The truth is that our students need us to change whether we are ready or not. So, instead of thinking of readiness as a specific skill level or line to be crossed, think about readiness as a first stage. Readiness is:
- Purpose – Readiness is having a clear “why” behind the changes you want to make and the outcomes you want to see for your students. And, being clear about the problems you are solving for. Getting here involves looking at data. And talking to your students! No one can do a better job of telling you what should be different than your own students.
- Awareness – Readiness is being aware of where you are today and where you want to be in the future. Often, this means looking within to investigate deeply-held assumptions and biases. Self-awareness is the foundation for growth.
- Capacity – Readiness is the will, commitment, and time to invest in your own growth and development. Before you put this change on your plate (or on your teachers’ plate for that matter), what will you take off? How will you make room for this work? Do your teachers have time during the week for learning and collaboration?
- Focus – Readiness is having a starting point. Trying to do this all at once would be overwhelming, to say the least! Everyone has to start somewhere, however small.
- Support – No one can do this alone. Let us repeat: no one can do this alone! Readiness is finding your learning community – your tribe – to help you, give you feedback, and support you through the inevitable bumps.
Questions to Consider
- What is my purpose?
- Where am I today? Where do I want to be? What assumptions and biases should I check?
- Do I have capacity for this work? How can I create capacity for this work?
- Where will I start? Why here?
- Who’s my support team? How can I create one/
- District 51 case study provides a look at how the school board developed consensus for change.
- Who is Helping You Plan and Implement Competency Education provides a list of technical assistance with knowledge about competency education as well as other aspects of modernizing schools.