Handling Push-Back


Hello there!

How are you handling push-back/lack of enthusiasm at your schools? How are you encouraging teachers who are uninterested in using technology or just learning new things in general?

Posted on March 21, 2023 in response to megan

Experiencing push back comes with just about any type of professional development or training. (Social media has pages of frustration with PD!)

When someone comes in hostile/hot, it usually stems from something outside of your control or influence. Were they ordered to attend your training? Are they being mandated to implement your resources/tools? Have they had their fill of poorly planned & presented PD. (Haven't we all? Isn't that why most of us got into providing training?)

What has worked for me includes:

  • Recognizing the reasons for being in the same space together. Letting folks know that you understand they have valid reasons for frustration and let them know your goal is to honor their time and needs as best as you are able.
  • Lead with kindness backed by knowledge of your purpose & what the benefits could be for those who will be open to them.
  • Ask questions about the top thing they want to walk away with - include it if at all possible.
  • Allow questions and if they can't be answered in real time, promise & follow through with an answer. (You may need to caution that you will get an answer, but it might not be the one they are hoping for.) I write questions on the whiteboard as I go along. Sometimes I can answer them by the end, but I will also take a picture of them with my phone & get back to the group/individuals.
  • Ask participants to share their own experiences - lessons learned & tips.
  • Be genuine. Laugh at the ridiculous things that are beyond your control & spotlight what can be impacted.

I'm looking forward to seeing what others have to say.

Posted on March 22, 2023 in response to 623NB

Lots and lots of listening. Frustration usually stems from the feeling of not being heard.

Posted on March 24, 2023 in response to megan

Hi Megan,

There are a few other discussion threads with questions similar to yours in the Coaching section of the Forum that might be interesting/helpful to you, based on this question. Here are some links:

Reluctant to Explore Digital

Two Hugs and a Push

Ideas for Growing Innovative Teacher Leaders

How do you get buy-in from reluctant teachers and administrators?

The question you're asking is certainly a common one! With any change process, there will be an implementation curve that ranges from innovative, enthusiastic early adopters to those with no interest in doing anything differently, and then everyone in between! I hope these discussions and your other replies are helpful as you navigate your work with faculty in your district!

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