As an administrator helping to lead the change process in my school I constantly think of the relationship between teachers and myself. How can we be on the same team, shooting for the same goals, but feel so “at odds” with each other?
This makes me think about the relationship between a personal trainer and their client. We all know the story-a client gets in touch with a personal trainer to lose weight and gain some muscle tone. The vision of the transformed self is exciting and we make a commitment to begin the transformation process with the help of a personal trainer. Initially, there is enthusiasm and optimism for this process. But everything comes to a halt after the first day of sore muscles, empty bellies, and pleas for a break. This is the turning point. Will we give up, lay on the couch, and reach for the Twinkies? Or will our shared vision and relationship with the personal trainer pull us through-even when we beg and plead to give up?
This is where many schools and individuals who seek a better future fail. Administrators, building leaders, instructional coaches, and professional developers need to follow the path of a successful personal trainers. We need to stay positive, keep encouraging and motivating our clients. We need to keep our focus on the small goals every day-just like going for a walk even when we don’t feel like it. We need to spend extra time stretching our muscles to help with the soreness. We need to remind them how great it will be when their pants fit again. But the one thing we cannot do, no matter what, no matter how intense it gets, no matter how much they argue, no matter how much they cuss, no matter how hard they fight…
Don’t let them eat Twinkies! Twinkles represent the old bad habits. We know there are better ways but we are locked in the bad habit. Twinkles make us feel better, they are comfortable, and they are kind of sinfully yummy. Don’t let your people eat the Twinkies.