Change, why?

Change is tough. If there is one thing that I have learned in administration it is that making a change in a school is one of the hardest things to do on the planet. It is right up there with drilling to the center of the earth.

As I have been investing more time in the edublogosphere I have discovered all these people who are not afraid of change. These people who are writing blogs and leaving comments are all embracing change. Questions like, how do I use a wiki, how can I do assessment more effectivley and how will Web 2.0 better my classroom abound in the blogs I read. Where are you people, I need you.

My question is: what makes a teacher or any school staff member (because I know plenty of administrators who just do things the same old way) want to change. Is it because of this ratio that I read about on Dy/Dan. This teacher is a thinker. He is all about change. I think, maybe it is because he is new, but then you have Rick Scheibner, he is a veteran teacher who is posting and changing as much as Dan. What makes people want to change? Maybe someone will answer that for me.

I personally like looking for new ideas and trying things that will make my life easier, better, smoother or possibly more difficult. Many of these things make it easier for the students at my school and increase communication between school and home. Again, what makes people not want to buy into this with whole heartedness. Is it a hereditary gene, stubborness or fear?

Or…is it the process. If you are going into administration or even thinking about it make sure you know the change process. I am lucky to be working under a principal who understands the change process and makes it work.

Change, why?

9 thoughts on “Change, why?

  1. A few years ago, I taught at a school with a lady who had been in that building for 34 years. Two days before the last day of school that year, you’d think she’d be taking it easy and thinking about her coming retirement. Guess again. Two days before her last day of school, after 34 years of teaching, she was in the computer lab training the rest of the staff how to use this new reading software called Accelerated Reader. Now that is a teacher not afraid of change.

  2. I believe that personality plays a huge role in one’s willingness and ability to change. This being said I struggle with being sensitive to people’s needs and the desire to make the experiences for students in the classroom the very best possible. I am finding over time that teachers are feeling pressure from sources other than me to change though. Their peers are having great success and are being recognized. Students can’t wait to get to some classes. Those are pretty powerful motivators. If all else fails, we can fall back on the following quotation from Phil Simms, a former NFL quarterback, “You may not win them over, but if you hang around long enough, you’ll wear them out.”

  3. It sounds like both Sunny and Rick have hit on the personality trait. Does this mean that if you are adverse to change you should not be a teacher? Sunny’s comment regarding pressure from other sources is one of the greatest tools an administrator can have in their pocket. When teachers see success from their peers that is the greatest motivator, or depending on their personality, it may be the greatest inhibitor. That is a great quote from Phil Simms. I love it when football is brought into anything.

  4. Change is inevitable in education. In my experience, people who don’t adapt well to that change gradually become more ineffective as educators. I think that’s especially true in this era of accountability and NCLB.

    BTW, I’m honored to be mentioned in the same paragraph as Dan Meyer. He’s a young, energetic, dynamic teacher who not only embraces change, but is willing to lead that change. I’m just a washed up music teacher and counselor who’s working on my admin license right now. 🙂

  5. Rick,
    I totally agree with you on the inevitability factor.
    Just the fact that you are out in the edublogosphere takes you out of the washedup category. In fact it should move you into the cutting edge category. Especially for site administrators. I have not found many out there who are using the blog tool as a way to promote ideas about quality administration

  6. Sunny,
    I had heard about this before winter break. I believe a blog company was giving away 50 free blogs to administrators (am I on the right track). I thought about signing up but didn’t think I would have the time (now look at me). I will have to check it out. It is interesting to look at the list and only see 1 or 2 people from California. You would think with Silicon Valley being right down the street there would be a few more from CA. I will start to peruse some of the blogs.

  7. Pingback: Snacks and Staff Meetings » Change; sure!

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