Head Reflections: Who Moved My Cheese?

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This summer, our faculty read Spencer Johnson’s bestselling book Who Moved My Cheese?, a humorous story about dealing with change. The tale revolves around four characters—the mice Sniff, Scurry, and the mice-sized people, Hem and Haw—highlighting a variety of archetypes and qualities in the face of change.

Fostering a spirit of innovation

Now, it is fair to say that our entire country and the world have dealt with substantial change over the last three years, but we chose this book for reasons more germane to our work here at New Hampton.

The spirit of innovation in our community is strong. Our faculty and professional staff are eager to evolve in ways that allow our work to be most effective and to explore the changes in practice or program that return the highest value-added benefit for our students and community. Husky Nation is filled with Sniffs and Scurrys, the mice in Johnson’s book, partnering adeptly to embrace change, never satisfied with the status quo, yet mindful of the important traditions we honor during the normal course of our year.

Change makes a difference

In the Spring of 2019, we completed a strategic planning process with the entire community titled The New Hampton Difference. The question we strived to answer through our work was, “what does the world need from a New Hampton School graduate?”

The pandemic disrupted some of our committee work to execute identified strategic initiatives to properly allow faculty to focus on the pressing needs of students. Now, as we prepare for the new school year, we are eager to re-engage in our strategic plan work with the community at the same time as we embark on our ten-year self-study with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, our accrediting body, that guides us through a process to, put simply, asks us to examine if we, in fact, do what we say we do. The answer that that question is yes, but self-study is an opportunity for us to examine our own programs in great depth, so we can more appropriately ask ourselves, “how can we do what we say we do even better?”

Mindful forward progress

Change can be scary for students and adults, so we must be mindful of the process that creates awareness, the opportunity for input, and an understanding of why. Additionally, we must evaluate the amount of change that is healthy and manageable each year, retaining what we recognize as fundamentally New Hampton throughout the process.

In the bustling school year, there is no time to resemble Hem or Haw—those characters in Johnson’s book who experience a marked resistance to change. Instead, we are ready to work like Sniff and Scurry, ensuring our students and colleagues have a rewarding and successful year and future here in Husky Nation.

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