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Monday, July 20, 2015

The hardest part of change

I started cleaning some items out for our annual curbside trash pickup yesterday. As I grabbed a lawn mower grass bag that had been in the garage for at least five years, never touched once during that time, I had to stop myself from the “but you might need this argument.” We are all guilty of hanging on to items that we don’t need, ideas that are outdated, systems that don't work, and practices that have little to no positive
effect. Whether it is rows in the classroom facing a teacher, textbooks sitting idly on a shelf, software that shows little instructional value, or the venerable “we have always done it this way”, the start of the school year brings the perfect opportunity for all of us to choose some items that need to be cleaned out of our instructional arsenals. Why don’t we? Because change almost always produces some resistance in us, resistance to the uneasy feelings we get when things are different. But like the first time we sat on a bicycle when we felt very unsure and a little bit scared, the end result is often an amazing ride, bringing benefits we could never have predicted.