More Thinking about Change

Is Change the True Barrier? | The Principal of Change | George Couros

Change for change sake is not good enough.  Change to make something better is the goal. If what we are doing now is the best way of doing things, then there is no reason to change.  But, if we know something is better and serving our students in a way that is needed, is change the true barrier?

Is it that people really don’t like change or is it truly that people do not like the process that change incurs?


I’ve been Thinking About Change a lot recently:

I think we are at a point of transition now where teachers are often learning to use tools as they teach with them & so a few key things are needed to help foster effectiveness:
1. Time- Pro-D, preparation, planning & play
2. Co-teaching & collaboration opportunities
3. Models & Mentorship

…and George asks a really good question about change above.

In my comment I said:

I think part of the issue is the ‘unknown’ factor of how much change is needed. For example: When someone struggles with email and adding an attachment, the move to a wiki seems daunting. Phrases like “It’s just like using a word document,” seem comforting to some, but not to others. To me the change is minor in the amount of effort, to others it can be a huge undertaking!

I also think the education profession is it’s own worst enemy simply because it always leaves you feeling you can do more. You can have an amazing lesson that excites all but one kid and you walk out of the room thinking, “What could I have done to engage him?” So, how much do you do? You can ALWAYS be better, you can ALWAYS do more. I love the phrase “Good enough is not good enough!” but I think too often it is perceived as ‘good enough’ when the prospect of big changes are presented.

The missing ingredient that I see: Collaboration time. Put teachers together in an organized way, with clear objectives, and they’ll move mountains. Alone, the mountains are just too big!

And I think that fits well with my post I linked to above.

Dean Shareski commented:

“Teachers do not resist making changes; they resist people who try to make them change. The best change comes as a result of individuals realizing they need to change. If we believe that teachers are the right people in the role, we need to help them realize this on their own and not because they feel forced. True change is internal.”

…Which adds the aspects of empowerment and ‘owning the learning’ to the equation. I think this is a really critical point!

4 thoughts on “More Thinking about Change

  1. Cale Birk (@birklearns)

    I could not agree more about collaborative time–this is something I wrote about a few weeks ago:…It was interesting to me when I presented at the BCPVPA Conference in October of this year that when I asked each of my session attendees how many of their schools had collaborative time for their teachers that fewer than ONE percent raised their hands. We have put collaborative time our timetable, and it is paying dividends for our staff and our students.Rick Dufour said something to me in an elevator at a conference once. I asked him what his opinion was on teacher evaluations, and he said “We do the state minimum. I don’t know much about teaching Math, but other Math teachers do. I would rather make time for them to get together to improve results”. This made a lot of sense to me.We can’t say collaboration is important–we have to demonstrate that it is important by making time for it.Good thoughts, David.

  2. David Truss

    Walter,Well, there is always something better, and the grass is always greener… but if you are asking about educational reform, here are (currently) 70 bookmarks to answer your question,Great point, “We can’t say collaboration is important–we have to demonstrate that it is important by making time for it.”I come from a district that has had learning teams for years… put teachers together and great things happen. I have common preps built into my timetable but not actual collaboration time. We can’t talk about collaboration time, we have to make it happen!

  3. Pingback: Challenging the Status Quo | Connected Principals

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