Are You a Hem, a Haw, a Sniff, or a Scurry?


These past few weeks have been a whirlwind in our neck of the woods.  To say change has come to our building and district is an understatement.  Sometimes, I have a hard time keeping up with it, but what we are doing is really going to be great for our kids and our future.

We are in a process of changing the configuration of our district to consolidate our elementary building to one building, move our middle school to another building, and have our high school as a one high school, not a combined Jr.-Sr High.  This has been the vision of our Board of Education and our superintendent, to consolidate our needs, work together in tandem as grade levels, to bring the best for our students of our district.

As we all know, with any type of change, it gets scary.  To make this vision happen, we had to be creative and adjust our buildings next year so we can get the project started.  With delays at the NYSED department, (are you surprised?) and finally getting our project approved, we had to change our configuration so that the building I serve will house all the PreK-2 student populations.

As we all know, lots of speculation and angst can occur during any type of change.  Usually, it is harder for the adults to process the change than it is our children.  They always seem to have no problem with it.  But, in moving forward with this project, it has always brought me back to Spencer Johnson’s great book, Who Moved My Cheese?

With the announcement of movements in our elementary buildings, a flurry of emotions came forward from the adults.  Although the staff knew that a change was occurring, they did not have the details because we were and are literally at the mercy of the State Education Department and a timeline.  What was announced was not predicted, and even may change with a construction timeline that may change too.

With that, some of my staff that I have worked with for over 12 years will be moved.  Some were fine with it because they knew they had jobs.  Some were a bit shocked, but overcame it because again, they knew they had jobs.  Some lined up to ask for transfers in open positions for change.  Some are fine to stay put.

Image result for Who Moved My Cheese

Yet again, it brought me back to Who Moved My Cheese?  The book is a fable about Hem and Haw (terms for indecisiveness) who live in a maze and look for cheese.  They stumble on Cheese Station C along with another pair, Sniff and Scurry.  What happens is that Hem and Haw are satisfied with Cheese Station C and start to become arrogant in the process of finding cheese and stop and become complacent, thinking that the cheese in Cheese Station C will last forever.  In the end, Haw finds his way out of a situation, but Hem is complacent with his old ways of not changing to find new cheese.  (You can read a synopsis here.)

In the End:

Change happens, and for this change, it is happening for what is best for our kids.  In the book, the character, Haw, writes “The Handwriting on the Wall” of his thinking and “aha” moments.  Here they are:

Change Happens:  They Keep Moving The Cheese

Anticipate Change:  Get Ready For The Cheese To Move

Monitor Change:  Smell The Cheese Often So You Know When It Is Getting Old

Adapt To Change Quickly:  The Quicker You Let Go Of Old Cheese, The Sooner You Can Enjoy New Cheese

Change:  Move With The Cheese

Enjoy Change! :  Savor The Adventure And Enjoy The Tase Of New Cheese

Be Ready To Change Quickly And Enjoy It Again:  They Keep Moving The Cheese

So, which one are you?


  1. #1 by Guy Naegeli on January 4, 2018 - 1:15 pm

    Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon every day. It’s always useful to read articles from other writers and practice a little something from their web sites.

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