In New Jersey, January is typically the beginning of budget season. With budget season often comes change. In my new district, change is here, and it’s not being taken well by all. This is no surprise: any place, any line of work, anywhere… change is hard. People don’t like going out of their comfort zone. People aren’t going to agree with everything you do either. This is understandable; in some cases, change could deal with job placement, a realignment, or sometimes unemployment.
How does one in a leadership role help ease the fears and anger? By talking about it early and often. I met with those involved with change during the month of January. Some of my colleagues wait until the last day of school. Some wait until the budget is formally introduced in April or May. I chose to start conversations now. I don’t want or enjoy people afraid; I want people ready.
I also want the public ready. For months, I have met with parents, board members, and community members, and the same message has been echoed: change. When the Superintendnecy opened up in my current district, one item kept rising to the top over and over again: change.
Besides being super passionate about students and meeting learners where they are, I’m also adamant about meeting my stakeholders on where they are. Instead of pages of information, I am looking to be as clear and transparent as possible. I created a screencast with a walk through of proposed changes. Nothing is more important to me than getting the message out from me, in a clear manner, in my voice. While it may sound a bit conceded, I want people to know that this is coming from me.
Again, I’m very aware that not all will want change. But, I was hired for change, and change they shall receive. Not because I want it or because I can, but because it’s what is best for our learners. Excellence in education, nothing less.