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Changing the Conversation

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Teaching and Learning
July 28, 2015

Anyone can eat an elephant… one bite at a time! One of my mentor teachers told me this early in my career, and it is a mantra I use in just about every facet of my life but more often than not in an educational setting. As administrators and teachers, sometimes your jobs can be overwhelming, especially if you are trying to transform your school or classroom into a more productive/successful culture for all stakeholders. Chip & Dan Heath, the brothers who wrote Switch- How to Change Things When Change is Hard, stated a person’s behavior is motivated on three levels: logic & rationality, emotions and environment.

I have seen first hand this week how staff from two of our member schools, who are participating in extensive professional development in our building, are working to change the culture of their schools/districts and bring quality education to those students they serve. But I am also seeing strong leaders who are inviting other voices to the table by engaging them in meaningful activities and then allowing those leaders the chance to take risks, make decisions and propel their staff to create challenging but fun classrooms where high expectations are the norm.

The other characteristic I have observed is that these leaders’ passion is infectious, and being a part of the transformation is not only exciting but a new “norm” for their teams. To get buy-in from their staff, these leaders appeal to their colleagues’ rationality, their emotions and are helping to create an environment where educators are able to become the professionals they set out to be.

Thanks for an inspiring week and best to all of you as you make some of those hard choices to better the education your students deserve. Keep on doing it,

One bite at a time…

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