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One of the most common phrases I heard from teachers and administrators in response to the introduction of change initiatives was, “That’s not how we do it here”. In some cases this was from well-intentioned colleagues who didn’t want to see me (I should have noticed the reference to “me” and not “us”, but that’s another story) start down a new path because they knew the kind of resistance that would come from others and the inevitable pain that I (not we) would encounter in the process. In other cases, this was a line in the sand that I was more or less warned not to cross.

So how often does this one assumption keep our schools, our districts and our public school system from evolving into a system that values all of the students and the adults within it?

Our collective assumptions and points of view about our schools, districts and the system determine what we believe is possible and these beliefs direct our decisions and behaviors. This first assumption results in a culture that values sameness and certainty in the name of safety—not physical safety, but rather emotional safety. As a result, those in this contextual reality will continue to look to the past to see what has been done before and decisions will be made to maintain the predictability of the culture rather than explore the possibilities as yet unknown and undefined. As a result, schools get more of the same and then complain, “We’ve been down this path before” and they become even more committed to the points of view the kept them on this path in the first place.

So what else is possible? We will be speaking with Steven and Chautisa Bowman about this very question. What does it take to get out of the Assumption—Belief—Judgment—Complaint cycle? We can’t wait to learn more! 

 

Dr. Meduna earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Special Education from Wayne State College, Master of Science in Community Mental Health Counseling from the University of Tennessee, and an Ed.S. and Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Indiana State University.  In addition, Dr. Meduna is also certified in Reality Therapy through the William Glasser Institute, and earned her coaching certification through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching.  

Dr. Meduna also currently co-hosts a talk radio show with Margaret Ruff called, Educational Leadership.  What else is possible on the VoiceAmerica Variety channel.

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