I have already gotten a good number of responses to my survey of school culture (Thanks)! What has already surfaced, that often does in committee meetings and informal conversations, is that teachers feel that they are "on an endless cycle of implementing and abandoning new initiatives". That sounds like a merry-go-round or that awful movie "Groundhogs Day".
I see four clear reasons for change in education, specifically in Somers Point:
1. As professionals and life long learners we should constantly be changing and refining our practices in light of the preponderance of research.
2. Most would admit that our students and the world they live in is changing. If we are preparing them to be successful we have to change our practices to better reflect their needs and what they will need to be successful in their world.
3. State and federal mandates often necessitate change. Often the funding we get is tied to practices that we are required to implement.
4. Student achievement data demonstrates that in some areas of math and LAL we need to change. Whether it is changing the curriculum, the instruction, or our beliefs we have to do it. It is our job to foster a community successful learners.
*Note - It is important to say that it is not just teachers that need to change but all those involved in education.
How do we make changes without stakeholders feeling frustrated? We have to do it, right, so what do we do to make everyone more comfortable with it? Lets face it, none of us are that comfortable with change. How can we begin to see change in a positive light instead of a groundhog light?