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Embrace: Experience Journey 2.2 Teachers Collaborating Teachers Collaborating

Ready to commit to reexamining your ideas of who the stakeholders are in your ecosystem?


Expand the educator community


You’re here to continue the journey of expanding the concept of educator and community in schools. The second step? Reexamine your ideas of who the stakeholders are in your ecosystem.

Across this journey, you will be prompted to record your answers during some activities. You can record them or type them on your own device and save the files so you can come back to them later. If you see the option to take notes within the text boxes, you can print and/or email them to yourself at the end of the activity for your personal use. You can also access a digital download of this Experience Journey if you prefer.

If this is your first Experience Journey with The Elephant in the (Class)room, make sure you Pack for Your Journey before you depart.


Merriam-Webster defines “stakeholder” as one that has a stake, or an interest or share in an undertaking or enterprise; or one who is involved in or affected by a course of action. In education, what type(s) of stakeholder are you and how does that inform how you engage with your school community?

Record your answers

Record your answers on your own device. You can refer back to them later.

Listen to the Conversation

Gary Briggs and Joshua Martinez

Listen to Gary Briggs and Joshua Martinez, two former educators currently on NTC’s Professional Learning Systems team, speak about the challenges of addressing the commitment to reexamine your ideas of who the stakeholders are in your ecosystem.

First listen:
from a stakeholder lens
  • Reflecting on the fireside chat, what resonated with you as a stakeholder in schools?
  • Who are the other critical stakeholders in your current context?
  • From your perspective as a stakeholder, what is your current capacity to do more?
Don’t forget to record your answers!
Second listen:
from a practitioner lens
  • As an educator, what are some possible disconnections or tension points between you and other stakeholders?
  • How do the other stakeholders inform how you make decisions on behalf of students?
  • Who are the individuals in your context that are perceived to have value? Who are not?
  • Joshua Martinez spoke of how in a previous role as a school leader, his school included supporting staff in professional development and even paid them for their time, and how this communicated coherence to the students and a sense of inclusion and respect to the supporting staff. What similar examples–or non-examples–have you seen in your context?
Don’t forget to record your answers!

Analyze your current educational context and think about low-hanging fruit opportunities to engage more with stakeholders in your school community who may currently be left out of critical decisions. What are some ideas that would be relatively simple to implement? These opportunities could include specific streams of work or individuals who have been relegated to the sidelines of decision-making.

Who is a stakeholder that matters to your students with whom you haven’t authentically engaged? What is one outcome that could come from you making a connection with them? How will you hold yourself accountable in ensuring that the outcome is not only effective but sustainable?

Think about opportunities that are realistic and attainable. These opportunities could be focused on specific streams of work or individuals who have been relegated to the sidelines of decision-making.

Activity: Engage other stakeholders that matter to your students.
  1. Describe the opportunity.
  2. Describe a stakeholder who matters to your students and with whom you haven’t authentically engaged.
  3. Describe one outcome that could come from you making a connection with them.
  4. Include 1-3 accountability action steps you will take to meet the outcome. This will help you hold yourself accountable to ensuring the connection you are making and the relationship you are building are sustainable and can lead to the desired outcome.
  5. Finally, as you proceed and progress through the engagement, capture what you are learning about the stakeholder and the path toward the outcome. This may influence your selections for future stakeholder engagement, your engagement process, and other aspects of this work; or, it may just enrich your understanding of who students are learning from and how they learn outside the classroom.

You can use this template to record this information:

    Last step: Commit and Connect

    Students in classroom
    Now that you’ve woven it all together, where do you go from here?

    Connect with others on this journey so that we as educators can learn and grow together in community rather than in isolation. Commit to equity as an ongoing practice and explore more content on The Elephant in the (Class)room.

    Engage others in your system

    You might start with engaging others in your system – for example, your colleagues, a grade-level team, or a professional learning community structure already established – and invite them to join you in this experience. The power of additional stories, reflections, and learning in community can be harnessed at your school and/or district.

    Connect with us

    Connect with the Elephant team to join a cohort of like-minded educators from across the country to redesign systems for equity. Send us a message at .

    Explore more on The Elephant in the (Class)room

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