Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Change for changes sake? By the alphabet...

Change, growth, innovation... Do we really want that?  Do we really want to change or do we really just want to appear we are changing?  Because that is what we are being told is important.  I think the alphabet is important.  For many years I could only identify letters in their order by singing the song.  I had a major reading dilemma until at least 4th grade.  I faked it in K - 3.

So here is my story on growth, change, and maybe how to be innovative at a local/internal level...

I challenge those that want change constantly.  I want to push growth, but want it more incremental based on the vision and movement that has already been established.  For example, we have adopted Schoology as an LMS and I was in a room this week, where they were for the first time, submitting assignments via their Google Drive.  It was awesome! They were at letter E, going for F.  It was growth and innovative for this class!  In the scope of the building it may not be considered new, innovative, or a change...But in this class it was more than special.  I did some "real time" coaching and they got it.  Now they know, and these kids are "young".  It was new for them, new for the class, and very, very special.

That was an example of something tech related, but I can also refer to a conversation I had where a realization about a student was discussed with a teacher.  I saw how this staff member came in deflated with a concern, asked a question, and then immediately realized the course of action and mindset they needed to take.  They wanted to dump, they left still feeling frustrated, but a little more empowered, to make a change, in the way they would address the situation.  

I was in another conversation with some staff from another few buildings just recently and they were talking about change at such a global level that I had a hard time talking with them.  I totally agreed with them, but did not understand how they were going to get to the letter L without going through H, I, J, K... There was no connection or plan to address those letters.

I think too often as people, leaders, staff we want to go to L without learning J.  Then when we don't get to L fast enough we get frustrated and search for R without addressing O.  Make sense yet?

Take it in order, seek help, reach for Z always, but step into the next letter, one at a time.  Figure out what you can do tomorrow to improve on whatever issue you are currently dealing with.  I think it is that simple.  Do not concern yourself constantly with M, R, or W if you are at G.  Worry about H, define it, and work at getting there.

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