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.
Kids These Days
One of the best things we can do for students is to spend time being truly present with them. Enjoy them, connect with them, encourage them, grow their skills, and celebrate them. Nourish their unique gifts and talents and help them believe deeply in themselves and their ability to make a positive difference. Our students are our hope. But they need hope themselves. Hope that tomorrow can be better than today and that they will have the skills necessary to make tomorrow better than today.
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.
To The Ones Who Show Up
I know one thing for sure - it's how we show up for ourselves and each other that really matters in the end. What a beautiful opportunity we have to impact the world through small moments with others. Let's treat others and these moments like they are special. Because they are.
Finally, we spend a lot of time starting with deficits in schools. We shoot ideas down because we can think of reasons why something won't work. We focus on learning deficits in classrooms and on state assessments. We talk a lot about what we aren't seeing. Our kids need to know how to read and think critically. I'm not arguing that. However, no one is inspired by a relentless focus on their deficits. I learned from my good friend, Dr. Tim Kubik, it can be more powerful to focus instead on what assets we do indeed have. The strengths and skills and special talents that students and teachers bring into schools every day are endless. If we were to spend more energy amplifying the good instead of diagnosing the not so good, I think the energy in our schools would change.
Taking Good Care of Our Little Corner
Even if the world became 1% more kind in the next year, I think that would make a big difference in how we all feel in our day-to-day lives.
Reflections on an Emerging Student-Centered Learning Ecosystem: Inquiry and Ideas (Part II)
As the fellowship took shape, each teacher brought assets of their own that they knew could work, but also a willingness to learn that came from not seeing their approach as “the” answer. In the words of improv comedy, they came with bricks rather than a cathedral. This kind of openness to inclusion would be key to ideation and innovation. The smartest person in the room may be the room, but only when everyone who should be is in the room.
Reflections on an Emerging Student-Centered Learning Ecosystem (Part I)
By focusing on teachers as assets, rather than gaps to be trained in a new way of thinking, the stage was set for the inquiry necessary to launch the fellowship.
3 Tips for Professional Learning Days
When we listen to the educators who are working closest to our students every day and allow their insights to inform planning for professional learning, the plan gets better.
Let's listen. Let's build alongside educators and students. We cannot expect people to feel ownership and engagement in something that they were not a part of building. Imagine what we can do if we build together.