For a teacher, meeting these changes (along with all of the other start of the school year preparations) can seem daunting.
For an administrator, managing these changes can be difficult amidst the ever-full plate of a teacher.
Having managed transitions with website platform, email provider in the middle of the year, and deploying 1:1 devices to transform learning, here are some insights to successfully manage change when working within a school district.
OFFER VALUABLE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Thus, there is a demand and need for training and professional development for these teachers. You need to provide it. Your teachers need to feel the basic level of competency regarding the new program software to even think about trying to use it in the classroom.
Teachers also need to know that you will support them, especially when trying something new, along the way. Their administrators need to know that everything isn’t always perfect and support mechanisms should be in place through professional development to utilize and implement these changing practices.
Therefore, I strongly recommend that you communicate your message and implementation timeline repeatedly. Successful districts have devoted entire websites to their changes, especially large changes within the district, to keep all stakeholders involved and updated in the process.
Choose your words carefully when you are communicating and share your news through email, face to face at staff meetings, and handouts in mailboxes.
The over communication will keep your district staff members informed and abreast of changes along the way. Don’t be afraid to mention that there was a set back or a date change. Be real as part of your communication.
VALIDATE THE NEED FOR CHANGE
While an administrator likes to save money within their budget, teachers want a reason that impacts them and their students. Balancing the budget is a great practice for school districts, but isn’t the end all be all for teachers.
How will your change benefit them? Reduce the amount of time spent on a certain task? Impact learning? These are the types of validation that teachers look for when accepting change.