My innovation plan aims to change the classrooms in my elementary school into blended learning environments that make effective use of technology and allow engaging activities in which students can learn more effectively.
WHAT I WANT TO ACHIEVE:
Every classroom in our building will become a blended learning environment that makes effective use of technology and allows engaging activities in which students can learn more effectively on a daily basis during the 2017-2018 school year.
Using the Influencer Change Model as a guide, I’ve spent much time identifying the vital behaviors, organizational influencers, and six sources of influence that will help me to achieve my goal (Grenny, 2013). They are identified below, and will serve as crucial components in the success of my innovation plan.
The obvious: A majority of the teachers in my building use traditional learning strategies. They instruct from the front of the classroom, while requiring their students to sit quietly in their seats throughout the typical school day.
Crucial moments: The same students who are known for creating disciplinary problems continue to do so, because they are not engaged in the learning process. In addition, the teachers frequently interrupt their lessons to guide the distracted students back to instruction. This interruption in turn distracts additional students from the lesson, making learning less effective. In short, students are not engaged.
Learning from positive deviants: A few of the teachers in my building are much more comfortable with relinquishing control of the learning process, and have become facilitators. They welcome opportunities for students to learn independently or from one another, and are employing a variety of strategies, including technology, choice, and or collaboration in their classrooms on a regular basis.
Culture busters: One of the main problems that teachers in my building face is the expectation for them to follow the district mandated curriculum. While many are open to presenting concepts in more non-traditional ways, they are uncomfortable doing so. They do not have the time needed to prepare lessons that are more engaging than those they have used in the past. They also do not have time to observe the strategies of blended learning environments in their colleagues’ classrooms.
Our biggest influencers are in the district’s department of elementary technology teachers, who are officially piloting an integration program as of this month. The program aims at working with classroom teachers to create engaging and tech-friendly activities for learning in their classrooms. The idea is that we will coach the teachers as they introduce new strategies, and gradually release them to continue the strategies independently. Also influential in the process are the teachers who are comfortable with offering non-traditional (blended) strategies in their classrooms. Finding time for them to share their strategies and outcomes with other educators is a challenge, as the district mandates how our staff/district, and professional development time is spent. My innovation plan includes efforts to get district administration to provide release time for faculty members to share with one another.
SIX SOURCES OF INFLUENCE
Grenny, J., Patterson, K., Maxfield, D., McMillan, R., & Switzler, A. (2013). Influencer: The new science of leading change: 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.