Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Brave and Happy Change

Every single day, educators are faced with new:  new students, new initiatives, new lessons, new challenges, new teams, new tests, new interventions, new crises, and etc.  New means change and change is not easy.  It takes courage to embrace change.

Interestingly, change is easier when you want it or like it, or deeply understand that you need it.  Change is tougher when it is someone else's idea.

The difficulties of change also hinge upon one's familiarity with the factors involved.  For example, when I rededicated myself to an exercise routine following my knee surgery, it was easy to walk, do push-ups, and do pull-ups. Any attempt at a new exercise routine would have been tough at first, but my understanding of these three activities helped.  If I had tried to get my workout with something completely unfamiliar, like karate or ballet, the learning curve would have been much steeper and my early successes would have been fewer.  It would have been tougher to embrace the new.  However, my friends would have most certainly been entertained if I had tried ballet!

New happens frequently in education.  Improvements happen every day!  Teachers are scientists in an ever-changing lab.  Teachers tweak variables all the time, looking for a better outcome.  Teachers also throw out the old a start anew quite regularly when a better way is believed in or wanted.  The change that causes the most talk is the one that is "forced."

Whether from the state government, the superintendent, or the principal, when something new is chosen for the teacher rather than by the teacher, it is accepted with varying degrees of acceptance.

When this happens, what level of brave and happy do you choose?  How do you enter this pool?  Do you jump into the deep end and splash around or do you tiptoe into the water as slowly as possible?  Do you own the pieces that are within your circle of control or do you focus on the variables that you have no control of?  To be brave and happy, don't let your unfamiliarity with change determine your success.  Let your brave and happy attitude determine your success!