“I aim for direct messaging and narratives around how change can benefit many, and not hurt you. Language matters. Politically neutral answers don’t satisfy the need or reduce the fear of change.”
Dr. Michelle Madera is Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education at Cambridge Public Schools. She spoke with us about navigating change in educational settings where new practices or policies can spark anxiety. Equity-driven change can feel like a loss for some stakeholders in a system; we must be cognizant about this reality…and also clear about the need for change.
Michelle reminds us that we need to cut through zero-sum mentalities with direct narratives and clear-eyed reasoning.
The project: The Cambridge Birth to 3rd Grade Partnership brings together stakeholders to ensure that all children in Cambridge have access to the high quality early childhood experiences that prepare them for school and life. We supported this cross-sector team in a strategic planning process for B3’s next five years of ecosystem work.