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 2

Define your aspiration

A shared group vision helps create clear alignment of purpose, direction, and language. In this phase, your team will develop an Equity Aspiration - a vision statement that defines what meaningful learning looks like for your students. This will be your north star throughout the design journey.

Before you begin this phase, you should:

  • Recruit a committed community of people to participate in the design journey
A lot of professional development is driven by what everybody needs to know. This process is meant to challenge your thinking. It’s about finding solutions to the challenge you're facing in a new and different way.
Cris Vaughan
Superintendent of District 11, The Bronx, NY

Getting started

Define Your Equity Aspiration

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

Looking out

Lens of Systemic Oppression

Reflect on your own and others' life experiences as a group to develop an equity lens that will help you draft an authentic and specific aspiration.

Memorable Learning Experience

Make connections between transformational learning experiences, meaningful learning, and equity.

Establishing a vision

Equity Aspiration Writing: Partner Interview

Develop a first draft of an Equity Aspiration that articulates a vision of meaningful learning for students.

Equity Aspirations & Behaviors

List observable behaviors aligned to each Equity Aspiration that allow participants to articulate what it would look like if their Aspiration became reality.

Team Equity Aspiration Writing

Support the collaborative development of a team aspiration that considers equity in voice, allowing each person to contribute to the shared vision.


You will have finalized an Equity Aspiration that articulates your team’s vision for meaningful learning. You will also have identified three observable behaviors that will help indicate progress towards your team’s goal.

At the end of this phase, you will have:

  • Drafted an Equity Aspiration that centers on students furthest from opportunity

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, work to better understand your students

Center your team’s design journey around the student experience.