Wednesday, September 16, 2015

What's your change comfort level?

I've been reflecting recently on what percentage of lessons/activities/procedures a teacher changes within a year has on success. 

Thinking back to my teaching career and mostly inventing these numbers:
1st year- 95% new (a few things borrowed from student teaching, but otherwise starting from scratch)
2nd year- 10% new (having survived year one, finally feeling like I can be reflective)
3rd year- 33% new (new activities, new strategies- this was fueled by only having one prep for the only time in my career and being able to focus on it)
4th year- 40% new (new course to teach- Algebra II in 8th grade!)
5th year- 30% new (implemented strategies from grad classes and MTBOS)
6th year- 60% new (started INBs, did NBCT process, started teaching French)
7th year- 20% new (full implementation of Common Core complete)

My best years (in my estimation) were 3 and 6.  Year 3 was great in part because I had awesome kids and small classes.  But the reason I really loved it was that I was familiar enough with the curriculum after 3 years that I was able to adapt to my students' needs and use so many more engaging activities than I had at the beginning.  Year 6 was great in part because I had awesome kids and I'd gotten to teach French which had been a goal 5 years in the making.  It was also great because I was viewing my lessons through the new lens of Interactive Notebooks and that coupled with doing my NBCT portfolio made me reflective about all.the.things. 

In my estimation, my best years came when I decided to implement change.  The key words there?  "I decided."  The years that had lots of change that weren't in my control weren't necessarily as good.  And the years with little change?  They weren't that memorable. 

I've been reflecting on this because my job is to be an agent of positive change with the math teachers in my building.  Today and over the next several days I'll be meeting with teachers to set goals that we can work on together over the next few months.  I wanted to keep in mind my own feelings about change so they inform my process as I meet with teachers.  I can't wait to tell you how it goes. 

What's your change comfort level?

Mathematically yours,
Miss B


  1. What about challenging teachers with/on technology. First they can consume it (read blogs, borrow and revise material, use desmos, etc.). Then challenge them to implement technology, then create and post with their own blog. Then share within PLC or building.

    1. That's actually pretty close to one of the goals that a teacher chose yesterday; she's working on finding video clips and tech tools to use in her classes! Thanks for your suggestion, Stephanie.