Three skills are needed by school board members to change the world. School board member training is the only way to make sure that your board has these needed skills: collaboration skills and the understanding and skills to develop and adopt reform policies and a theory of action.
I was once a very wise and “full of it” brand new school board member. I just knew the answer to our 200,000-student district’s needs. Of course, I easily shared my “answers” with my more senior colleagues much to their consternation. Why think about collaboration when I had the answers?
Needless to say, it took years of frustration to learn that working together was more productive than trying to hotdog it on my own. That doesn’t mean that I had to like all of my fellow board members or even agree on everything. But I had no power as an individual board member, and if I wanted things to happen, I had to collaborate with others.
Don’t waste years like I did. Understand the power of collaboration: when to use it and when a split vote is just the way it has to be.