AN ERA OF CHANGE IN TEACHING
MARVIN Y. MERCADO
Change is teachers’ constant companion. Focusing on a few well-chosen goals each year can help you protect your passion. First, we must embrace the constancy of change is our constant companion in education, which have given us high-speed internet, mobile connectivity, and a variety of policy shifts— some fairly tumultuous— around testing, standards, and accountability. The question is whether or not educators can make choices or select strategies that seize the exciting potential of change without feeling so overwhelmed that we want to leave the field. So for teachers and school leaders, long-term planning will now be even more challenging. Accountability mandates and funding are likely to change. Enrollment may fluctuate in unanticipated ways. School climate and culture, especially in more diverse communities, may require special attention to ensure that every student is safe and supported.
We’ll need to focus our efforts on changes that are likely to bring the most powerful results. I would argue that educators focus too much attention on best practices and not enough on best conditions.
Motivation are the key concepts to keep in mind as we approach changes in our schools. Our teaching will suffer if your focus is excessively fragmented. School leaders can set the tone and provide the example, but it takes all of us to prevent a scattered focus in ourselves, our peers, and our schools.
Keeping a narrow focus helps teachers stay motivated when three conditions are met: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Teachers who want to avoid burnout need to make strategic choices about managing change. They must have some autonomy in their choices, and must be guardians of their own time to approach mastery. And if a teacher doesn’t recognize or agree with the purpose behind a change, that change effort is doomed to mediocre implementation at best. — oOo—
The author is Teacher II at Sitio Mindanao Elementary School, Division of Pampanga