Tools for Change

Use these resources to lead your team through a design journey that surfaces solutions for students furthest from opportunity in your school community. Work through each phase in order or choose a specific phase that best fits your team's needs.
To download the full toolkit, please visit the Appendix.
Phase 1

Build your team

The challenges facing schools require the expertise and effort of a diverse group. Consider who you need on your team and who to engage along the way. Explore your identities as leaders, create and stick to team norms, and determine how to best leverage your collective knowledge.

Before you begin this phase, you should:

  • Confirm design team members
This journey helped me build closer relationships and allowed me to get to know my colleagues in a different way. Each of us brings different experiences and strengths to the team. Seeing my colleagues' perspectives and getting their input has helped me become more creative in the classroom.
Megan Leake
Teacher in Frederick, CO

Getting started

Build Your Team

An overview of this phase's goals, activities, and desired outcomes.

Community Reflection

Begin by looking in and out to assess team dynamics and opportunities to influence your school community.

Looking in

Paseo Circles

Participants explore their identities as leaders by examining personal beliefs and values and how they shape decisions and behaviors in their leadership roles.

Mindset Mapping

A creative way to physically represent your team's mindsets.

Getting to know your team


Articulate a set of working agreements to ground your group in a shared sense of how to collaborate.

Gratitude Circles

Share appreciation for fellow team members to transform a team's energy and build a stronger bond.

"Ask Me About..."

Elevate the diverse and unique expertise of individuals on your team.


These activities support community health by boosting trust and belonging. Participants are invited to reflect on their internal motivations, while also engaging in authentic moments of vulnerability and connection as they build relationships with their design teammates.

At the end of this phase, you will have:

  • A committed team of people ready to participate in a design journey

Join the conversation

Have a question or suggestion about this phase? Share it with the Facebook Group.

Share Your Thoughts

Help other educators learn from your team. Share your work on the Community Wall.

View The Wall

Next, define your aspiration

Start with an Equity Aspiration, then observe the shifts you 
see in yourself and others. Group dynamics evolve as 
you move through periods of conflict and agreement, confusion, and clarity. Take time to reflect on what’s working for your team and what it needs to be successful.