Deja Vu – Do Just One New Thing

Over a year ago, I wrote a blog post about how overwhelming it can be to move to a 1:1 environment. My advice then was to commit to learning and using at least 1 new thing a month.  If you could focus on this specific goal, by the end of the year, you would have learned at least 9 new things and probably many more.  One new thing a month is a fairly modest goal, but it can generate some amazing results in your classroom.

Today I find myself in a similar but slightly different position.  My school recently underwent major changes in its administration.  Three new administrators came on board or changed positions in a single year, one (myself!) with no previous administrative experience.  I imagine that’s been pretty overwhelming for all involved, perhaps especially for the teachers.  And so I find myself repeating that same old but good advice – one new thing a month.

In my new position, I can easily become overwhelmed and have done so.  I can see the big picture; I can see where I want my school to be a year from now, two years from now, five years from now.  But, and this is very important for all to remember, sustainable change can’t happen overnight. The key for me is to step back and ask myself two questions while keeping that future goal in mind: what is most important right now, and what can I reasonably commit to doing in the next few weeks to deal with the most pressing matters?  Essentially, I am asking what one thing can I do right now that will (slowly but surely) further my long-term goals.

This is good advice to teachers dealing with lots of change as well, whether that change is moving to a 1:1 environment or dealing with a new administrative team.  Make a goal of doing just one new thing a month and commit to it with a laser-like focus.  At the same time, keep what works, keep what you know to be true and good.  Otherwise, you are likely to become overwhelmed.

One last tip: share that one new thing, that one particular goal with your colleagues and administrative team so that they know what you are working on and so that they can help you along the way.

So do you want to know what I’m working on?  Feel free to ask.




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