We’ve written about open door policies here and here, and they’ve come back up to the surface as many of our schools continue in-person and in-office work. Mariama K., a school leader at Uplift Education in Dallas, shared her school’s shift from a “bust-in-at-any-moment” culture to being more transparent and intentional about availability. They made door signs for all leaders in the building and had a little BIT of fun with it, too!
Mariama (in her third year of leading her school) created this new system because, in her words:
“I loved having an open-door policy as a leader, but it wasn’t sustainable for me or my team. This became clear through the constant apologies I was giving my staff when they would catch me in a meeting, or if they couldn’t find me because I was doing observations in classrooms. I really wanted to be clear and transparent with my team about my availability in a way that was kind, consistent, and had my own personal flair.”
Let’s peek at some of the signs in action!
I especially love the transparency of Mariama saying, “I’m out Principal-in’” and including a checklist of what she may be up to. And of course, we always appreciate a BIT (heh heh, get it yet?) of humor and personalization as it relates to Togetherness!
Mariama also reported on her team’s reaction to this new system: “The staff loved it and embraced it. Others have also used it to communicate with their peers about their own availability. You can see our signs throughout the building on leader, interventionist, operations, and some teacher doors, too!”
How do YOU signal when you’re available? And when you’re not?