Any key stage two meeting is dominated by talk about the changes in the curriculum and assessment. In an earlier blog we considered the positives and negatives of learning without levels. But whatever you're feeling about it, the fact of its existence the reality of it is undeniable.
In a second collaborative meeting of key stage two teachers this year I was struck by the applicability of the Kubler-Ross model (of response to bereavement) in the case of a change like this; and to the power of collaboration in moving through that model to an integrated resolution.
In the first meeting the tone was very much of the early Kubler-Ross stages. There was quite a bit of denial, some anger and some negotiation. Statements such as 'I can't believe they're messing with it all again!'; 'It's the straw that will break the camel's back! I have no idea how I'm going to cope. It's too much!'; or 'I think we should adapt what already works. What sort of changes will you make?'
The second meeting moved much more into experimentation and towards acceptance. How was the change achieved so quickly? I believe that a large part of that transition has been facilitated by the process being a collaborative, rather than individual one. By approaching a new, and for some intimidating, change as a group the individuals involved have been able to benefit from the collective experience. Dealing with change collaboratively enables to individual to have a wider framework of experience to draw from, to be part of a collective effort and to feel valued for their contribution. The aspect that is most impressive is the way in which the group produces outcomes that are greater than the sum of its parts.
Whether it is in education, business or community activities the prospect of significant change can be daunting, prompting a desire to batten down the hatches and weather out the storm, but it is often by opening up and collaborating with others that we achieve our best results. If you are facing challenge and change, and want to move from red to green as soon as possible, look for opportunities to share your experiences and develop together.