What is it about change that get people running away?
I’ve talked a great deal about change and how we need to be able to accept it, question it, but adapt to it. However, it is the one thing that many people cannot cope with. Change is inevitable, in all aspects of life. When change comes, things won’t be comfortable, things may be awkward, things may be disrupted and the list goes on and on. But, considering how often change happens, you would think that we all would be able to deal with the challenges that come or at least train ourselves in how to face and overcome these obstacles.
When a new head comes to a school, there are bound to be changes. The person themselves will be a change and the way they interact with their staff, children and parents will be different from their predecessor. We are always confronted with these stories of parents fleeing a school because a new headteacher has taken post, but often this departure only takes place within a few months. Just recently I have been talking to some other headteachers about this and about their experiences in the first few months of headship.
I find it amazing that people cannot just be patient and wait to see what the outcome will be. I understand that it is ‘our children’ that we are concerned about, but the change of moving to a whole new school could negatively impact ‘our children’ as well. Consider the amount of time the child may have to settle in to a new environment, the new friends they will have to make, the ‘lost time’ of learning while they are focusing on getting used to ‘new’ everything.
Most of the time, after the dust settles, everyone gets used to the change and this usually happens with new headteachers as well. I feel very fortunate that my school now feels settled and even though my first year did have a few bumps and hurdles, we have come through stronger and more united. Unfortunately, not every new headteacher gets to experience this.
They need to be given a chance….a chance to prove themselves and a chance to prove that sometimes change is just what is needed.