Embracing Change

Change is good, right? I know it is, but here’s my confession—sometimes change scares the heck out of me. And yet I know I embrace change on a daily basis. I guess it’s the big changes that can throw me for a loop. To this day I vividly remember the afternoon my principal informed me that the following fall I would be changing grade levels. My knees went weak and my head began to spin—and not in a good way!

Change is on my mind because I’m imagining many teachers are being asked to embrace big changes in the coming school year: a change of schools, a change of grade levels, a change of teaching colleagues, a change of administration, and so on. Over the years I’ve learned that I’m best with small changes. So when a big ole change comes my way, I try to embrace the big change in small chunks. This works for me. What works for you? What are your words of wisdom for colleagues facing major changes? Please share your insights and positive experiences!

And to all our subscribers; if you have a current subscription to The Mailbox® magazine or Teacher’s Helper® magazine that no longer matches your new teaching assignment, go immediately to www.themailbox.com/customerservice to request a change of editions. Or call toll-free 1-800-334-0298 (Monday through Friday 7am – 9:30pm and Saturday 8am – 6pm CST). We are here to serve you! (Please act quickly, as changes can take up to six weeks to process because of fixed mailing schedules.)

Thinking of you!


Congratulations to R. Weber, Bar Nunn Elementary. She is the winner of a copy of Out & About Math (Grades 1–2) in our weekly blog drawing.

17 thoughts on “Embracing Change

  1. Change is happening in the schools, i work at a preschool and i love my job i love to see the wounderful changes that the children make the way they grow and learn and how they change to the way that each of the teachers teachs them i am amazed at those wounderfull changes. thank you for great ideas they help to ease changes for the teachers as well as for the children. when you are prepared for any changes it makes it easy.

  2. I teach Early Childhood Special Education and my job is always changing. I have new students move into our district from other programs. I also have new students coming in when they turn 3. Which is difficult when they come in January and even as late as April. It is extremely difficult when a child who is 4 or 5 comes in and has never been to a program or away from their mom. So I am always changing my plans to help all my students. I enjoy the job, but sometimes it can be very overwhelming.

  3. This is the first year that I do not have a major change coming. Two years ago, I went from student teaching to my first year teaching. I was not happy at that school, and at the end of the year, I decided to try a different school. After just applying for jobs the year before, I had to do it again! My second year teaching was miles better and easier than my first. At my second school, the staff, parents, and students were wonderful. I felt a part of that school in a way I never did at the first school I worked at. Big changes are almost always scary, but sometimes they work out to be even better that what you already had.

  4. Change is not always easy to embrace. I handle it by realizing that in the past changes have always been for the better, for me. Changes mean that I am about to grow to a new level in my life! That is always exciting!!

  5. CHANGE! I love it!
    Change keeps you on your toes and delivers a challenge that continually adds to your “personal lessons learned” memoir. I am looking forward to my upcoming challenge, of changing grade levels from 1st to 4th and I can’t wait!

  6. This is actually the first year I do not have a major change coming. For the past 4 years I have had to start new every fall in a new school and with a new age. I have learned a lot but it can become very frustrating packing up everything to get ready to move to a new location to begin again. I have added responsibilty this coming school year but I am in the same place so I am very happy about that.

  7. I’ve been at my school for 16 years. I started out as a sustitute teacher, then I was a teacher aide in Kindergarten for a year, except that the teacher ended up in the hospital from about October until February and I took over the class until she came back. Then I taught first grade for two years, then third grade for five years. After that I was asked to teach religion (I teach in a Catholic school) to sixth, seventh, and eighth graders, and I also had a fifth grade math group. The next year I had a sixth grade homeroom and taught religion, language arts, math, and art. The following year I had a fifth grade homeroom and taught religion, language arts, math, science, and art. The year after that I was a resource teacher and I taught some religion, and had two groups for reading and two groups for math. The next three years I taught Preschool (which I LOVED!!!), and also worked in the library and helped out as a teacher aide with second and third grade. Next year I will be moving back to Kindergarten! Talk about a full swing!!! I really enjoyed something about every year, even though there have been many challenges. In order for me to manage all of these changes I have to be very FLEXIBLE! That’s the key!!! If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t have been able to do it!

