Change is never easy. For the most part, people don’t just wake up one day and decide to take everything they are comfortable with and throw it away to take on unknown challenges. Change is a process, it’s the culmination of the small things in life that can result in so much more.
For teachers, admitting change is needed feels like an attack on who they are, what they believe and their purpose for doing it. As I undertake this idea of change with people from all areas of life, the message is the same, open your eyes, look around instead of straight ahead. What knowledge, experience or perception are you missing that just may lead you in a new direction? What feelings do you experience that may indicate something just isn’t right?
As I reflect on my reasons for change, it is the little things that drive me forward, not the big things. It’s the feeling I get that I’m not quite giving my all. It’s the realization that what I am doing isn’t servicing my intended target. It’s the disappointment I feel when I don’t think my contributions are helping. It’s the realization my vision is misaligned. It’s the blame I shift to others that they aren’t doing their part. It’s the realization I’ve missed key players and different perspectives.
All of these little things that give me purpose to dive in deeper, to network, to challenge, to realign my thinking. A result of this, I am never sitting still, I don’t believe and won’t believe that I’ve got it all figured out. My mission in life is to adapt, challenge and change regularly.
I encourage you to think critically about your attitudes, your beliefs and your actions that currently drive your teaching and your learning. Do you use the frustrations, roadblocks and barriers to inspire your complaining, or to inspire your desire to make changes? I encourage you to step out of your current view, look to the left, look to the right, look behind you. What are you missing that could just be the new thing that inspires you to take that step, to reflect and to embrace the change around you?