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The Change Curve

Chanie WilschanskiComment

One of the first and most important aspects of any live event, coaching session and director or teacher interaction I have is to check where they are on the change curve. 

What's the change curve, you ask? 

Let me explain. 

The change curve refers to the stages everyone must go through in order to produce lasting change. 

1. Denial - Refusal to believe, focusing on small details and nit-picking at trivial things.
(Example- "Well, we don't have purple paint in our school, so we can't try that new art provocation."- Think this is made up? Unfortunately, no. I will ever forget when a teacher shared this with me after I did a Reggio Inspired Art training. After a short discussion, she moved from denial to resistance) 

2. Resistance - Overwhelmed, depressed, aggression, and the avoidance of accountability. 
("You don't understand how many responsibilities we have here! It's really hard. My assistant is leaving next week for a wedding and I just don't have time for this right now." This is classic resistance: looking for outsider excuses as to why they aren't doing something. As we continued our conversation, she moved into exploration.) 

3. Exploration - Beginning to accept the new ideas. Motivation starts to rise; however, they still need someone to "prove" to them that this will work. 
('I hear what you are saying, it's true it's really great, and provocations are a great way to inspire the children. I guess I could try it out tomorrow and see. I'm just so unsure of getting paint everywhere -- the class will become such a mess. Who will clean it up? But, I suppose I'll try." Here, the teacher starts to explore the idea of trying a new idea, but her journey is just starting.) 

4. Commitment - People start to gain confidence in the new possibilities. This is when they actively seek accountability and follow up. (At our Q&A session that I hold after each live event, the teacher came prepared with a question: "Is it okay to put out provocations just for fun and see where the kids take it? Or do you think it should be connected with the theme in the school?")

BINGO! Read the teacher's questions again. She has committed!

She went from complaining about not having purple paint in the school to asking if she can put out provocations as inspirations for the kids!

That's change. And the best part? While it is a journey it doesn't have to take years.

 However, keep in mind: accountability + follow up =  real results! (More on this in another email) 

So my challenge for you today is to consider this:

Which stage of the change curve do you find yourself in? We are all constantly evolving and are always at one stage of the change curve at different parts of our life. 

In your school and your commitment to build registration, create a school culture, enrich parent relationships, and train your teachers more effectively... Where do you stand on the change curve?

My second challenge to you is to consider this:

Where do your staff members stand on the change curve when it comes to embracing new ideas? A more progressive approach to early childhood education? A better understanding and the value of documenting? Or engaging with children through meaningful questions and intentional play? 

The professionals and masters of the change curve are those directors who actively raised their hand and signed up for a strategy session! 

Take a bold approach to uncover what is going on in your school and learn something new and an actionable strategy for you to use right away! 

So, where do you stand on the change curve? Leave a comment, I'd love to know where you stand and perhaps offer some insight. I read every post!  

To Creativity and Innovation


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