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A Note on Teacher Buy-In



Often when a reform is introduced, there are concerns surrounding teacher buy-in and implementation. Research supports these concerns, highlighting that if teachers don’t recognize or believe in the value of a policy or reform, they’re less likely to make chances to their teaching or behavior. The role of teachers has often been overlooked by researchers and policymakers when it comes to implementing school reform, but it’s important to remember that as programs grow, so typically does implementation. Everyone will take up new initiatives at their own pace, but ownership and leadership can be increased and ensured by maintaining a group vision that is consistent with collaboration and shared goals (Lee & Min, 2017).

How do we increase buy-in?

Teachers are more likely to buy in to a school reform program when they receive the following:

  • Adequate training and resources – this toolkit and other school and personnel resources
  • Support from program developers – Quarterly Meetings, Summer Institute, and other opportunities
  • Support from staff members – PASL Educator Team Meetings, Teacher Mentors, Administrators Support
  • Administrator buy-in – PASL Coordinator Visibility, Principal Support
  • Teacher influence over classroom implementation

What’s next?

Once buy-in has been achieved among teachers and staff, however, it is important to sustain it.

  • Continuing to align the reform with the mission of the school and other ensures that introducing and maintaining related behaviors isn’t too much of a lift for teachers, on top of already full schedules.
  • Slow and deliberate introduction and implementation are also important, as they allow opportunities to include professional development and maintain high spirits.
  • Continued and visible administrative support is helpful in showing teachers that reforms are top-down, and that enthusiasm is contagious!
  • Underscoring the importance of the work, and that it is based on research, and not the latest whim. (Murray & Brooks, 2017).


Lee, S. W., & Min, S. (2017). Riding the implementation curve: Teacher buy-in and student academic growth under Comprehensive School Reform Programs. The Elementary School Journal117(3), 371-395.

Murray, C., & Brooks, E. (2017, May 10). Understanding the Importance of Teacher Buy-In for School Improvement. Retrieved from