Leading Change.

I set myself a geeky Twitter challenge after the EARCOS Leadership conference. Change is inevitable in all schools and it certainly can be a wicked tension point in some. Last week we heard a lot of presenters at EARCOS give their ideas of how to negotiate change in schools, and so I thought that I would sum up all the change theories we use in education in 140 characters or less. I got through a bunch, but have only included a few here:

So why would I do a stupid self-challenge like this? As an expat that moves country to country, an educator that shifts job descriptions every few years, a digital coach that introduces EDtech change, a participatory-action researcher trying to change my own practice, and human in a state of aging, change is the only constant in my life. But I am not special. Everyone deals with crazy changes in their lives, every organization, every leader goes through periods of flux. Knowing these change theories in bite sized memorable bits can provide awareness of where we are in our personal or organizational change journey. It can also help us consciously identify where others may be in their journeys and develop empathy for them as they move through change. It helps us map our pathway, and remember there are many ways to the end goal. Indeed, a particular model might make more sense to a particular person.

Often though, consultants or change theorists haven’t actually put in the time or done the work within our specific cultural contexts, with our specific international students, with our expat and multicultural faculties to be able to walk us through how to enact positive change within our schools with minimum tension and fall-out. Their theory edifice is usually a massive, shapeless façade papered with lots of memorable quotes but nothing really that digs into the competencies needed for large or small scale change- especially when dealing with the hard-won relationships of trust that are imperative to healthy international schools.

One leader though, has done the time. He has worked to create systemic change in international school contexts and worked specifically in Asia-Pacific to develop the skills and dispositions in these context to help smooth transitions of change.

Andrew McCarthy is motivated by working with teachers and school leaders to improve the quality of education through creating sustained and meaningful change. We will be hosting Andrew at Level 5 November 17 & 18th in order to help dig deep into the following components of change:

Stories of successful and unsuccessful change in education
Identifying what makes change hard 
Classifying types of change to guide our planning
Creating a vision with a coalition of key stakeholders
Unpacking the ‘why’ of an initiative to colleagues
Creating and leading an action plan for change
Leading professional development and growing colleagues
Shrinking the change and celebrating successes in schools
Project management and school goal setting
Measuring and Evaluating Success
Building habits and the role of documentation
Reflection and developing your plan

These are the specific areas in which we can develop strategies, skills, attitudes and aptitudes to guide our teams and ourselves through change, especially when it is hard. Still uncertain what Level 5 is or what we do? Check out our short video that provides a snapshot in two mins of the last three months.

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