We don't have to wait until kindergarten, 8th grade, and senior year to celebrate our students. We don't have to wait until Teacher Appreciation Week or retirement parties to celebrate each other. In fact, as I mention in my book, my favorite definition of happiness is growth. When we learn and change and evolve, even in small ways, and see others doing the same, it's important that we celebrate. The brain is more motivated by how far we've come than by how far we have to go. Think about that. At graduations, while the future is mentioned and in positive terms, it's the growth that students experienced over the years that takes center stage in the graduation ceremony. From learning how to read, to making new friends, and learning time management in secondary school, we celebrate our scholars for their growth and development.
Kind, Empathetic, Generous
The world would be changed if more of us embodied these qualities. The world would be changed if we could celebrate others more often for these qualities. The world would be more wholesome. Thank you, Eddie, for touching my heart. I left with a mission to make school a place where we nurture kindness, empathy, and generosity. Our students and staff deserve it.
Educators, I see you.
What we look for, we find. It's easy to overcomplicate things in education, but some of the most important moves we make...as I mention in my upcoming book...are quite simple and impactful. The key is quieting the noise, so we can stay close to what matters most. How we feel in the work impact how others feel in the work and all of this impacts how the work actually goes.
Imperfect but Impactful
My upcoming book is filled with stories like this - stories where I learned from mistakes. Because the world needs less shiny, perfect people and more people who are committed to being deeply human, sharing their mistakes, and learning with other people. I'm experiencing big fears the sooner this book comes to publication. What I've had to remind myself is that I didn't write this book so people would think good things about me or my work. I wrote this book because I hope my learning can be of some value to others. It's that simple. I wrote a book that I needed.
Nothing & Surprises
This morning I listened to Tara Martin's most recent episode on her podcast, "Something about Nothing." Inspired by the children's book, "All about Nothing" by Elizabeth Rusch and Elizabeth Goss, Tara talks about the benefit of having "nothing" in our schedule in our work and lives. I was struck by so many of the beautiful... Continue Reading →
From Best to Effective
Words matter in a big way. We are tired. We are overwhelmed. When we commit to using language and strategies in conversations and meetings that leave people feeling lighter and more capable, the work gets better. When our work can feel more inquisitive and playful, there is room for deeper thinking and reflection. Isn't that what we all want for adult and kid learners alike? Critical thinking and meaningful reflection? A small tweak in our language and approach can open the door for more rich dialogue.
Writing Grows Our Humanity
My hope for all of us is that we are brave enough to ask big questions of ourselves and the world. As Adam Grant says, "We laugh at people who still use Windows 95, yet we still cling to the opinions we formed in 1995." Writing is a great strategy for growing our thinking and humanity.
Teacher Guts & Us
Many of us feel helpless right now with the state of the world. We want to make things better. We see a shortage of educators. This saddens many of us who understand that it's teachers who give us hope for this world. But what do we do? While there are certainly systemic issues to be addressed, what do we, as individuals, do to make a difference for educators right now? Quite simply, we can let them know the positive impact that have made on us. We let them know when they are making a positive difference in the lives of our own children. Nothing bad can come from sharing with great specificity the tremendous impact our teachers are making. You just never know if that thoughtful card or kind word will give a teacher the energy they need to try again tomorrow.
For far too long, school and the systems of school have been designed to sort and rank us and in doing so, we've placed more emphasis on personal competition and success and not enough emphasis on our interconnectedness and success as a community.
The Power of &
I had the pleasure of hearing Tanny McGregor, an influential educator and author, speak to a group of teachers yesterday. She spoke about the power of AND. Specifically, the ampersand. I was inspired as she had us consider the potential of holding two opposing thoughts at one time. Sitting with those opposing thoughts, considering them,... Continue Reading →