So it is the beginning of September … and whether you have been in school a few days or a few weeks, you may feel overwhelmed by all the changes you have encountered.
I suggest you breathe and think about CHANGE as an opportunity for learning, even if you did not want that change to happen.
What do Learning and Change have in common?
At first glance, these two themes seem to be on either ends of the spectrum. If you learn something and then it changes, that appears to cancel out what you have learned.
Reflecting on change has helped me realize that as things keep changing, there is a need for continued learning in so many areas especially those related to education and technology. The more you learn, the greater potential there is for change and growth.
Think about how much is learned from repeatedly doing the same things correctly. Does your learning change in that situation?
Now think about how much is learned at times when you aren't successful. Does your learning change in that situation?
We learn more when things do not happen the way we expected than when things go according to plan. As teachers, we are constantly evaluating and adjusting for student instruction.
If you never attempt change to learn something, you will never know what you might have learned from the success or failure of that attempt.
Learning and change also focus on knowledge and thinking. The 21st century skills are connected by learning that takes place as students change their thinking. That new mix requires changing the ways that we learn and think.
Just as one size does not fit all for students, the same goes for the approaches to change for teachers. Not everyone handles change the same way. While some embrace and welcome change, others fear and avoid change which leads to the different stages of change adaptation: innovator, leader, early majority, late majority, and resistor.
Although the differences in people can cause challenges in interpersonal relationships, these differences are needed for growth, development, and change to happen. I see individuals who fall into these categories bouncing ideas off each other and challenging each other's thinking.
I think the way we approach change is based on our previous experiences in handling the results of a change. Just as a teacher needs to meet students where they are to help them move forward, leaders need to identify an individual's or group's reaction to change before they can be effective change agents.
I think the connections between learning and change play a role in the new road map that is needed to promote learning for today, tomorrow, and the future.