Saturday, October 10, 2015

Becoming a Change Agent

I remember being forced to play a game with my colleagues as staff development. It was called, "Making Change Happen," or simply, "The Change Game." It had a game board that was more like a score card and a good many pieces. It was like setting up a game of monopoly where you know you'll be otherwise engaged for awhile. On the left hand side of the scorecard were people's names to represent people in a pseudo school system that represented teachers at the elementary and secondary level as well as the central office of this school system. I don't remember all the rules of play, but I remember you start with an idea and collected bits or points by convincing others to buy into your idea. I remember being engaged in the game that was both strategic and life-affirming. Change can happen. Many of the moves made toward change were incremental and involved winning people over to your side by decisive action like (building a rapport, providing a presentation or simply approaching people more than once with your pitch.)The ultimate lesson for me was that change can begin from the bottom. I started this school year, my 20th as a career educator with more optimism than before. It was not necessarily because I remembered the lessons from this game or forgot the disappointments, hardships or strongholds of the year's previous. I started this year with purpose to cultivate and mark successes with my students. I was that teacher who sat relatively quiet in meetings, but have been told I astounded fellow co-workers with my insights and willingness to share ideas. I often asked myself why were they being promoted over me. I revamped this blog with the intention of collecting tips to better educate parents in what I callTo Teach His Own philosophy.Our appointment to parenthood and profession gives us valuable experiences. I am in the process of finding those like-minded individuals that I can partner with to facilitate this dialogue on-line.
I applied and recently got accepted into the Delta Teacher Efficacy Campaign, where Dr. Johni Cruise Craig is the Project Director. An email alerted me that this national project which is a colloboration of my sorority and its non-profit education and research arm, DREF. It turns out this program is not just for Deltas, but teachers from all walks of life and greekdom who work with at-risk or urban areas. The whole program is funded, in-part, by the Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation. They were looking for teachers Prek to 12 to be educational change agents! They were looking for me. I saw it as a God-send. In this re-certification year for me, I will be involved in weekly modules to reflect on my self-efficacy ( effectiveness) and learn strategies that will impact student achievement. There are other perks that I will share along with some things I have learned in future posts.