Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"Top Ten to Remember" for being a change agent in schools

Here are a few comments on this useful "top ten" list of strategies:

1.  Respect the change - Respect needs to come from everybody, but especially those that will likely be resisters.  Respecting the "new" is imperative.  And, there's a corollary item farther down the list where the tables are turned! Everybody needs to be listening and considering the situation.

2.  Use systems thinking

3.  Support personal learning

4.  Support collaborative learning

5.  Develop leadership

6.  Respect resistance - This respect has to come from those wanting to effect change.  The resisters likely will have some passionate, logical, and expected reasons for not wanting to cooperate with the changes.  Everybody needs to be listening and considering the situation. Change can be difficult, and understanding on the part of the change agent(s) needs to be present to combat hostility.  The change agent(s) must respect resistance, but they must also expect resistance, and therefore plan for it.

7.  Remember psychology - People think with logic and with emotion.  Feelings are not right or wrong; they just are.  Again, respect is the order of the day.

8.  Sustain the process - Don't give up the cause!  If the cause is truly worthwhile, the idea must be kept alive, or the organization will only go backwards (not where you want to go!)

9.  Include family and community - Keep them informed.  Find ways for parents and other potential supporters to "buy in" to the changes.

10.  Effect positive social change - The end result is a better society for all.  School is not an end unto itself; rather, better schools and quality education results in a better way of life for the community and beyond.


  1. Cheryl - I especially love your numbers 1 and 6. People on both side of a change often have valid reasons for their beliefs. It is extremely important to listen to one another and respect the ideas, even when we disagree. Great list!

  2. What a unique way to present your reflection on change. Be a model for others and slowly introduce some changes in your space. Hopefully, others will follow when they see how easy some of these changes are!

  3. Cheryl, I'm going to print this post and staple it to the wall of my office. Your wisdom, outline in such clear steps, is valuable. Congrats to all of us for finishing, and for learning so much. -- Susan