Making the Change Happen

And for her next feat, our heroine figures out what the heck happened over the last few years.


On Saturday afternoon at Twitter Math Camp, we have flex sessions. One of those sessions was about how to deal with resistance to change. I think the original thought was to talk about dealing with that resistance within our own departments but if I remember correctly, it was born out of some of the comments I had made in my previous blog post. My original plan was to bop between three different flex sessions, but the conversation was so good that I couldn’t even think about tearing myself away from the session. Before I knew it, it was 5:00 and time to wrap for the day.


Lisa Bejarano led the session with some questions and thoughts. Probably the largest thing I got out of the session had to do with this graphic about why change is successful and not successful.


There are five things necessary to have successful complex change: vision, skills, incentives, resources, and an action plan. If one piece is missing, then there is no success. From looking at the diagram, I felt that if more than one piece was missing, the later listed skills were the most important. So, in other words, first most important was an action plan, then resources, all the way down to vision.


If an action plan was missing, then false starts occur. This is the place I have been for the last couple of years. I have had good intentions but never anything to follow. This year I am going to have a plan. I am starting with deciding what I am going to work on and have it visible. I have two goals: 1) I am going to blog once a week throughout the school year as well as be more active on Twitter. 2) I am going to incorporate more real world problems into my courses.


I have in mind already what the action plan will be for #1. I am going to put into my calendar a reminder on Saturdays: “Did you blog this week?” I keep my calendar on my phone so I am hoping this will help keep me on track. I am also going to make more of an effort on Twitter to not just read tweets, but respond. This may be a little more difficult at first. I think I am going to have to make a concerted effort to engage with Twitter for a certain amount of time each day. I am not quite sure yet what I am going to do as my action plan for number 2. I hope that my time at EnCoMPASS next week will give me some guidance on this.


The second most important thing is resources. If there are no resources, frustration ensues. I don’t think in the last few years of wanting to make this change that I have lacked resources. The Math TwitterBlogosphere has a wealth of resources.


The third most important thing is incentives. Without incentives, there is resistance. For most of us trying to take these things home, this is where we run into problems. Our colleagues that resist don’t have incentive to change.


The fourth most important thing is skills. Without skills, there is anxiety. I am pretty sure that this is where I am right now. I know I want to change. I have access to the resources to help me change. I am working on putting together a plan for making changes. But I really don’t feel like I have the skills to make some of my changes happen. This has also been my stumbling block for several years. I am really going to have to work at this one to make the changes I want to happen.


Last is vision. If there is no vision, confusion reigns. Once again, I don’t think this has been much of an issue for me in my personal desire for change. I think where I have seen this the most is as the various changes have been occurring on a larger scale (such as at a district, state, or national level).


I think there were 8 of us in this session. We talked about what 1 or 2 changes we wanted to make and at that point we ran out of time. As I have had time to reflect on it, I keep coming back to this chart. Seeing it helped make perfect sense out of what I have been through in the last three to four years. I am not even sure what to call it. But as I step back and look at it, why my frustration with myself (that boiled over in my last post) is there makes a whole lot more sense. I now have a better understanding of why I wasn’t successful with making changes that I feel I really need to make.


So, it is time to finish the action plan. And then, I need to figure out how to get the skills to help me to be successful.


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5 thoughts on “Making the Change Happen”

  1. I love your idea about putting a reminder on your calendar! I’m going to steal that. I’m also working in responding to more Tweets and also commenting on more blogs. Thanks for sharing this. I’m going to sit down this week and figure out exactly what I want my goals to be for this year. But I hadn’t thought of actually creating an action plan.

  2. Lois Burke says:

    Lisa – can’t wait to talk to you about this next week! I feel like we’re in similar places. I’ve got some things I want to try to change but I am anxious as well – both about the how and am I able but also about what happens from there. The pressure of the state test still looms. Love this post! Thanks for sharing this!

  3. Connie says:

    I am having VERY similar feelings as you are. Definitely thinking that I am lacking the skills (when I am probably not, more likely the confidence) and the Action Plan. I love that diagram because it is so true, and it explains so much when I feel like I am perpetually failing. We both need to remember to take baby steps and not forget to look back at what has changed and improved even if it didn’t change as much as we wanted it to.

  4. Re: ” But I really don’t feel like I have the skills to make some of my changes happen.”

    Don’t beat yourself up here. Think of the skills you will acquire when making changes.

  5. Thank you for blogging about this! My immediate “small mind” reaction was, “Crap! Another great session I missed!” Then the deeper, wiser part of me kicked in and really paid attention to what you gleaned and wrote up from Lisa’s presentation (confession: I worried that I got way more from every interaction with her than I gave back). Every step we are taking is way more than we did last year. So not to beat ourselves up, but to remember to be gentle with ourselves and maybe schedule a weekly cheerleading session for ourselves as soon as we’ve blogged for that week.

    My cheerleading session will probably involve chocolate, but whatever it takes.

    – Elizabeth (@cheesemonkeysf)

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