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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Extra Job or Extra Help?

Sometimes change in the school house provides significant extra support and help, and sometimes change creates more work and less help.

Generally when educators have a say as to school changes, those changes support classroom teaching and learning, but sometimes, when teachers are not consulted, those changes are an extra job.

What do you do when a school change becomes an extra job?

First, it's important to consult your colleagues. Ask, "Is this change supporting your work or is this change an extra job with little gain?" It's important to discuss the change as others maybe looking at the change differently and gaining in ways that you had not thought of.

Next, it's important to analyze the change. How did it happen? Why did it happen? Who does it serve? Getting underneath the change will help you to understand why a change has been added that provides little gain.

After that, it's important to speak up with your colleagues with words such as, "That change is not helpful, and what we need is _____." This will help those who made the change to hear your voice and see the change from your perspective. When looking at change, always think about the changes impact on teaching's main focus, the children. Does the change positively affect children's education?

If the change is there to stay whether you like it or not and whether it adds value or not, find a way to work with the change so that it does not negatively impact what you can do to teach and support children. Give the change a place, and then go about your work in the best ways that you can.

A school is a puzzle where there are many, many pieces. Teachers have say over many of the parts, but not all. Sometimes we have to go along with changes for which we see little value, and what's important here is that those changes don't negatively affect what you can do with and for children. Give those changes a place and then get on with your work.