Transitions: Navigating the Change in Leadership

Summary: As you approach a new position in a new school, you are faced with a diverse set of questions, challenges, and mysteries in preparation of the change in leadership. These can include long-standing traditions, musical and character cultures, curriculum, and goals. Intelligently prioritizing and patiently strategizing these transitions can provide the foundation for a smooth change in a program.


  • What do you know about the program (first hand vs second hand)?
  • What don’t I know about the program?
  • Why was there a change?
  • What infrastructure exists (policies, procedures, leadership, travel, budget, curriculum, etc)?
  • What is the culture?
  • Where does the program fit within the “community”?

Starter Questions for YOU: time to REFLECT…

  • What message do I want to be heard?
  • How would I like people to describe this program?
  • What are my non-negotiable classroom policies?
  • What type of “colleague” am I looking for?
  • What will be my “first impressions”?
  • What type of student do I want to attract?
  • How did I get here with all this “baggage”?
  • Will this put a square peg in a round hole?

Starter Questions for THEM: time to EXPLORE…

  • What do “you” want from the program?
  • What is important to you (traditions)?
  • How do you think the program can grow?

Resources: under construction

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