are new and revise your groups. (Click the TimeTrack logo, select settings, select individual/group set-up.)

  3. Set your goals. Don’t allow your uncertainty to keep you from setting monthly goals now. You can still do some instructional work but doing so will require planning for it. It is fine to start August with a lower instructional time goal than you did last year. Set the goal for August and slightly higher goals each month. You can always change your goals if you’d like later.

  4. Don’t be afraid to schedule instructional work with teachers. You set the tone, and show what you value, by what you do. Working with teachers on their work with students is necessary no matter what school looks like. Start by scheduling meeting with each teacher or group of teachers. Focus on how the teacher is feeling and be supportive. Ask about the remote teaching that worked well—what were their wins? What are they looking forward to trying? How can you help?

  5. Schedule your first SAM Daily Meeting. Celebrate your work from last year and pat each other on the back. You have a plan, your TimeTrack, and you are proactive, positive, enthused and determined. In other words, you are a school leader.

Your Time Change Coach can help. Let your coach know what you’d like. Your coach can schedule remote one-on-one sessions with the SAM or principal. Also, The SAM Coffee Break August 6 will feature NSIP founder Mark Shellinger setting up a TimeTrack for the new year. Mark will answer questions and demonstrate how to use a variety of TimeTrack functions designed to make the work of SAM teams easier.

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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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