THE TRANSFORMED TEACHER – 5 Steps to Changing Behavior

5 Steps to Changing header

Change? Yikes! Even for the most progressive educators, changing how we do things can be challenging. For some of us, even the mere mention of change can provoke panic. If you like to stay in your comfort zone, you are not alone.

 If you like to stay in your comfort zone, you are not alone.

Rollercoaster Germany Duisburg Tiger Turtle
Pixabay CC0 License

Change is a roller coaster ride through an emotional swampland. Navigating the ups and downs can be intimidating and exhausting. It’s understandable why people cling to the status quo, but change doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Think of it as an opportunity for growth. Like the lightness of being that comes from shedding toxic people, change can transform you and your class for the better.

Q: How do you change behavior?
A: One step at a time.

In the 1970s, James O Prochaska and his collaborators were studying addiction and began developing what would evolve into the Transtheoretical Approach (Prochaska and DiClemente 1982), a model that deals with intentional behavior change and has five stages:

Q: How do you change behavior?
A: One step at a time.

In the 1970s, James O Prochaska and his collaborators were studying addiction and began developing what would evolve into the Transtheoretical Approach (Prochaska and DiClemente 1982), a model that deals with intentional behavior change and has five stages:

  1. Precontemplation – You haven’t thought about changing. (My teaching is fantastic. I am a rock star and don’t need to change a thing.)
  2. Contemplation – You think about the need to change. (Hmmm…my students are bombing every exam. Should I do something differently?)
  3. Determination (Preparation) – You prepare yourself for a change. (Let me assess the situation. Perhaps this new teaching technique would be more effective…)
  4. Action – You do something. (I’m turning this lecture into a scaffolding activity followed by a group discussion. Booya!)
  5. Maintenance – You continue to engage in the different behavior. (Everything is awesome! Okay, okay. A more realistic scenario is that overall, things are getting better in small, but noticeable, increments. Onward!).

Keep in mind that these steps don’t just apply to teachers, but are also relevant for students. Changing attendance and study habits comes to mind…

Warning – Feelings ahead.

Change is a journey. A process. It can be easy, but often it’s not. Even if you’re implementing the change. Even if you perceive the change as positive.

Unless you’re a robot, change propels you into the tricky realm of ‘Emotionville.’ The graphic below shows how people can react to change, which has roots in Kübler-Ross’s model based on feelings experienced by dying people (often called the 5 stages of grief), and similar Change or Transition Curve models that are popular in the business world.

Fisher Transition Curve
© J M Fisher 1999/2012, a free resource.

You are not alone.

How can we make it through the emotional swampland of change in one piece? Maryellen Weimer has some good advice on changing your teaching, including these highlights:

    • Think about what needs to change before deciding on a change (what isn’t working and why).
    • Change a little before changing a lot (changing a little = probability of maintaining sanity maximized, changing a lot = you go cray-cray1).
    • Have realistic expectations for success (some days you’re da bomb2, other days the class bombs).

Wouldn’t it be a little B-O-R-I-N-G if things stayed the same forever?

Is change worth it?

Only you and your students can answer this question. But the collective wisdom of the internet indicates there are many potential rewards, including enhanced: insight, flexibility, perspective, growth, strength, excitement, opportunities, self-confidence, relationships, outcomes, etc. Wouldn’t it be a little B-O-R-I-N-G if things stayed the same forever?

The benefits of leaving your comfort zone behind are very real. Although change can present challenges, now you know what to expect. You can find your way. Why not take the first step?

Chin up!

The Transformed Teacher


Apple with The Transformed Teacher written on it

The Transformed Teacher is a faculty member who took a bold step out from behind highly detailed lecture notes and a gigantic podium into the teaching-verse, which is a magical place filled with helpful tips, tools, and teachers.

As I learn more about teaching, I find I’m significantly better than I was before, and a lot less neurotic. In fact, sometimes teaching is downright fun. Imagine that.


REFERENCES:

Kubler-Ross E. 1969. On Death and Dying. Macmillan, New York, NY.

Fisher J. https://www.businessballs.com/change-management/personal-change-stages-john-fisher-162/ © John Fisher Personal Transition Curve concept and content 2000-13; Fisher & Savage Personal Construct Psychology article 1999; edit and contextual material Alan Chapman 2000-2013.

Prochaska JO, DiClemente CC. 1982. Transtheoretical therapy: toward a more integrative model of change. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research & Practice, 19(3), 276-288. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/h0088437


Check out my previous posts:

Stuck in the middle (of the semester) with me.
Group work (pt. 1): Let’s get real.
Justifying just makes life easier.
Say something. Anything. Please…?
Changing educational pain to pleasure.



KeywordsThe Transformed Teacher, OTL Blog   Doc ID131449
OwnerLinda C.GroupIT Knowledge Base
Created2023-09-15 06:36:18Updated2023-09-18 08:05:04
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