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Only Wet Babies Like Changes
September 26, 2019
The only thing worse than training staff and having them leave is not training and having them stay.
-Henry Ford
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In his book, A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative, Roger von Oech quotes educator Roy Blitzer as saying, “The only person who likes change is a wet baby.” Oech opines that “two basic rules of life are: 1) change is inevitable; and 2) everybody resists change. New ideas can be threatening, and they often provoke a negative reaction…Be prepared for such a reaction and don’t let it prevent you from acting on your idea.”

Amelia Dress, in “Reimagining Teacher Development: Cultivate Spirit” (which is part of the Exchange Essentials collection, “Build Your Leadership Capacity”) writes about the importance of cultivating a spirit of growth and creativity in teachers (a possible antidote to the dislike of change). She begins her article with this quote by Maria Montessori: “It is my belief that the thing which we should cultivate in our teachers is more the spirit than the mechanical skill of the scientist.”

Dress explains that the quote “piques the imagination in today's educational field where we still struggle to find an answer to the question of quality. What makes a good teacher? How do we teach people to teach? To listen to the wisdom of Maria Montessori, among others, is to suggest the answer doesn't lie in training requirements. Although well-meaning, some methods of training approach teaching as a one-size-fits-all approach…Unfortunately, our search for objective standards by which to measure quality teaching has overlooked the fact that the root of teaching lies not in simple methodology, but in the messy business of human relationships. Embracing this means recognizing that who we are and how we relate to the world around us makes a difference in our teaching.”





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