Change Comes from Within

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I have been engaged recently in numerous conversations regarding teacher effectiveness, motivation, peer mentoring, and pride in student achievement.  As many professional educators I can come up with a variety of strategies to employ with the ultimate goal of improving and building upon these areas.  This is not the point of my post however.

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Shortly after one lengthy discussion on the above topics took place I was fortunate enough to have a conversation with one of my teachers where he presented the single most important influential factor necessary for change in those listed areas.  Our brief conversation in the hallway centered on how proud I was to witness his growth this year as an educator.  This teacher is one of New Milford High School’s best and has been for many years.  He expects a great deal from all of his students and they deliver (I wish I had him as a teacher in high school).

This year saw him gradually move away from his comfort zone and begin to embrace the vision that has been set forth and modeled by my Administrative team.  He is still a fantastic teacher, but he has begun to integrate technology in subtle ways using Google Sites to spark student discussion, reflection, and inquiry outside of the classroom.   I was so impressed by his growth that I asked him to present to the staff why he decided to embark on this journey as I figured it would leave a more lasting impact coming from a direct peer.  He humbly replied that it doesn’t matter what he or anyone else for that matter says and that each individual must genuinely want to change from within.  A point that we all must remember and do our best to foster in our schools.

2 Comments

  1. David Truss said:

    I’ve shared this a number of times recently, including on my blog yesterday… it’s a quote from Dean Shareski, shared on George Couros’ blog post about ‘Change’:

    “Teachers do not resist making changes; they resist people who try to make them change. The best change comes as a result of individuals realizing they need to change. If we believe that teachers are the right people in the role, we need to help them realize this on their own and not because they feel forced. True change is internal.”

    And in a comment on my post Heather Durnin shares a Rick Maurer quote:

    “Making a compelling case for change is the most important thing you can do–and the most neglected. Avoid the trap of moving to HOW before WHY is answered.”

    I think people still need the personal anecdotes, the ‘why it works for me’ story, and I’m guessing that your teacher might be able to deliver that message… ask him again, his story of “Why” will be far more compelling than others telling them ‘how’. We don’t change from within unless we have outside influences that help us see the need to change.

    December 20, 2010
  2. […] is a great post from connected principals a blog I love to visit.  The interaction between principal and teacher is so crucial in creating growth […]

    December 28, 2010

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