My Change is Your Change

LiCI am not so very good at being private with change.

In fact, I am much more likely to share than to simply observe.

I think it is because my change, the change that happens around me, is something that I feel very deeply. It is a part of me in a way that may seem strange to others.

You see, I cannot be a passive participant in change. I cannot watch it happen and not get my hands dirty, if even just for a little bit. When I see that something is shifting, I want to dive in and know more. I want to explore the “why” and the “what if.”

And then I come back to sharing.

I want to share what the change means to me. I want to share what I see and have others react to it. I want to share the shifting ground and see if anyone else can make sense of it.

Here is the change: The Office of School Reform and Innovation and the Chief Academic Office are merging in Denver Public Schools.

While that might not mean a lot to you if you aren’t in this district or in the world of k-12 schools, this is nothing short of a seismic shift. Never before have the charter operations and curriculum departments been so close. Never before has the Professional Development work been in such proximity to the school redesign work. Now, it isn’t that these forces couldn’t talk to one another previously, but previously there was never a single leader urging them to do so.

And I think that is what this change boils down to: Leadership.

This change is about having leaders who are willing to look at the whole picture. This change is about not artificially excluding schools or ideas because they don’t fit with our own understanding of what school can or should be. This change is about proposing the types of collaborations that bring us together as teachers and learners.

So, what do I hope out of this change?

  • A unified voice for how technology plays a role in shifting the classroom to be more learner-centered.
  • A focus on teacher and leader choice for Professional Learning.
  • A reliance on self-reflection for making decisions and having tough conversations with one another.

And, what do I fear most in this change?

  • Teams consume each other and align around prescriptive supports for schools.
  • The abandonment of what is working in favor of what is new.
  • A reliance on “Senior Leadership” for guidance in making every day decisions.

That is my change, for the moment. It is mine, and I own it. But, because I have shared it, it is also yours. What is your change right now? What is it that you fear and hope for? Where do you believe all of this change will take us?

Thank you for listening and learning with me.

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