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Monday, January 1, 2018

Who Moved My Cheese?

A few minutes before I left for vacation, my principal came in and handed me a copy of a book he wanted all of us to read at some point.  As my vacation has been coming to an end today and I have been getting back into school mode, I opened my school bag this morning and saw the book. I picked it up a few times today and read bits and pieces and started thinking about the message in the book. The book is Who Moved My Cheese? and apparently it is the most popular  book I have never heard of.  It is a very short book (under 100 pages) but packs a powerful message about how different folks deal with change.

The story is very simple and short and is preceded by an introduction and followed by a conversation between a group of friends about how they interpret the story.  At my school, we are facing a great deal of change over the next several years and I think this book will really help us open up some conversations about the changes that are coming and how we are going to deal with them.  

The story is about 2 mice and 2 little people.  The mice, Sniff and Scurry are much more adaptable to change.  Sniff can sniff out the situation and sees change coming early on.  Scurry is able to take action immediately when presented with change.  The little people, Hem and Haw have more trouble adapting to change.  Hem is the most resistant to change and really wants to stay in familiar territory.  he has a great deal of fear over any change and really wants to stay in one place.  Haw learns the most during the story.  He doesn't see the change coming but once things change, he is able to see what he is doing wrong and make some changes himself.  The change actually ends up changing him.  

When I was reading this story, I could see myself and my colleagues in all of these characters.  It really made me think about how I deal with change at work and at home and how I can improve my response to change and my attitude about it.  I look forward to discussing this book with colleagues! 

I also think this book has a great message for my students.  In particular, I have a group of sixth graders right now who are fearful of the changes coming next year when they move up to our district middle school.   I also would like to share this story with my own children who could always use more practice dealing with change. Luckily, there is a picture book version and several animated versions available on You Tube.  

Have you heard the story Who Moved My Cheese? Which character do you identify most with? How would you use this story with students? Please respond in the comments below!