I have been really obsessed with the book “The Checklist Manifesto.”  To say it’s changed my life would be a little wild, but it has definitely changed my perspective.  A lot.

One of the things that I learned about the power of checklists is that is helps us manage the cognitive load of all teachers have to handle in a day/week/month/year.  I mean, we don’t need anyone to tell us that we just have TOO MUCH TO DEAL WITH.

Things gets lost in the shuffle – we forget things that we would ordinarily remember.  We are running around like crazy.  More is definitely not more!

Checklists help us deliver the important stuff reliably across time – I think a series of simple checklists might really be able to help us manage all that we have to do.

As I was writing a new presentation I’m giving on a webinar in few weeks, I really though about what a checklist would look like in real school life, so I’d like to share some ideas with you and see what you think!  I have three to share…here is the first:

Working with/Talking with a Parent


Prior to call, pull any data, notes or information you need to reference


Greet the parent and tell them how happy you are to talk in person/by phone


Confirm the purpose of the call and let the parent know the amount of time you have for the call


Encourage parent to share concern/information related to the purpose of the call


Summarize what you hear the parent saying, “So, I want to make sure I understand what you’re sharing with me…”


Propose 1-2 solutions to the concern or propose 1-2 next steps and have the parent choose which he feels is the best


Confirm with the parent when these solution/next step will take place


Compliment the parent for taking time to work with you – end on a positive