One of the biggest roadblocks to change in any institution is a lack of “constancy of purpose” to borrow a phrase from W.E. Deming. This is especially true in schools. The average superintendent of a public school in the US has a 3.5 year tenure, and more often than not, newly hired leaders bring in their own agendas, their own beliefs, their own measures of “success.” In most schools, there is no “North Star,” no articulated destination that serves as the benchmark for who gets hired next. We go from innovators and dreamers to managers and data collectors and then back again depending on the political or societal currents of the moment.
The effects of this are harsh. Teachers and other leaders are less inclined to engage in any efforts to change, wondering if their work to do so will sustain over time. Frustrations rise as practices become even more fragments and misaligned. Money gets wasted, and students are caught in the middle.
What is your purpose? And how invested are you and the people around you in that purpose? Those questions are fundamental starting points for any discussions around change.