Great teaching happens when everyone learns from each other and shares knowledge--here are valuable tips for online district leaders.

A supe’s 6 back-to-school tips for virtual district leaders

Great teaching happens when everyone works together, learns from each other, and shares knowledge and resources

For example, would you like for your teachers to communicate via video chat, text, call, or email? Then, would you like for your teachers to have set hours so that they can still communicate with students and parents while also allowing them to create boundaries to help with their work-life balance?

3. Discuss training schedules
Something I learned early on as the President and CEO of Florida Virtual School is that if your staff is set up for success and feels confident and prepared to
teach online, the results will show. Not only in terms of building a culture of care within
your school or district, but also when it comes to student success.

Which is why my third step should be one of your top priorities–ensuring your staff has the time to train, learn new systems, and develop their skills. Whether it’s professional development that helps teachers learn how to build strong connections with students in the online learning environment, or how to use the learning management system to their advantage, there are so many great resources for you to utilize.

4. Send a survey
As a school administrator, I know how important it is to create a supportive community of students, teachers, non-instructional staff, parents, and more. One way to build up that community and keep it strong is by sending out a survey at the beginning of the school year.

The survey can ask everyone what their greatest priorities are, what concerns they may have, and if any help is needed. By doing this, not only are you opening the door for transparent communication, but it also gives you a glimpse into what your priorities
should be and what you will need to address moving forward.

5. Meet with your staff
Then, once you send the survey, it’s important to meet with your staff to discuss their
concerns and any help that they may need. You can do this many ways, whether you
prefer a town hall with a Q&A session or individual team meetings.

Make sure you can address their concerns or priorities, and if you don’t know the answer to some of their questions yet, be transparent and let them know you will work to find them an answer.

I also recommend providing your staff with a way to communicate when they need help, such as a digital forum, chat, or recurring meetings. Make yourself available and actively listen.

6. Host regular check-in meetings
Your staff’s insight, knowledge, and feedback can help shape your online learning
program for the better, so it’s important to keep meeting with your team regularly
throughout the year.

Build a communication cadence with your direct reports to provide updates and foster
open dialogue and collaboration. I am a firm believer that good teaching and learning
happens when everyone works together, learns from each other, and shares knowledge and resources.

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