Photo Credit: sunsurfr

I have been struggling with encouraging others to understand the importance of changes in the classroom. Don’t get me wrong. We have terrific buy-in with the ideas we are implementing, but it only takes one or two folks to slow down that progress. When we have teachers on campuses do more with less, it is a little frustrating to see those with more doing little to nothing.  As a superintendent from west Texas told me one time, “The only person who likes change is a baby with a loaded diaper.”

Well, my virtual buddy Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach posted about change this week on her blog. She did it so eloquently I thought I would just re-post it below. Thanks for saying it so well, Sheryl.

Someone in a community I belong to recently said, “Why should teachers change? We are asking them to work harder, do things in a new way, unlearn the old ways of doing things, and when they do all that we have asked we do what? Tell them thanks? I know we don’t give them more money. Maybe if they are really lucky we ask them to help the others who just don’t seem to get it. What a reward!

I face the same problems, some jump on board and others don’t, and I have started asking myself why should they change?”

Why change?

Here’s why– you change for the same reason you went into teaching in the first place. You change because what you do for a living was never just a job- but more a mission. You change because you are willing to do whatever it takes to make a significant difference in the lives of the students you teach. You change because you care deeply about kids and you know that unless you personally own these new skills and literacies you will not be able to give them to your students.

Why change? You change because of all the people in the world- teachers understand the value of being a lifelong learner. You change because you know intuitively relationships matter and you are interested in leaving a legacy to your kids– through what you do for other’s kids. You change because you understand learning is dynamic and that to not change means to quit growing.

Why change? Because you made the decision when you first became a teacher to do something that was larger than life and more meaningful than money, recognition, and status. You became a teacher because of change– the changes in the world you wanted to make one kid at a time. You change because you want to do what is right– simply because it *is* the right thing to do and you understand the need to model for others so they can do what is right as well. You are use to hard work and long hours. You are use to commitment with little recognition. You know what you do has lasting results.

You change because the world has changed and you know that not challenging the status quo is the riskiest thing you can do at this point. You change because you love learning and you love children and you know they need you to lead the way in this fast paced changing world and to do that you have to find your own way first. That is why you and they should change.

2 thoughts on “Change

  1. I have been wrestling with the same issue. The teachers at my district work hard and do a great job. Many are hesitant to take the step needed to begin bringing the technology into their class. They want to, but there always seems to be something stopping them. Most likely it is the fear of change. Thanks to you and Sheryl for sharing.

  2. You and I agree on this issue, for sure. It is either time or change, and change is the only thing we can control.

    One this that has occurred as of late to help me in my work is a planning meeting at the administrative level. The curriculum director and I are going to start working on a plan that will gather input from each campus that directs our entire district toward the bigger goal: instead of technology AND curriculum, it is just curriculum. Technology has to become one of the tools/options our kids have at their disposal throughout their learning. We have to stop looking at the two as two separate items in the teaching and learning process. It goes so far as to have our superintendent ask us, “Should this recreate our vision and mission statements?” He sees that level of importance in it.

    We are close. Very close. But it all starts with buy-in from those at the top and then it works its way throughout. Admin was willing to let it become viral. That has worked well for us. Now we need to help others see the importance of the change.

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