Tips for School Heads on Moving Large Changes forward
Change is a process, it isn't something that can be will upon a person or an organization. Change for the sake of change is a ridiculous waste of time and resources. Improvements are needed in every school and district. Our brains are wired to keep us safe and avoid risks. This is not to say that many people are not willing to try to implement new ideas and strategies, but when we do there is often a sense of fear and concern as to what happens if we are not successful.
Below are some tips on how to not only move large change efforts forward, but to also ensure sustainability and efficacy.
Volunteer for Change
Large-scale change typically happens at the district level. Whenever you come to know about a new evaluation or change about to happen in your locality, try and volunteer to be a part of that process. This will help you be ahead of the others, and prepare for the changes about to be implemented.
Importance of the 4 C’s
In this case the 4 C’s are Communication, Committee, Collaboration, and Consensus. Success of any change, minor or major, begins with effective communication. Your entire staff needs to know all aspects of the change to implement it effectively. Form a committee and make sure diverse voices and personalities are represented. For the change to really take hold supporters and critics alike must come together.
Once a consensus is reached, it is time to clearly communicate why the decision was made and how to proceed with the implementation. The focus should be on how this change will improve teaching, learning, and/or leadership. Provide as much information that validates why the change is being implemented and be honest if any questions or feedback arises.
Training and Support
Professional development is critical for large-scale change to succeed. Provided trainings about the new developments, also how the process of conducting observations and evaluations would change. The support should continue as needed until you feel that the path to sustainability was well on its way.
Conclude, evaluate and act
Nothing is perfect in the field of education. As such we must always look to improve, not just sustain, a change initiative. The process of reflection and evaluation on a consistent basis helps to create a culture committed to growth and improvement. Taking action to make things better leads to a culture of excellence.
There is no recipe for change, but experience informs us on how we can make the process a bit smoother eventually leading to success.
This article is inspired by, and contains excerpts from A Principal’s Reflections. Read the original here.