Monday, August 12, 2013

Change is Hard

fearIn Dealing with Change from Tinkerings, Tim shares,

“For many, the changes have taken the fun out of being an educator.  Some are leaving the profession.  Others are sticking it out to retirement.  They are sitting around teacher lounges talking about happier times.  Some are squaring their shoulders back to take on the large stone of change and keep it from rolling down the hill and destroying everything in its path…We’re all dealing with change.  It’s just a matter of how.”

It is not always the change that really matters to me but the fear of the unknown. I don’t know if I will like the change or how it will affect me. Like a turtle, it is much easier to stick my head back in the shell and not acknowledge that change is going on around me.

I think experienced educators have seen so many changes over the years that haven’t been good. This makes it hard to appreciate that some of the changes that could happen might be a good thing. It makes some educators cynical and leery about trying something new. The bad changes somehow stick out in my mind much stronger than the good changes do.

New teachers worry about the changes because they are so busy trying to get adjusted to newness of their career that just when they are getting comfortable, someone comes along and changes it up.

There is such negativity when someone mentions change. We usually associate change with the attitude that someone thing is wrong. People tend to roll their eyes or complain when they hear that something is going to change. When new teachers hear experienced teachers sound fearful, this feeling can become infectious and spread rapidly. New teachers are already feeling their way around and think that experienced teachers must know something they don’t know.

Instead of looking at change in a negative way, why not think about it in a positive way? Why not think of change as something can be even better?

I had a great principal that helped me put change into perspective. He always felt that trying something new was good and if it didn’t work, we would just go back to the way it was. According to him, we should never be afraid to try something new because it is a great opportunity to become better. He was a great motivator in my life and helped me accomplish so much more because of this attitude. So, whenever change happens in my life, I try to remind myself that I could be having a wonderful chance to become better.

How do you handle change? Please share.

Image: 'F.E.A.R'
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Amy said...

I can certainly relate to fear of the unknown - but think of all the adventures I would miss if I didn't try new things. :) We are in for a lot of changes this year: common core, new teacher evaluations, new staff, new principal and probably some things I have forgotten! My plan is to take it a step at a time and try not to stress over things. One thing that bothers me about change in education is that we never seem to allow enough time to see if the change will work before we are off to try something else.

Pat Hensley said...

@Amy You are so right and I forgot about that. Nothing is worse than trying to adjust to change and the powers that be decide to change again too quickly! I know a teacher who kept trying a behavior plan with her students but after a week (which wasn't enough time) she decided it wasn't working and tried something else. The students were so confused and needless to say, their behavior did not improve all year. I can see teachers reacting the same way to constant change without given enough time to adjust.

Debbie Rice said...

Positive productive change has a double edge. One side if embraced is exciting and can lead to learning and growth. The other side can lead to stress and feelings of being overwhelmed. Regardless of which side you are sliced I find that when teachers are given support, training & time to fail, learn from mistakes that inform our instruction and methods change can be useful & embraced. Sadly I find that SD leadership lacks giving trust in the change process or the provide training and time so teachers can be successful. It seems far too many want quick fixes not realizing positive, thoughtful change takes time with a good feedback loop for those implementing change.