Our district hosted a Google/Best Buy event last week which showcased our new high school, our 1:1 program, and career-tracked organization of courses. Thanks to the leadership, innovation, and courage of a number of administrators, coordinators, teachers (and students!), the district could proudly display a host of amazing facilities, programs, and initiatives that will be of great benefit to our graduates and to our community. I was very proud to be a One91 employee.
But I found myself in a somewhat unfamiliar role - that of stabilizer rather than of change agent.
I once encountered a theory/observation, that the best organizational hierarchies sandwich stabilizers between the change agents*. Stabilizers help preserve the positive aspects of the organization's culture, create processes, manage resources, and provide the infrastructure on which innovation can be built. In other words, stabilizers are the managers who keep the electricity running and the paychecks accurate. A role which I have that has long gone unrecognized in our adoration of leadership.
For much of my career, I worked for superintendents who were stabilizers. So I took the role of change agent and my techs and coordinators got to stabilize. In my current position, both my superintendent and my instructional tech coordinator are strong advocates and visionaries for change. So you know what my role has become - the plodding sort who writes technology plans, supervises the budget, worries about network reliability, insists on written curricula and teacher evaluation standards etc. Rather than celebrating the pockets-of-wow, I worry about the staff who just don't seem to be getting it with technology. It doesn't make me much fun or, I suppose, much fun to be around.
I must say though that I am happy to be making a contribution to improving the lives of small people and quite a few large people as well. If my being able to balance the ship so that the ship can move forward, so much the better. That is without being considered ballast.
* My undying gratitude to anyone who can point me to where this was published!