Teach & Serve II, No. 26 – Expectations Change. Get Used to It.

Teach & Serve II, No. 26 – Expectations Change. Get Used to It.

February 1, 2017

If we are not changing, looking for new ways to do things, for new ways to interact, to teach, to lead, then we are not suited for work in schools.

There are all kinds of adages about change I won’t bother to quote as I begin those most simple and, perhaps, the most brief of any Teach & Serve I have written to date. We know that that things change, that people change. As educators and institutional leaders, are we not all about change?

Students come to us as one thing, they leave another hopefully positively influenced by their time with us. We anticipate and expect them to change. In fact, if they were not changing, something would be horribly wrong with how we have structured our environment.

We anticipate changes in curriculum and the tools we use to teach (if we do not anticipate changes here, we should get out of the game). We know that curriculum and the tools used to deliver it will change. We (hopefully!) embrace this idea. Get ahead of it. Are inspired by it.

But when expectations of us change, how do we react? When we are confronted with the reality that those for whom we are responsible seem to have new expectations of what we will do, how we will teach, the manner in which we lead, how do we respond? Do we face such changes with the same enthusiasm we apply to the ones mentioned earlier or do we have a reaction which suggests, “hey, you knew this about me – you knew this is who I am and how I do things”?

Look, expectations of teachers have changed and will continue to do so. Expectations of administrators have, likewise, changed and will continue to do so. If you believe who you are when you started this work is who you will be ten, fifteen, twenty years into it or ten, fifteen, twenty years from now, I seriously encourage you to think again.

If we are not changing, looking for new ways to do things, for new ways to interact, to teach, to lead, then we are not suited for work in schools.

We are surrounded by change. Why should we be exempt?

Expectations of us change. Get used to it.