Creating Change When No One is Asking for It

Leadership in education is having vision and skills to create change in schools even when no one is asking for it. ~Will Richardson
Follow him on Twitter @willrich45

While no one is advocating change simply for the sake of change, many districts/schools/educators seem to be suffering from complacency, where change is only necessary when you've hit rock bottom or when an external force mandates change. Instead we rarely hear of districts/schools/educators pursuing change simply because they can do better.

In athletics the pursuit of winning requires that you are always in pursuit of change. Being number one means that your job just got tougher. There is no time to rest on your laurels as it is often more challenging to stay on top then it was to get there.

Wouldn't it be great if the education system was built on this same philosophy. Highly successful schools would always be looking for ways to get better. Schools with great test scores would be seeking ways to increase/improve the extra-curricular offerings. Schools with great test scores and extra-curricular activities would then look to increase/improve community service and so on.

Unfortunately what happens is that many districts/schools/educators/parents/students are happy with being just okay. As long as an acceptable number of students are graduating or achieving acceptable success at the next level of education there is no need to change. We seem to forget that our job should be to help our students realize their FULL potential. - Omar gets great grades, but could his also be a great artist? Sarah is a great athlete, but why can't she also be a great scholar? Anthony is very popular, but could he also be a great public speaker and community leader?

These kids may not be asking for these kinds of changes, but leadership in education is having vision and skills to create change in schools even when no one is asking for it.

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