One of my favorite singers, Cheryl Crow, wrote a song a few years ago entitled, Change Will Do You Good! It soared to the top of the pop charts with its upbeat rhythm and catchy chorus. But the truth of the matter is, how many of us truly believe that change is good?
If we closely examine change -- especially in the teaching profession -- its usually accompanied by a lot of stress. New policies, new administration, new procedures, new expectations, new requirements, and even new students, all sound good on the surface, but rarely feel good to our bodies when we encounter them.
We all know how personal life changes -- from an unexpected debt to an unanticipated death -- can knock our lives out of whack and put us out of balance. But when you add on-the-job changes to the mix, its darn near impossible to bear.
Basically, I believe we always have three choices when it comes to responding to change: we either can get up (and do something about it and learn from it), give up (and throw in the towel), or shut up (accept it for what it is).
Now, I must admit, the last two options dont really offer much promise or benefits. However, the first option -- get up and do something about it and learn from it -- sounds good, but doesnt always seem plausible, especially if we dont agree with the change.
So how do you get up when youve been knocked down by change? Simply look for the lesson in the change. Im talking about finding the message in the middle of the mess that change sometimes creates. Its no different than what you ask your students to do all the time when theyre not convinced how learning Algebra, studying history, completing a science project, or learning a foreign language will benefit them.
We have to be creative and diligent in searching for truth. Become an investigator looking for evidence that will help you crack open the case for change. Just ask yourself the following questions whenever change unexpectedly shows up at your doorstep:
I think you get the point. Theres always something positive we can find in change, if were just willing to look hard enough for it. And to quote the words of the great Maya Angelou, If theres something you cant change in your life, simply change your attitude about IT.
Teach with passion!
Article by Joe Martin
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