The Power of Education Naysayers

Do we want conformity?
Should conformity be the norm?

More often than not, most schools have a naysayer or a group of naysayers.  A naysayer might not necessarily agree with a school’s initiatives or mandates. These staff members are often perceived as being negative or confrontational.  Naysayers might not participate on district or leadership committees.  They might assert their opinions regarding education funding, history of education, evaluations, response to intervention, student data, status quo,  leadership, initiates, etc.   I feel like most teachers have met a naysayer.  You might even be a self-proclaimed naysayer or skeptic.  Naysayers often feed off one another and their ideas can be contagious.

Regardless of how naysayers are perceived, they have power.  I find that teachers want what’s best for students.  Beyond the overarching goal of wanting what’s best for students, teachers’ philosophies differ.   These opinions can start arguments and can cause disruptions among teams/schools.  Confrontations can cause disruptions if not handled properly by administration. Experiences and opinions should be valued and communicated with candor.  Everyone who is part of the education organization is valued and that should be communicated as well.

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Being labeled a a naysayer doesn’t have to have a negative connotation   You might be called a naysayer if you aren’t a fan of the status quo in a school or district.  Is that bad?  You might disagree, but being a positive change agent in a school might start by being called a naysayer. Naysayers that bring solutions to the table introduce ideas that may encourage others to innovate.  Conforming isn’t always an option when challenging decisions need to be made. Disagreement may bring a different perspective and initiate a positive change in an organization.  Teacher strengths and ideas may often remain hidden until called upon.  Encouraging naysayers to join school leadership teams and become more involved in the decision making process may benefit your school.

Are you a naysayer?

photo credit: the|G|™ via photopin cc

Author: Matt Coaty

I've taught elementary students for the past 14 years. I enjoy reading educational research and learning from my PLN. Words on this blog are my own.

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