The Human Element Of Change

First off I’d like to say thank you to Jason T. Bedell for inviting me to write a guest post on his site. I’m honored to have been invited and have my writing included with so many talented people. Please visit his site and follow him on Twitter if you aren’t already.

Change is hard. No doubt about it. We get into an established routine, get “set in our ways” so to speak, and we like it there. It’s the old, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” motto. Am I right? So what’s a good way to help encourage change in the long-term? I believe that the “human element” is very important.

I work with teachers every day. Sometimes it’s one on one during their plan time, before or after school, or a grade level or department might get some collaboration time for half of a day. It can come in various formats and I like that. However, no matter how small or large the group is I’m working with, I strive to not let the “human element” go by the waste side.

What do I mean by this? The concept really is pretty simple: Take the time to learn about the teachers you are working with! I know, what a crazy concept right? I mean, taking the time to make some kind of a connection with them. This could be something you have in common with them or it could be using your “spidey senses” to pick up on the fact that they had a really bad day and meeting with you after school is probably the last thing they want to be doing right now.

Or it could be that you’re meeting with the head volleyball coach and there’s a big match coming up, the band director who has a marching competition coming up, or the teacher that’s brand new to your district and has that look that says, “If I get one more thing to do I’m going to shoot fireballs out of my eyes!”.

This doesn’t even have to be directly related to changing pedagogy in regards to instructional technology. If you consider yourself a “change agent” in any educational area, this should be a practice you’re proficient at. Don’t forget the “human element”! Make connections, have normal conversations; it’s ok to talk about things unrelated to work once and a while!

You would be amazed at how bringing in the “human element” once and a while can have a long-term impact on change; for the better.

Thank you for reading and I certainly welcome your comments.

4 thoughts on “The Human Element Of Change”

  1. This is so key, those relationships make room for the pedagogy. All of the trainings and good teaching in the world can’t make up for a relationship. It provides a solid foundation for everything else to come.

  2. You’re absolutely right that we should take the time to build relationships. Just like our students need to gain our trust, other teachers need to as well. They also will follow someone who listens and who they respect versus someone who dictates.

  3. I don’t think that the importance of this can be overstressed. It is useful for all our interactions, be they with colleagues, students, parents, administrators. Our humanity gives us a commonality that we can use for building connections and supporting our ability to work togethre.

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