Making Change Your Own

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Had a great time yesterday giving two presentations at the New England League of Middle Schools (NELMS) conference in Providence.  Building Community with Web 2.0 Tools is a presentation that I have given a few times in Vermont and it was well received at NELMS.  Plan Less, Do More is a presentation that I gave at the K12Online Conference.  Plan Less, Do More is a presentation about systemic school change and a team at my presentation has me thinking about a a new dimension of change – change that is forced upon you.  This team came from a school that was forced to re-structure by their department of education because of low test scores and they were not happy about it.  How could they convince their teachers to re-think their instruction?  How could they get veteran staff to embrace the mandated changes that were coming?  I could certainly emphasize with this team.   There are lots of changes that we face as educators that are “top down” and the secret is finding a student centered goal in the mandate.  Restructuring is about improving student learning.  I advised this team to look for student centered goals that they would have set even without a mandate.  Essentially, making the change their own.  While this is easier said than done, it is the key to lasting change.
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