Been thinking about the school year winding down.  Just read and shared a beautiful blog post from Allyson Apsey about tears on the last day.  Shared it with our whole district.  I know it will touch educators’ good hearts.  This made me reflect a little on the words I’ve read and upon which I have reflected all year.  I started reviewing my various notes and resources to cull out impactful quotes.  Ran the list up to 50 pretty darn quickly.  Here are the top 20.  They reflect the arc of my learning over the course of this year.  A few ideas have firmly attached to my thinking and plans of action.  This is good. I’m trying to model what I think teachers need to do.  Continual learning.  Dip your cup in the learning stream.  Enter the stream where you are and learn what you need to learn.  Connect with others.  Learn from others (see number 12!). The book I’m reading now, Why School?: How Education Must Change When Learning and Information Are Everywhere by Will Richardson is really bringing it home. 

  1. “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just get to work.” -Chuck Close
  2. “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” -William Butler Yeats
  3. “Why do I teach?  Who do I teach?  How do I teach?”
  4. “We forget that if students leave school less curious than when they started, we have failed them.” –George Couros
  5. Would I want to be a learner in my own classroom?  “Would I want to be in a community where I was the principal?” –George Couros
  6. “Today, isolation is a choice educators make. Our connectivity and learning opportunities have changed in recent years, and, thankfully, many teachers are taking advantage of those changes to benefit themselves and, more importantly, their students. We have access to information and, equally valuable, to each other.” –George Couros
  7. “Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress; working hard for something we love is called passion.” –Simon Sinek
  8. When we know better,  we should do better.
  9. “The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.” -Chinese Proverb
  10. The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now. -Chinese Proverb
  11. Once you stop learning, you start dying. -Albert Einstein
  12. “The smartest person in the room is the room.” -David Weinberger
  13. Every strike brings me closer to the next home run. —Babe Ruth
  14. People > Process > Product
  15. “I asked my tenth-grade host, Cindy, if she felt like she made important contributions to class or if, when she was absent, the class missed out on the benefit of her knowledge or contributions, and she laughed and said, ‘No.’” Can you imagine going to a place every day where you felt your voice didn’t matter? -Veteran teacher after shadowing a high school student for two days.
  16. “Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution.” -Clay Shirky
  17. “There’s no competitive advantage today in knowing more than the person next to you. The world doesn’t care what you know. What the world cares about is what you can do with what you know.”
  18. Fifty years ago, relationships were the most important thing in our schools, and fifty years from now, it will be no different. -George Couros
  19. We must assume that there is probably a better way to do most everything.
  20. And my favorite for this year…so far…

    “The most dangerous phrase in the language is ‘We’ve always done it this way.’” -Rear Admiral Grace Hopper

Can’t wait to see what I learn in an hour.