Tuesday, March 18, 2014

18/31 Change

Because I'm old (as my young school family loves to remind me), I've been through a lot of change, particularly in education. Living in Iowa, I've written standards and benchmarks THREE times, only to have the Iowa Core come into existence.

I've had four superintendents
Five principals
Worked in two buildings
Taught thousands of kids
Worked through more curriculum changes than I care to count

Here's what I've learned


Change is dirty,

Change is "throw my hands in the air and I quit" kind of work.

Change is hard.


But necessary.

And the least of your problems is the internet doesn't work.

Sometimes, people's ideas are ridiculous.
Sometimes, they think mine are.

Sometimes we disagree.
Sometimes there are too many voices trying to be heard.

Sometimes people think they know more than I do
and they try to get everyone to agree with them.

And sometimes in the midst of the chaos and the dirty work
and the frustration
are glimmers of what you want
and where you will be.

Sometimes an open mind,
a picture of what you believe helps you
get to the promised land.

Sometimes you have to listen to find the
heart of the change.

And then, who cares if the internet doesn't work.


  1. Nice job! What a great role model you are. Some people think older teachers are unwilling to change. I like how you end on a positive note. It can be frustrating, though.

  2. The only thing I DON'T like about change is when we have decided to change with no good reason - and sometimes it's a bad reason, or something that has been done before, but everyone else is too young to know that it didn't work. Then it is frustrating. But other than that - no, I've liked changing things up. I'm old too, but I, like you have survived so many changes, and embraced so many of them. Change can be good, especially if we make it good! I love hearing about how you are changing things in your classroom. It always seems to be for the good!

  3. What a realistic capture of what is going on right now everywhere in ed.

  4. It sounds to me like you are a big part of any change that's happened in your district, which is a really good thing, Deb. I don't know if change is coming (what prompted this post), but hope they have you working on the planning of it!

    1. Linda, my district is one of 10 in a state wide collaborative working on a competency based education platform for the state of Iowa. It keeps me thinking about what I want in education. But when working with 100 people and trying to come up with consensus about what it looks like is sometimes very frustrating...we'll get there, but it's hard

  5. "Sometimes you have to listen to find the
    heart of the change."
    I can't even tell you how much I love that line, Deb. I'm listening....

  6. I've been waiting 9 years for you to start a blog post with those words.

    I like doing the change with you.

  7. How I admire your honest and thoughtful look at change. Yes change is hard and frustrating and inconvenient and although it makes you want to throw your hands up... You aren't... Your choosing to embrace the change and see it through. That speaks volumes about who you are as an educator, even if you're old :)

  8. Change can be difficult, but there are times when it is really needed. You have totally expressed the many feelings that go along with change. Hope you changes will be positive.

  9. Change is hard, and I'm having a hard time with change this year. I think I need to listen harder for the heart of change and discover what I can do with and for my students.

  10. Change is challenging yet inspiring! Let the inspiration continue to rise up.