Texas Leadership Standards Uncategorized

Leading Teachers Towards Change

Instructional leaders often find themselves perplexed and frustrated at making change happen in their learning communities to move schools forward. Most teachers take a change in different ways depending on three main factors (Hunzicker, 2004, p. 45). A lack of motivation, which can be rooted in teachers past negative experiences, prevents educators from generating actions that lead to paths different from what they have always taken. From my experience, when there is a lack of motivation, teachers need to reassess why they became educators in the first place. Having a clear purpose allows individuals to be in a constant cycle of change to improve their craft.

Another factor that allows most educators to resist change is low levels of knowledge, experience, and comfort. When principals have spent time knowing each one of their teachers, they become more aware of their beliefs. As a result, the instructional leader can plan how to form solid teams that can become functional and capable of experiencing change. After reflecting upon the different teams, I have been a part of, I understand how strategic my last principal was when forming each team. There was diversity among the team in terms of years of experience, and ability to take risks. Such combination allowed each team member to grow and adapt to the initiatives the School District implemented each year.

Moral development impacts teachers’ ability to change (Hunzicker, 2004, p. 45). Instructional leaders need to be aware of the gradual process individuals go through when leading them through change. Although behaviors such as self-centeredness and selfishness are evident in the process of adapting to change, principals need to be cognizant of the efforts made by individuals to help them throughout such an arduous process.  The last three possible causes of resistance to change can be tackled by providing professional development that is purposeful and strategic considering the profile of each of the teachers who are part of the learning community. I had the misconception that all teachers were capable of adapting to change in a timely manner. Not understanding that different factors prevented some of my previous colleagues to move forward makes me reflect upon how supportive I was with them throughout this process. Knowing the different stages that human beings experience to achieve permanent change provides a better understanding of how to what to consider when providing professional development. A well-thought-out plan that consists of small, but consistent milestones will definitely lead teachers through a slow, but steady progression of behavioral changes. In addition, knowing the teachers’ beliefs, and the positive and negative experiences they have had when adapting to change will provide vital information to strategically focus on designing professional development that meets their needs.

Hunzicker, J. (2004, December). The Beliefs-Behavior Connection: Leading Teachers Toward Change. National Association of Elementary School Principals, 84(2), 44-46.

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