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!