Policies | Know What You’re Changing
When considering changes to your early learning program policies or practices, it is best to act deliberately and with as much knowledge as possible. That doesn’t always happen. The Change Bug’s bite can have us rushing to alter our way of doing things without much forethought.
Imagine a Fence
You’ve been working as lead teacher in a toddler room six months. Your classroom opens onto a small toddlers-only outdoor play space. It’s well equipped and functional–but crowded.
To the North, beyond the playground’s wooden fence, is a large fenced area the center owns. Removing a small section of fence would quadruple the size of the toddler play space. For six months you’ve yearned to do just that–knock down the fence and give the kids space to roam. One day while preparing for work the Change Bug bites your neck–you rummage in the garage for a hammer, toss it into the car, and head to work early.
You eagerly hustle to the playground with your hammer and coffee mug. As you zip past a coworker, she asks, “What’s up with the hammer?”
“I don’t see the use of that fence! Why is it there?,” you shout over your shoulder, “I’m going to knock it down and surprise the kids with more play space!”
“If you don’t see the use of it, are you sure you should clear it away? Shouldn’t you understand why it is there before rushing in and knocking it down?”
Understand The Fence
Rushing in and knocking down the fence as the Change Bug’s venom throbs through your body might turn out great. You heroically take a hammer swing at the fence. It falls with one strike. As the dust settles, giggling children rush into the meadow and dance barefoot with glitter-winged butterflies.
Or, since you didn’t take the time to research why the fence was there, those giggling children could rush barefoot into a field of poison ivy and stinging nettle before disappearing into a sinkhole full of radioactive spidersnakes.
Do Your Homework
Change can be great.
Uninformed change can make a huge mess of things. Imagine how much paperwork you’d have to do if 8 itchy toddlers fell into a pit of spidersnakes.
Do your homework. Understand why the fences you want to knock down exist and act accordingly.