Monday, June 23, 2014

The Winds of Change

"When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills"
 ~Chinese proverb

CHANGE - does it cause you to build a wall? Are you trying to keep it out, prevent it from happening, or hide from it? Or, does it cause you to build a windmill? Are you the first one to jump into the path of the wind, let it toss you around, fly a kite, or change course? 

Just as the wind can be a soft breeze or a fierce gale, change can be received with either a warm welcome or an annoyed resistance. While I might not be happy with every change in my life or my career, I'm usually one to welcome change. I like trying new things, suggesting ideas to make things different, and taking advice from others. I enjoy attending PD or workshops that have practical ready-to-use ideas that I can implement right away, reading books that inspire me to change the way I do things for the better, and finding awesome ideas online that I can use with my students. I'll also admit that sometimes I want to change things so much that I try to tackle it all at once and get overwhelmed.

As I've reflected on the peaceful picture of the wind turbine above, I've generated a few thoughts and questions based on this topic of change. By recording them here, I hope to challenge my own thinking as well as anyone else who has opened this post.

1) Wind changes direction
          When the winds of change turn you in a different direction, what is your first response? Do you quickly turn the opposite direction, cross your arms, and state that there's NO WAY because "this is the way it's always been done?" Or do you give it a chance? Are you too quick to make a change without asking questions, learning more, and taking time to reflect? How are we teaching our students to deal with change? Each change you make is like a gentle breeze, pushing you in a different direction.

2) Wind can push you
           Fierce wind can push you and catch you off guard, especially if it's unexpected. But, it can also be a sign of a challenge. Just as it would be difficult to keep your hair looking perfect on a windy day, it's also usually difficult to meet challenges head on without some creativity, support, and persistence. Change isn't easy - do you see change as a pain or nuisance, or as a challenge that you're ready to meet? Are you the type of person that supports change? 

3) Wind is powerful
            Even some of the hardest rocks cannot resist the erosion of the wind over time. Wind is powerful, and so is change. It can allow us to mold ourselves into a newer, better, version of what we were before. It can allow us to reach higher, but only if we allow it. The wall you build may not stand up to the wind, so ask yourself if the wall is necessary in the first place. What change would you like to see in your life? What change would you like to see in your classroom?

I'm looking forward to discovering the changes that will come my way as I open new windows and learn how I can make my classroom an even better learning space and community for my students to grow and be challenged.


  1. Great thoughts jen! And so relevant right now! I lve change. I'm ne of those people who have a need to be on top of things and as a result change things in an as needed basis! But not everyone feels the same as me. And as a specialist who works with teachers I have to keep that in mind. I think so much has to do with the mind - do you keep your mind open and consider new things or is your mind closed immediately! Great writing!

  2. You've created a nice analogy to match with the educational world today. I, too, embrace the change -- always look forward with a growth mindset. After all, when are really done growing? Thank you!

  3. Embracing change is definitely part of transformation! Can't happen without it. Like the life cycle of a butterfly, one cannot but look back on the before and after, as well as the in between, without awe, as we gently flutter off into the BIG universe to see what the next flower has in store for us!

  4. Great post. I really identify with trying everything all at once and then getting overwhelmed. At least it shows we're not afraid to try. I would love to share your post with my principal and school improvement specialist as we have a lot of changes to roll out this year.