Schools Can Change Only If?

From time to time, I’m approached by schools who want to change their ways and improve to become leaders. But actually, they don’t want to change. Rather, they want slow change. In nature, slow change is like iron rusting. It’s not like a plant growing that has multiple interventions active on it. 

They want change where they feel in control. Yet they bemoan that change takes long. They want instant results. So they look for scapegoats, shop around for alternatives, or abandon the slow task midway. 
Sounds familiar? Some are so daunted by the road map they don’t even start. The beginner’s paralysis maintains status quo with a few cosmetic changes that are proclaimed from rooftops.

They are often in denial about current status and very reluctant to put their reality to test which could result in pain and break long built self and organisational images.

People equate the familiar with safety and change with danger. Human beings don’t always do what is good for them or move away from what is harmful. Habit rules. 
Successful people break the mould, are proactive rather than reactive, think critically and creatively, are aware of the stakes and factors involved. This means they are not short sighted, or impatient.

The other factor that affects organisations is the time factor. They must be aware of the competition and relevance of keeping with the progress of the times. Some changes like linguistic proficiency take time and cannot be achieved by a single-point decision. 
Thus, time is of the essence. You can’t order critical thinking for lunch!

Freud likened the act of change to the death of a loved one. There is pain and grief and mourning. So is it a surprise that we bemoan the miseries of the world that seems bereft of common sense in solving long standing problems? It is important for us to know who we are, and how our psyche operates in order to make the right decisions. In academics, you can’t change just one factor as a baby step without considering the others. 

Most Heads of schools want a consultant to baby sit teachers every week preferably for a pittance. In the end, if things don’t work out, there is always an outsider to blame. But teacher training is just one part. 

Then there are pedagogical methods that must be implemented without second guessing and resistance. An in house supervisor to oversee this implementation. Resources like textbooks, teaching manuals, assessments, feedback on classrooms. 

If the teachers have to reinvent the wheel to match the interdisciplinary aspects, critical thinking, or progressive goals taught by the trainer, without the right resources or know how, they will end up having to do these themselves, and badly. Teaching will go back to the auto pilot of square one of old habit. 

Consider these points to make bolder and wiser decisions instead of patchwork, band aid and short cut ones. Change is an audacity. It’s not for the lily livered. #managingchange #factors #time #keepingrelevant

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Usha Pandit
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Founder CEO at Mindsprings India

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