Guiding Change for the Awareness Stage

You probably know the teachers in the “Awareness†stage. They are happy where they are, everything is fine, and they don’t need to use the technology because what they are doing now is working. You know technology would enhance their teaching practice, but they keep you from presenting any technology to them. Does this sound like any of your teachers?

As the change agent, coach, or professional developer for your school or district, you may have been asked to mentor all of your teachers and need a plan to reach the “Awareness†teachers.

  • Set up a time to meet in their classroom or in a place that is private and safe.
  • Provide an open environment so they can talk about their teaching practice and their own concerns about using technology.
  • Inventory available technology in their classroom, the school, and their home.
  • Build a personal relationship by showing interest and concern while quieting negative feelings.
  • Allow discussions on how technology will affect them so you can understand why they are not interested in using technology.
  • Work with the teacher to take small steps in using technology to build their confidence and skill in the use of technology.

Many teachers I have met at this level are concerned about looking foolish in front of their colleagues. If technology use is mandated by the administration without specific strategies to move the “Awareness†teacher to the next level, these teachers may affect how other teachers react to change. Keep communication open and stop any negative comments in the bud! I have worked with administrators who have told their teachers ‘change or leave.’ This is actually a little easier than changing the teacher who could become the saboteur, but not all administrators want to make this ultimatum.

Submitted by:Barbara Bray

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