Change is slow

In a previous blog I mentioned the importance of always taking into consideration the amount of time you have been allocated, before you implement change at your school. Time has a major influence on your potential impact…

BUT if you are thinking… I have invested a lot of time into my role and I am not noticing any changes… rest assured change in schools is SLOW…

There are so many moving parts.

Let’s say you want to implement a whole school approach to something like the teaching of place value.

Now I am a BIG advocate for following a whole school approach for a number of reasons:

  1. For students it provides consistency. After all, how confusing must it be to move through the school and have to learn different words or approaches to the same thing. Ie: some teachers use renaming, other regrouping, others trading, but it all means the same thing!
  2. For teachers it makes things easier. They are just following a formula, they don’t have to second guess themselves or wonder if they are teaching something different to others in the school. They also don’t have to waste time re-teaching things previous teachers have taught in a different way.
  3. For you (the Numeracy Leader) it makes things easier, because it sets up expectations for everyone and means everyone is on the same page. Consistency is the key!

BUT to implement a whole school approach it takes time.

You need to engage all stakeholders and get them on board. The Diffusion of Innovation theory tells us that there will “Early Adopters” who jump in and take on the change… you know those members of staff… the “keen beans”…bless them!

Then you will have those “laggards”… who will always drag their feet and need a LOT of coercion and support to come on board.

My advice is…be aware of who these people are… because if you can identify them, you can be prepared.

It is also important to consider things from the teacher’s perspective.

If the Literacy, Numeracy, Wellbeing and Science Leader are all expecting them to  try different ideas, it can be overwhelming.

Teachers are busy and work really hard! They only have enough capacity to be enthusiastic about a certain number of changes.

They have to see that those changes WILL make a difference to them or their students learning.

So be very clear on the outcome and share wins.

Most of all remember that change is slow...but celebrate the small wins along the way!

Everything will move slower than you expect… but persist… you will get there!

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