The five components of leadership are moral purpose, understanding change, relationship building, knowledge creation and sharing, and coherence making (Fullan, 2001). These components are necessary for success in leading through change because each component supports the others. I believe that moral purpose is important in order to have positive workplace. Anyone who has worked in a negative or unsupportive workplace has experienced the emotional and physical drain it has on him or her. Before becoming a teacher, I worked as an administrative assistant for both large corporations and small businesses. There was a company in particular where it was extremely negative. Fortunately, the school that I currently work at has been a very positive experience for me. I think a positive school climate is extremely important because it impacts so many people. It’s not just teachers that are affected by the positivity or negativity. It affects students, support staff, parents, and administrators. In an article about the importance of creating a positive school culture, Habegger (2008) writes, “A positive school culture is the underlying reason why the other components of successful schools were able to flourish.” This makes me think of something one of my teachers used to say to our class, “A positive attitude can make what seems impossible possible.”
Of course, it is hard for people to embrace or even be willing try change that they don’t understand. I know that many teachers in my school are having a hard time understanding all the requirements of our new evaluation measures. In my experience, the most important component in leadership is relationship building. When people do not trust others, they will not be open to change. I feel that communication is an important component of relationship building. I read that “ineffective communication, including individuals’ inability or unwillingness to listen to what others have to say, is a sure way to confound problem solving, reduce trust, and magnify feelings of isolation among administrators, teachers, and support personnel” (Brewster & Railsback, 2003). Communication also ties into knowledge creation and sharing and coherence making.
Technology is always changing and that change is met with resistance by some and excitement by others. I have talked to teachers who flat out refuse to use any technology and the main reason I hear is that they don’t understand it and feel that they cannot learn how to use it. Change is scary and hard. Not everyone looks at technology as something thrilling and new. It can also be challenging for people who are enthusiastic about the change to always have to listen to and try to teach their unwilling colleagues. I think it helps to get the naysayers involved from the start. “For organization wide change to occur, the late majority and laggards (I prefer to call them reluctant adopters) must be actively involved in the change. We cannot leave it to the innovators and early adopters” (West, 2015). It is definitely a process and it will take time, but the time will have a huge payoff when change suggested by leaders is supported and successful.
Brewster, C., & Railsback, J. (2003, September). Building Trusting Relationships For School Improvement: Implications for Principals and Teachers. Retrieved October 15, 2015, from Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory: http://educationnorthwest.org/sites/default/files/trust.pdf
Fullan, M. (2001). Leading in a Culture of Change. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Habegger, S. (2008, Sept/Oct). The Principal’s Role in Successful Schools: Creating a Positive School Culture. Retrieved October 14, 2015, from National Association of Elementary School Principals: https://www.naesp.org/resources/1/Principal/2008/S-O_p42.pdf
West, P. (2015, July 14). How do you get tech-resistant teachers to embrace change? Retrieved October 15, 2015, from eSchool News: http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/07/14/embrace-change-792/2/