Change? Does it really happen in education?
We have all heard it. The rhetoric surrounding the need for change in education, change in leadership, change in government mandates, change in parent attitudes. The list goes on and on and on.
Thus, we in the world of education are all left to our misery and woe, right?
It’s time to stand up and create a #RevolutionOfONE!
Now, I realize that revolution might sound like a strong word choice when it comes to the world of education. However, if you Google “Revolution” you get a fitting definition: “a dramatic and wide-reaching change in the way something works or is organized or in people’s ideas about it.”
See that? “A dramatic and wide-reaching change.” How often do we wish that we could make a dramatic change in the world of education, whether it is a change in the testing policy of our school or district or that of the mandates and demands that minimize the amount of teaching time we have? What about the sweeping change we wish we could make with regards to the type of professional development we are given? Or, What about the demanding, and often demoralizing, evaluation systems?
The idea of this Revolution of ONE hit me while I was talking to a fellow administrator about the difficulties that come with instituting change, especially in the face of opposition from those we lead. With little support from higher levels or authority, I realized that over the past two years I had declared a Revolution of ONE in my school. I had begun the process of change without expecting direction or support from my leaders. I made them aware of the changes I was making and planning to make, but that was the extent of their involvement.
As I reflected back over the changes in those five seconds of time, I realized that much good had come to our school. Not necessarily because of the ideas themselves, but because I was willing to take on the challenge of change. I then encouraged my fellow administrator to start one immediately, despite the challenges and hardship that might soon follow.
You see, collaborators and change makers, no longer can we stand around and wait for change to find our schools. It isn’t going to come charging in on a white horse, with shield and sword gleaming! It hit me that I can no longer wait for professional development to come to my school. We don’t have the resources to fund outside PD! No longer can I wait for my leaders to lead.
I realized that I can do much good on my own, using my building-level resources: teacher morale, updates, professional development led by teachers and staff members, repairing public relations, updating or instituting policy created by the faculty that helps lift and create order. These are just a few of the revolutions that have been waged and won.
It’s time to stand up and be a disruption for good.
What about collaboration? How can we have a revolution of one and collaborate at the same time?
This raises a great point. When we are talking about one, how can we include many? Easy- by raising your voice for change, a ripple effect is begun. Those around you with whom your voice resonates will also take up the cry. Thus, by your simple declaration, you have the potential to reach the outermost part of the “pond”-other schools, districts, states, nations, and even the world. And, regardless of whether others take up the cry, they will be rocked for a time as your cry ripples by them.
At our opening institute meetings, our new superintendent stated, “We can no longer be bound by conventional thinking, by bus schedules, school schedules, and curriculum. We must start thinking outside the box in regards to teaching and connecting with today’s learner.”
I can’t express how refreshing it was to hear our district leader say we have to think creatively to reach our learners. He further stated that principals are to be open to teachers’ outside the box thinking and ideas. I am and have always been on board with supporting my teachers’ innovation as much as I possibly can. Of course, the reality of budget restraints and other tangible resources can be a limiting factor, but I have learned that with willpower and desire, changes, both big and small, can be achieved.
Remember, change is made with the courage of ONE individual, willing to stand up and push through the negative and discouragement that can come with change. Will you be the ONE?
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