On the School of Education website, there is a link for the Diffusion Simulation Game. In this game you must convince the school that peer tutoring should be adopted as a school wide policy. You must build relationships with the staff (don’t forget about the janitor, librarian, and other support staff!). By building those crucial relationships, you are gaining the trust of the people you need to support you. You are given choices of how to introduce this method into the school and gain support. You must do this within two years’ time and each choice costs a certain amount of time.
My experience was decent. I only got eight people to adopt the idea so it ultimately failed but I did make some good connections. I feel that if I had more time I could have convinced the school to adopt the idea. I think I pushed the voluntary participation too soon. I was running out of time and picked up the paced too much. Had I focused more on building a better rapport, they may have been willing to do it on their own even after the principle left.
Another one of my down falls might have been focusing on the teachers that were already in support of the program. I thought that by getting the most supportive teachers excited, they could influence the other teachers and get them excited as well. Instead, I should have gotten the supportive teachers on board and then gone to the resistant teachers myself. If I had spent more time with the resistant teachers, I feel they would have put more trust in my idea and tried it with an open mind.
It also would have been in my best interest to pay more attention to the groups everyone was involved in. Paying attention to the social groups would have been more productive than the committee groups. There would be more gossiping and free talk during lunch or social outings that could have convinced some of the resistant teachers. All of this might have made its way back to the principle. Networking was what I lacked and it using word of mouth would have been extremely helpful.
My plan for the next time is to talk to everyone in the beginning and quickly determine the teachers who might be resistant to my peer tutoring initiative. Once I have these teachers pin pointed, I will take groups to the site visit including four resistant teachers and one teacher in support. Hopefully this will help to sway the teachers and they can spread the good word around the school. I will take multiple groups to the sites until eventually everyone gets to go. Then I will decide which teachers are the most resistant, and focus my efforts on them. I will ask the supportive teachers to do demonstrations and spread the word on how well it worked. I will only do the school wide participation if I feel I have the support of the majority of the teachers.