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Successful leaders are energetic and bring out the excitement and enthusiasm in their workers. They thrive on the achievements of their staff and motivate them with positive reinforcement. They provide their staff with a vision and a way to achieve that vision. Successful leaders hold their staff accountable for their teaching/learning while promoting teamwork.

Effective work teams: "operate in ways that build shared commitment, collective skills, and task-appropriate coordination strategies.” Everyone works together as a team.

It is crucial to let teachers know how a change is going to benefit both them and the students in order for them to buy in. Often change is perceived as just one more thing added to an already huge pile of things for teachers to do. Teachers need to feel that the change is necessary and relevant and they need to feel supported and guided in order to implement the change.

History often repeats itself and so it is with educational changes. A technological change requires more than just the purchasing of computers. It requires a change in the thought processes of the employees in a school; “a change in the school’s culture for learning.”As new technologies are introduced, teachers must change their way of thinking; realizing that they may not have every answer and that learning is now shared between the students and their teacher. Teachers must be willing to take risks.

The day to day issues in schools must be considered when implementing change, otherwise the plan is likely to fail. Professional development should be a main focus.
"For any program to deliver what Fullan calls "change in practice," it must be sustained over time, supporting the teachers' continuing growth. The best programs offer concentrated introductions that are then followed by significant contact, support and refresher sessions over the next year or more. The best programs also require the invention of some kind of unit plan translating theory into practice." FNO-http://www.fno.org/jun99/teach.html

In our discussion board, we agreed that these were the 4 main points of Fullan's article.

Here are the four building blocks for educational change, as mentioned in the article:
• making a difference in the lives of students;
• committing to reducing the gap between high and low performers within your school or district;
• contributing to reducing the gap in the larger environment; and
• transforming the working (or learning conditions) of others so that growth, commitment, engagement and the constant spawning of leadership in others is being fostered.
We also discussed that these were quite idealistic and discounted the parental involvement factor that we have no control over.

What do the Presidential candidates, McCain and Obama, think about educational change? Click here to find out!.

Back to Group 1(a)- Educational Change