Working with my good friend Shaye Patras, Principal at Blueberry School, I have had the opportunity to do one-on-one visits with his school in the last 12 months. A few years ago, one of my suggestions I made to many administrators, Shaye included, in the area of using Google Apps, was to move all of your work you do as a principal to using Google Apps with staff. Although this is a little change, it can make a big impact. Doing simple things such as sending agendas out to your staff on a Google Document, or asking for feedback through a Google Form, can make a big impact. It doesn’t make much sense to encourage the use of Google Apps for Education by sending your staff a Word Document.
This goes back to the notion that if you want to innovate, you must disrupt your routine. It also lends to the idea that if you want to change things in the classroom, you have to change the way we do things organizationally. People are more likely to embrace change when they experience it.
So with these opportunities of visiting every three months or so, I have seen HUGE changes not only in skill level, but openness by staff and students to try different things. I give a ton of credit to the teachers in the school for being open and wanting to grow, but with Shaye willing to try something new and model that he was willing to take risks, he opened the door for his staff to do the same. You can never expect people to take risks unless leaders model it; saying it is not enough.
With little changes in the way that we do the things we have always done, you can start a ripple that can lead to a big wave.