We live in an era of change. President Obama won his leadership with it. Our city council was reinvented for lack of it. Our School Board and Superintendent are attacked because they dare speak of it. Our country is in a medical outrage considering it. No matter where you look – change happens and reactions to such changes are as different as the leaves on the trees in fall.
Benton High School, St. Joseph School District, MO
Benton High School is in the midst of substantive change. We are moving forward as an academic institution challenging practices where data shows us we can decidedly improve. We are challenging ourselves with technology and constructivism. We are challenging our grading practices and assessments. We are challenging the very manner in which we offer education to our students and communication to our parents.
In the midst of these changes, I realized how much each individual staff member plays a part. And then, especially recently, I realized there are some staff members who are not necessarily on board with the changes. Some are open with concerns over change and open share their ideas in order to be analyzed, scrutinized, and revised or adopted by our leadership team and staff. Yet there are others on the staff who operate with covert action – defending their opposition to change based on emotional instead of rational thinking. This emotion comes in the form of loss of personal comfort, attachment to an established daily routine, or resistance to the possibility of giving up some personal power.
“Albert Einstein is quoted as saying that insanity is defined as ‘doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result (Tangredi, 2005). An organization that does not change and evolve does not improve. An organization that does not improve is doomed to fail” (Muhammad, 2009). Where do you stand in the paradigm of change? One thing we know for sure is that unless an entire team is pulling on the same end of the rope and in the same direction, movement (which I see as improvement) is not assured. As you reflect on our your department’s and our school’s journey of improvement, are you pulling with us and in the same direction as the team?
Share your story – it will inspire us all.
Images from Google Images: www.autumnwebquest.com/images/fallTree.jpg; www.allposters.com/-sp/Albert-Einstein-Poster.