One day last week I took my regular early morning stroll down the driveway to retrieve the newspaper. I was about halfway on my journey when I suddenly stopped and looked around. For one split second I wasn’t sure where I was. Everything (trees, houses, flowers, grass) was familiar, but yet they all looked different. Then I remembered that our neighbors across the street had two large pine trees taken down the day before, so the sunlight filtering through the remaining trees was altered. It created different shadows and illuminated different parts of the flowers and grass. A small change that made a difference in my view of the world, that made me stop and notice.
That experience got me thinking about the power of small changes in other areas of life. For instance, a small change in a classroom environment – providing areas for partnerships or small groups to talk – might result in increased student collaboration. A decision to provide more choice in reading or writing instruction might help a teacher look differently at her students as they reveal unexpected information about themselves.
And it doesn’t stop there. What if we all made just one small change in how we treat each other, or how we learn and play together? It might not change the world, but it might bring us closer together. When we make small changes in the way we have always done things, we get to see things from a different perspective, and that can make all the difference.