The Learning Accelerator Blog/Sustainable Change, One Step at a Time

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Sustainable Change, One Step at a Time

by Nicole Assisi & Shelli Kurth on June 1 2022

We are living in a tumultuous time for education. If you’re feeling more exhausted and frustrated than ever before, you are not alone. The COVID pandemic has created a marathon of emergencies and urgent initiatives, leaving educators and ed leaders stretched thin under continuous stress. As consultants to many of these leaders and school teams, we’ve heard many educators question how they can advance through this moment to create change that is both sustainable and transformative in the long-term.

With the benefit of our “bird's-eye view” across teams, and our own experiences as education system leaders developing new models and building resources for schools during the pandemic, we believe that now is the time to work together as practitioners, support providers, and leaders to build capacity and ensure schools are prepared and supported – now and into the future. This vision isn’t impossible, and we wanted to share our perspectives on ways leaders can take on system transformation without “drying out the well” (so to speak) even more. Over the course of the next four blogs in this series, we aim to provide resources to help teams translate their vision into a sustainable reality.

Each blog in this series will focus on one of four steps we’ve found essential to sustainable change and will include concrete, tangible resources to start the work within your own context.

Across these posts, we’ll try to offer advice and questions that support you to reflect on where your system currently is and where you hope to be in the future. This will help to shine a light on how to best leverage outside resources, understand your personal context, and begin the work with your team to support long-term change. Check back to the TLA Blog on Thursday, June 2 to dig into "Step 1: Designing Collective Futures." If you have any questions or additional strategies to share in the meantime, please reach out to [email protected].

Thrive is a nonprofit consulting firm composed of education leaders and coaches who are dedicated to sustainable change and transformative learning.

About the Author

Nicole Assisi is the founding CEO for Thrive. She has over 20 years of experience working in innovative education and was a founding leader for multiple high-profile schools. She has been recognized as a “40 under 40” leader in San Diego and was a finalist for the San Diego Business Journal’s CEO of the Year. As a coach and consultant, she supports hundreds of aspiring and established leaders and their organizations in increasing their capacity. Nicole has grown nonprofits from 2 to over 150 staff members and taught at UCLA, Cal State Dominguez Hills, and the University of San Diego. Nicole holds a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Southern California as well as two master’s degrees from the University of San Diego and Point Loma Nazarene University.

Shelli Kurth is the Chief Innovation Officer at Thrive. Shelli has deep school-site leadership expertise and brings a broad range of experience as a nonprofit founder, grassroots organizer, school leader, and coach. Shelli’s passion for the people she serves has made her a sought-after coach, trainer, and consultant. Shelli co-hosts an award-winning statewide parent education show on UCTV and is driven by a deep belief in equity, access, and opportunity for all through the empowerment of individuals. She is also a national speaker and writer. As a consultant, Shelli brings intuition and joy to her work and is skilled at working through thorny relationships, creating consensus, and moving teams toward greater collaborative outcomes.