Let me start by stating why I believe "Change" is necessary. The world we live in today is vastly different from what it looked like 5-10 years ago. The way we always did things must shift. Knowledge in the form of facts is easily accessible. The educational shift must be in the form of higher level thinking, creating, analyzing, and thinking critically.
First, change is possible, but people have to see the value in changing.
Second, develop a vision and plan for sustainable change. Without a vision and a well-thought out plan change won't last, it won't be sustainable over time. The mistake I see here from some leaders is that the vision is in place, but the plan is top heavy. I believe sustainable change occurs when you pace correctly, revisit often and welcome feedback along the way.
Third, I often hear people talk about "buy-in", I believe "buy-in" is acceptance. I would argue that I don't hope for "buy-in", I hope for people to "embrace" change. I believe when someone embraces something they commit to continuous improvement.
Fourth, listen carefully to the biggest critics. Expect people to resist, find out what the issues are, try to break down barriers and calm fears. Differentiate expectations, allow some people to "dip their toes in" and others to "dive in head first".
Fifth, continuous professional development must be available. Whether it is a full or half day workshop or an after school session it is vital to provide PD to staff that crave it and want it. Without professional development the change will not sustain itself and frustration will increase.
Finally, expect and embrace failures. If you aren't failing you aren't learning. When I was in the classroom I wanted my students to learn from mistakes and failures. I tried to create healthy risk takers, students willing to try something new and different. I was never and have never been a fan of the status quo. Maybe that is why my favorite poem is Robert Frost's, The Road Not Taken.
This brings me to my next step, Having the Courage to Change. Educators must have the courage to change. Earlier this year our district went from Google to Outlook. After two months the district decided Google was a more efficient platform for what we needed to accomplish, so the district changed back to Google. This change was criticized, I support the tough choices, I support having the courage to say, "We need to go in a different direction." In the classroom we are going through an educational revolution. The days of teaching facts and memorization are gone. We now must dig deeper and create students that are able to think critically. This is a change. This shift in education means teachers must approach lessons in a different way. Technology will not solve everything, I believe the solution lies in the educators. Educators must have the courage to make changes to their approach in the classroom. We owe it to our students to embrace the shift and help them be prepared for our ever changing World.
NEXT WEEK AT A GLANCE:
March 29th - April 7th: SPRING BREAK, Enjoy the time off : )
Monday, April 8th: Welcome Back!
Tuesday, April 9th: String Team 4pm
Tuesday, April 9th: PTO Meeting at 7pm
Wednesday, April 10th: Assembly grades 3-5 at 8:45
Thursday, April 11th: Spring Pictures
Thursday, April 11th: KDG Orientation at CAC 7pm
Saturday, April 13th: Vendor Fair at Warner Elementary
Life of a 1:1 iPad teacher shared by @becdavies00
iClassroom iManagement shared by @moash245
Making Classroom Time More Valuable with Edmodo shared by @KleinErin
5 Fantastic Apps for the Common Core shared by @DrSpikeCook
Articles Worth Your Time:
So You Want To Be A Blogger... shared by @web20classroom
The 5 E's in Education shared by @web20classroom
8 Reasons Why You Should Create a Blog for your Class shared by @tomwhitby
What the #NerdyBookClub Taught Me shared by @pernilleripp
Take Care of the Student by @casas_jimmy
staarN 5th Grade by @8Amber8 (favorite quote, "not a basal in sight!")
Grade Change: Shifting the Thinking about Grading by @NMHS_Principal
Making Meaningful Sense of the World by @gcouros
50 Educational Technology Tools Every Teacher Should Know About shared by @MrPowersCMS
Teaching May Be the Secret to a Good Life shared by @joesanfelippofc
Wonderful Tech and Teaching Website! shared by @dreambition @powell4thgrade @runfardvs
Shut Up and Run Blog by @ShutUpRun
Videos Worth Watching:
@RickWormeli shares about Redo's, Retakes and Do-Overs (9 min)
shared by @RickWormeli and @drjolly
REMC Connected Educators Series on Skype in the Classroom (11 min) shared by @powell4thgrade
Bic Pens for Women (4 min) by @TheEllenShow
Baseball is Back! Tigers in '13? (4 min)