Values & Beliefs Run Deep

Unwrapping the Holidays: Reflections on a Difficult First Year (317)

-Dale Weiss

Weiss describes implementing change as a first year teacher, and how jumping in and assuming all of your colleagues are on the same page as you is a mistake Weiss learnt the hard way.  Reflecting back to the ‘December issue’ Weiss states, “Since I didn’t start by acknowledging their values, people’s defenses were up and they did not hear what I was trying to say.  As a result, people clung more tightly to their own belief systems and my efforts essentially moved things backward” (325).  Change often disrupts firmly established values and beliefs; therefore, forgetting to be aware of why certain beliefs are set in place while going ahead to implement your own beliefs, as a new teacher, causes disharmony because everyone is passionate about their belief system.  Communicating with open minds, and looking at different perspectives helps change be welcomed, rather than unwanted.  Both Weiss and the other teachers wanted their beliefs reflected in the school community, and when beliefs clashed, walls went up because people felt their beliefs were insignificant in comparison to others.  Change is a process that takes time and support, Weiss got caught up in making a difference immediately through diversity, and left colleagues and their support behind.



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