In order to successfully lead a change effort focused on becoming a one to one school, leaders must create a sense of urgency. Unless educational stakeholders believe that the status quo is unacceptable, it will be terribly difficult to make a major change within the school. Complacency is one of the biggest challenges to those who attempt to lead change. Many people involved in education believe that their school is doing just fine, and the problems with American education belong to other schools and/or other states.
So how do you create a sense of urgency?
The first step is to create a message that focuses on the need for change. Each school may be a bit unique in why there is a need to become a one to one school, but here are some possible reasons. I have also listed resources for each.
–The world is changing! Jobs that we are preparing students for are much different than 10, 20, or 30 years ago. We are not teaching students the skills that they will need for many of those jobs. (The Global Achievement Gap, Did You Know? 4.0, and Did You Know 2.0)
–Student achievement in the United States is slipping when compared to schools from around the world. (National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and National Center for Education Statistics)
Once a message for change has been created, educational leaders must deliver that message to anyone who will listen. Parents, students, teachers, businesses, school boards, and communities all need to hear the message.
This first step of creating urgency is extremely important in order to develop a sustainable change effort. A message must be developed that clearly articulates the reasons for change, and that message must be delivered anytime there is an audience that will listen.