Saturday, January 28, 2017

10 easy ways to make the world a better place

1). At the end of the day, send a short thank you or complimentary email to someone who helped you or did something great that day. For teachers, send a quick email or make a short phone call to a parent about their child. Bonus, do a hand-written personalized note and hand deliver it...

2). Find some information or resources for someone who you know is either looking for assistance or struggling with a particular situation. This may include finding someone else who excels in this particular area and asking them to reach out to this person to help them through this process.

3). Surprise a colleague and do something that is typically on their job responsibility list. This is only effective when the intent and purpose are to help. Don't use this as an opportunity to outshine or one-up, or you risk turning a positive gesture into a negative.

4). Stand up for someone who you know is right and struggling to make progress against the masses. This could be as simple as saying something publicly in a meeting or sending an email and including others on that email. The key here is to show your support and help to validate the points that are being shunned. Bonus, by doing this you may empower and embolden others who feel their voice is not being heard...
5). Commit to doing something in the future that will help someone to do something in the present. There are countless times when others need a little support and encouragement to get them over the hump of trying to do something or change something. Your gesture of commitment in the future is just what they need to get the ball rolling in the present.

6). Find something funny and share it with others. You can't ignore the power of laughter and when presented at just the right time, a good laugh is the difference between an average day and a great day.

7). Finish the task you said you would finish. You would be surprised at how often we say we will do something to only finish half of the promised task. Be the difference and go the distance by finishing what you said you would finish... this means a lot to people.

8). Present someone a challenge you think they can handle and would be excellent at overcoming. Present this challenge in a way that highlights the strengths of others, and remind them that you believe their skill set is perfectly aligned to tackling this challenge. The key here is to empower and send a boost of confidence to someone who may be lacking of late.

9). Start saying 'yes' and 'why not' more than 'no' and 'that's not possible.' Be careful with this, because if you always say 'yes' then you will become overwhelmed and over-committed. In the same breath, don't always say 'no' because you will become the person who nobody approaches with new ideas or possible changes. Help someone by embracing their creativity and innovation by giving them a green light.

10). Be yourself and don't try to be someone you aren't. Far too often we try to be who we think others think we should be, and in the end we ultimately disappoint both them and ourselves. Be yourself and others will be greatly appreciative.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

10 thoughts on school culture:

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Our kids need different, not more...

We've all been there and we've all done it.

As the teacher, we teach something but the students don't understand it.

In our minds the material and skills are quite simple and straight forward, but for some reason the students just aren't grasping the information.

Our natural instincts take over and we do what makes sense to us...

Maybe if I talk louder and more slowly and repeat myself 4 times the students will understand it.

Maybe if I give more homework problems for practice the students will eventually work themselves into understanding the material.

Maybe if I explain it a few more times the information will begin to sink in.

And then... with all these maybes, we still don't see results.

So, then we do once again what makes sense to us...

Let's repeat all those maybes because something's bound to stick if we do it all again.

It's like a bad recurring dream and we've ALL been there and we've ALL done it.

As educators we tend to believe that kids need 'more' of whatever we are doing if it's ever going to make sense to them.

So we give them more... and more... and more... more right up until the kids are disgusted and we the educators have forgotten why we are even doing what we are doing.

The more we give the further our students get from actually understanding or mastering the skills.

Let's ditch the 'more' and start focusing on ways we can get the same information or skills across 'differently.'

Our kids don't need more of something they don't understand... they need what they don't understand presented differently.

Oh, and while we are at it, let's commit ourselves to allowing our students to have a voice in determining what different might look like.

You never know, their version of different just might make all the difference...

Monday, October 24, 2016

10 thoughts to get you thinking about #education...

Friday, August 12, 2016

10 ways technology transforms student learning:

1). Technology elevates the depth and scope of learning that can occur in the classroom.

2). Technology brings relevance and a certain level of ‘freshness’ to the content.

3). Technology shifts the role of the educator and empowers students to take control of their learning.

4). Technology provides opportunities to amplify student voices and expand overall reach.

5). Technology connects experts and those ‘in the know’ to students and their learning. 

6). Technology increases the speed and accuracy of students getting feedback to further guide their learning.

7). Technology provides opportunities for students to get a more personalized learning experience.

8). Technology builds independence and capacity to be a self-learner.

9). Technology creates a platform for students to raise awareness about a cause and/or initiate change toward a cause.

10). Technology becomes a bridge between what kids hope for and what is currently possible.