  8. I have major change coming this year! I’m leaving the school where I have been for 5 years but I’ve had two different partners in my grade level and 3 different administrators. I’m looking forward to this change even as huge as it is because I was driving an hour one way to school with my 2 small boys. The school where I am going is brand new and I’m extremely excited about starting with new partners, administrators, students and families! I guess my way of dealing has been to reach out to my grade level partners and find out what they are comfortable with and what they feel are their strengths and weaknesses. I have also been sharing ideas with our administrator about PTO fundraising, etc. I guess when we get to start moving I’ll feel more trepidation than I do now. I’m sad about leaving the school where I was. But I know that I will grow as an educator, mother and individual with this change. So I’ll embrace it for all the learning potential it holds for me.

  9. I find change hard to deal with but afterward, I find that I have grown in a way that would not have been possible had I done the same old thing. This year I am losing a wonderful teammate to budget cuts and a fantastic principal for the same reason. We are faced with new curriculum and less money, higher class sizes and less para-professional support. I know many people are in the same boat, but using blogs and resources available through this website, matbe this will be the most inventive year yet.

  10. I love change, but with change comes frustration, happiness, and a chance to collaborate with others in the education field. This year I am thinking of starting a Pre-K school. I recently left my job of teaching third grade for the past six years, before that I taught fourth grade so I have not had real change. I have taught Pre-K and preschool before and like Diana said it is wonderful to see those changes in young children. With this change this year I know I have a lot of research to do and I have to get out and about in the community to meet the movers and shakers. I am looking forward to a new and exciting business and educational endeavor.

  11. This coming year, our 2 Christian elementaries will become one–and as you can imagine, there are already so many changes (by the adults)–several staff that were coming back, changes in administrators, buildings, classroom, staff assignments, etc. But, if you realize that we are here for the children–they are (for the most part) very forgiving and flexible–and if we make it comfortable and loving for them—they will be fine. I welcome change—it makes you excited again for another new year, forces you to re-evaluate your curriculum, talk with new staff, etc. Can’t wait for fall to begin (but also enjoying every day of summer!!).

  12. I have a huge fear of change. Strange that a teacher has such a fear of change since one never has the same day in the classroom. I am changing grade levels this fall and at first I was panicing, but after reading Diane’s message I am embracing the upcoming challenges. Thank you for the suggestion and I will begin to take the change in smaller chunks and work through those during the break. I know with the help of the mailbox magazine I will have a successful year!


  14. I am facing a major change this year. I am leaving a school that I have taught at for 10 years. I taught preschool and now I will be teaching 3rd or 4th grade the choice is mines. I will also go from a private school to a public school. The other change is that I will actually take a big cut in pay (5,000 to 6,000 a year). However, the benefits in the public school far out way the benefits in the private school. I’m wondering what’s my best choice. Public school also has a pension plan that this particualr private school does not offer. This is really something to think aboout since I am 45 years old. Not to mention that the new school is a 20 minute commute compared to a 55 minute commute. Any suggestions?

  15. I have always said change is good, but it sometimes difficult to go through. I do believe it makes us better teachers, though, because it keeps us on our toes and always thinking of the students we have right now. I have recently begun teaching developmental preschool, so I related to Diana’s comments well. I have been in 3 schools in 3 years due to differing enrollment (and I have to admit, I usually volunteer if no one else does; change is good, right??), so I was particularly looking forward to this fall where I’d be in the same building with the same aide. Wrong! Just found out that our program will change to 4 days, with the 5th being used for conferencing, which means the aide position is part-time – which my aide cannot do, due to needing the school’s insurance. I am positive that I will do fine this year, and am curious to see how this 4-day program will work. I guess that I am happy that I am finding out now, rather than in August, since I do know that I personally need time to get my head around these bigger changes!

  16. I love change and each summer spend my time looking for new and different ideas. I usually change my room by changing the color scheme. I am also willing to try new strategies or programs our school is interested in. I guess I feel that If I am always learning it will keep me on my toes and flexible!

  17. I had to move classroom this summer. Well all my stuff which is packed in boxes was moved. I can’t touch it until August 3rd and Our districts Open House is on the 10th. I am glad to have the change but I am overwhelmed by the idea of unpacking and getting everything pretty in a weeks time. I don’t want to just start stuffing thing anywhere but I may have to. Any one have any organizing and room arrangement ideas. I am going to continue to teach pre-k (this is my 9th year). Sometimes a fresh start is great but overwhelming.

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