Archive for November, 2012

Change or Growth Opportunity

I consider myself, along with all educators, to be change agents.  Sometimes though change is scary and resisted, in fact, it’s often resisted. How can change be presented as a growth opportunity? 

I think most educators, teachers especially, would agree that change is difficult.  Why is it difficult? I cannot answer this for all, but my observations and own experiences have led me to conclude that CHANGE is difficult because there a lot of unknowns.  Who is requiring the change? Why do we need to change? What needs to be changed? Will we have the funds to  make the change? Will we have the support? Will there be enough time to make the change and still make sure my students meet the requirements?  All of these unknowns create an uncomfortable feeling, the feeling of being out of control.  There, I said it, the feeling of being out of control is uncomfortable.

Have you ever considered that we are not in control of our growth (technically speaking), yet we do not fear growing? Yes, we go through “growing pains”, but nobody is in hysterics because they’re growing and that comes with unknowns as well. 

So here’s what I’m proposing… let’s just say that instead of presenting changes that have to happen as CHANGE, could we not use the phrase, GROWTH OPPORTUNITY?  When educators know that there is an opportunity to grow, change is bound to transpire. Teachers are life-long learners and they thrive on growth opportunities, especially when they can see the growth in their students! Think about it, teachers provide students growth opportunities all day long through creative and engaging lessons, and most of the time, if they see the opportunities with support and guidance, they don’t frantically resist the change, so why do we not view changes as adults this way? Where in our lifetime did change do us wrong?  I’m not sure where the breakdown happens (ed), but I do know that we are in an exciting time to really change education, for the better, and in order to do so, we have to get buy in from all stakeholders!

This cultural shift that is taking place is exciting, and yes, there are unknowns, and things out of our control, but when you really think about the possibilities, the opportunities, for growth as a nation, as a human race, does it not send chills down your spine and make you want to be part of it?  I know for myself I became an educator  because of the countless opportunities for growth!  So whether you are a parent, a teacher, an administrator, or a politician will you present it as Change or a Growth Opportunity when seeking buy in from others? Will you support others in their growth opportunity or leave them to flounder? Will you evaluate success or failure, or look at growth and progress?

*Note: Why did I put the word Change in red and Growth Opportunity in green? People associate red with stop, bad (remember when you got your papers back with red marks all over them?), meaning we also associate change with having to stop what we’re doing. However green is associated with going forward and it’s also a soothing color, therefore, if we see growth opportunities   to keep moving forward and to make  adjustments, rather than stop everything we know and do.

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November 26, 2012 at 10:51 am Leave a comment


Kristen Hahn

November 2012
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