”You can’t drive change haphazardly without a compass needle. It requires a consensus, common positions and a plan for why, what and how things should be done.”
The quote can be found on the back cover of the newly published book ”Förändringsprocesser i förskolan” (Eng. ”Processes of change in preschool”), published on Lärarförlaget, but can be applied to all types of common change processes and activities as well as within each individual.
The book is written by Maria Elbrand and Therés Åkerblom, both certified preschool teachers with several additional skills, and discusses the improvement work at an individual preschool as well as theoretical foundations and practical tips, exercises and examples.
The road is the goal and the fundamental thing, according to the book, is to see change management as a living and positive process with responsibility of one’s own and a desire to develop and feel involved. The latter, in this case, includes not least the preschool children.
Change takes courage, how do we muster it? As Tove Jansson put it: ”It’s easy to be brave if you’re not afraid.” Change starts with making visible attitudes to and expectations of the issues at hand both of one’s own and others. It takes courage to think for yourself and believe in your own ideas while listening to others.
The book describes the importance of thinking about and creating guidelines and clear information about working methods and expectations in both directions as a team in preschool in front of themselves, guardians and children. A team is often represented by staff with varying skills, experience and age, and participation and dialogue are the essence. It is important that the team works, but equally important is the quality of the approach to those you turn to and work for and with, in this case the children.
Time aspect and leadership
You shouldn’t rush through a change process, but it shouldn’t take too long either. Reflecting, evaluating, giving and receiving feedback during the process is a prerequisite for leading the work forward.
Self-leadership and what it means in terms of self-knowledge and awareness in the professional role are discussed, as well as educational leadership in, for example, a principal’s role. Central to leading others forward and having the opportunity to grow is a so-called learning leadership that includes humanity and clarity.
With my own experience as a preschool teacher, I can warmly recommend this book. With its structure, it should be of great help both to the individual and in teams within the profession. The graphic design, made by Anna Hild, is also very appealing.
Having something to refer to facilitates discussions in the local environment and works perfectly as a starting point for change management. The book also emphasizes the importance of making a conscious choice to work in preschool, based on a knowledge of what the profession entails and requires.
Commitment, context and working together generate job satisfaction. So, for recognition and tools based on the preschool environment – read the book!
Text: Anna Lundkvist In English: Andreas Lindahl