Demonstrating how the change will benefit students can help overcome this resistance. Keep the focus on student outcomes, and lead all conversations with compelling reasons for why teachers should transform their practice—framed in terms of student success.
Maintain empathy and understanding.
Even if teachers buy into the reasoning behind a digital transformation, they might feel an emotional attachment to their old practices. They might feel overwhelmed by the change. They might resist giving up some control in their classroom. They could be nervous about making mistakes or looking foolish in front of their students who are digital natives.
Understanding all the emotions that teachers are feeling can help administrators lead with empathy and compassion. It can help teachers feel heard, which in turn makes them more likely to buy into the change.
Help teachers feel like professionals.
Teachers want to make a difference in their students’ lives. That’s why they got into this profession to begin with. Sell the change as an invitation to improve their practice, so they can have a bigger impact on their students’ success. Give them various options for how to receive professional learning. Empower them to succeed through ongoing coaching and structured support, not just one-off workshops.
When teachers feel like they are driving the change, instead of having it done to them, they are more likely to embrace transformation.
Give them opportunities for ‘quick wins.’
Look for opportunities to help teachers experience small, early successes that build their confidence. Seeing the impact that digital transformation can have in their own classrooms will lead to further adoption and enthusiasm.
Change doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Most importantly, technology is only one part of the solution. Digital transformation requires several factors working together to be successful, beginning with strong leadership and a vision for using technology to improve instruction—and change management is essential for bringing everyone along.
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