For my birthday this year, I scored a new coffee machine. Until now, the kettle has been fine and I was pretty happy with a cup of instant coffee. Like you, I’ve also endured years of poor-quality coffee and long-life milk in the staffroom.
The new machine wasn’t on my radar, but I was extremely grateful to unwrap the gift. I couldn’t wait to quickly and simply brew a barista-style coffee in my own home. At least, that’s what they advertised on the box and that’s what I thought would happen.
To my dismay, the first few cups were a flop.
I reverted to re-reading the instructions, tinkering with the settings and investing in good quality coffee beans. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get it right. There were moments in the days following where it was easier to go back to the kettle. At one point, I considered boxing it up for a return – that was extreme considering how much I loved my new gift.
But I persisted.
This got my thinking about change in schools. Maybe it’s a new initiative or a new direction. Perhaps you’re working with a new team or teaching a new grade or subject. Like me, you may be optimistic, positive and excited about what lies on the horizon. Alternatively, you may doubt the move and be a little more sceptical.
Either way, as you step into your new space, meet with your new team or roll out the new plan, remember that change is never easy. There will be elements of challenge, potential failure and a few hurdles that you didn’t expect. Amongst the challenge, there will be small elements of success. It’s important to celebrate the positives and share the good news stories with your colleagues. Identifying the wins will help ‘kick start’ the momentum and keep motivation intact.
Sustained change takes time and like the brew from my new coffee machine, it will be worth it in the long run. I’m still not perfecting every cup, but occasionally I will craft something that resembles a café style coffee.
I’ll eventually get there and then never look back to the Nescafe. That’s the reality of change. It will happen in your school too.