Change. To some people, that word evokes many different types of emotions: excitement, fear, anxiety, and anticipation.
Maybe you are experiencing some change as the school year progresses. From new standards, to a move, to a new role in your school, change can happen unexpectedly, but what matters is how we respond to it. We would not be honest with ourselves if we said that change does not come with a bit of apprehensiveness, but we have to choose to stay positive, optimistic, and open in the midst of change. Here are 3 ways I’ve found helpful to cope with change:
1. Stay positive: The first way we can stay positive in the midst of change is to have a positive outlook. My local spiritual leader always says, “if you can’t change the state you are in, change the state you are in.” It is important for us to choose to have a positive mindset. When change happens, there’s often nothing we can do about it but we can make a decision to stay in the positive lane. Each day, we can choose to show up and be the best person we can be. Attitudes are contagious – if we choose to be positive, others will hopefully follow suit.
2. Embrace Change: The second way that we can remain positive is to embrace the change. From my time in the military, we consistently used the phrase, “adapt and overcome”. Change is often inevitable, so we should try to adapt to it and overcome any new difficulties it may present. This school of thought is very different from simply saying “get over it”, but it acknowledges the fact that we will have to adapt by changing the way we think, while also overcoming any potential hurdles that we may face as a result of the change. I also believe that we have to respect how other people process changes. Others may not be so quick to adapt as you may be so just be empathetic to their feelings.
3. Speak Positively: Finally, I have decided that everything that I speak out of my mouth with regard to change will be positive words. I believe wholeheartedly in the power of perspective. If we believe that change will not be good, it probably won’t be, but if we say “this will work”, and “it will work out for our good in the end”, it most certainly will.
Many times, especially in education, the ability to change based on the needs of our students is necessary for students’ growth, necessary to our growth as an educator, and necessary in a world built on change. By maintaining a positive attitude, embracing the change, and speaking positively, you can remain positive in the center of change. Just remember that everything works together for good in the end as long as we stay in the positive lane!
About the Author: Kelisa Wing is a 2016 ASCD Emerging Leader and the 2017 Department of Defense Education Activity Teacher of the Year. She is an Army veteran and a proud graduate of the University of Maryland University College and the University of Phoenix where she earned her Educational Specialist degree.