Leadership and the Lovable Toaster.

Let me ask you a quick question:  When was the last time that you heard teachers grumble about toasters?

Never, right?  Everyone digs their toasters.

In fact, I don’t think I know anyone that has turned their backs on toasters.  Toaster-love is a universal truth.

Here’s why that matters:   While they clearly love their toasters, many teachers are all-too-ready to turn their backs on school change efforts.

Pitch a new digital tool and skeptics start squawking immediately.  Suggest a new instructional practice and SOMEONE will point out a million reasons it’s bound to fail.  Propose a school-wide strategy for reaching more kids and you are likely to be quelling a break-room rebellion before the day is out.

If we could figure out just what it is about toasters that makes them so darn lovable, we MIGHT just be able to tailor school change efforts that are more likely to be embraced, too.

(And YES, I’m being serious.)





 Related Radical Reads:

Our Compulsive Obsession with the Impossible Sexy

Sustainable Change in Schools is Evolutionary

Make Like an Obstetrician and Deliver

3 thoughts on “Leadership and the Lovable Toaster.

  1. Scott Gaglione

    I love the simplicity of this message, especially the profound thinking that it generated in me! It is so true that, when presented with new ideas, teachers have a tendency to discount it out of hand. This is my first year as an Instructional Technology Specialist, and I have been working to try to change our classrooms from predominantly teacher-centered to student-centered. I prepared myself for pushback, but I was amazed at the lengths that some teachers went to in an attempt to avoid it. As a result, I have focused on working with the willing in hopes that in time some of the others will come around. I have also tried to show the naysayers how this type of change can positively impact their classrooms, though in a non-offensive way as to not turn them off completely!
    Thank you for sharing, I really enjoy reading your blog!

    1. Bill Ferriter Post author

      Hey Scott,

      First, thanks for stopping by and for your kind words on my blog. I put a lot of time into writing here, so knowing that readers find the content useful is pretty darn rewarding.

      Second, thanks for being willing to drive change from beyond the classroom. That’s an incredibly important job that I think is undervalued. I’m grateful for your willingness to tackle work I don’t want to do.

      Finally — ALWAYS keep things simple for your teachers. It’s the only way to get people to embrace change.

      Rock right on,

  2. Sherry

    I read somewhere that leaders shouldn’t surround themselves with ‘yes’ people. That there should also be some ‘no’ people because they can help leaders maintain a better sense of reality. That being said, fanatics and obstinates can be draining even if they have a sliver of validity in their complaining:)

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