The Two BIG Questions for Educators.

So here we are in the 2nd week of July, 2017.  Summer time.  Teachers are learning in our board room right now.  Learning strategies to help ELL kids.  Other teachers have just returned from ISTE.  Other teachers are preparing to go to a national AVID conference. Teachers are reading.  Teachers are tweeting and blogging.  And teachers are resting up and thinking about September.


Some people still hold on to the crazy notion that teachers stop working the minute school gets out.  Nope.  Certainly not the vast majority.  They are professional educators who take advantage of the summer to continue learning and growing.  And they’re learning and growing for one simple, critical reason.  To be a better teacher for more and more kids. Period.

As July turns to August and September starts to appear…my two questions for myself, our TLI team, and our educators are,

“When was the last time you did
something for the first time?”


“Would you want to be a learner
in your own classroom?”

I’m sure I’ve mentioned both of these ideas before.  That happens when ideas become so profound and impactful, they change your thinking forever.  I believe both of these statements came from George Couros.  I also know I write a lot about George. Well…speaking of profound and impactful.  It’s safe to say his thinking has changed my thinking and giving me a new sense of energy, focus, and purpose in my career.

So educators, I’d encourage you to consider doing something for the first time in your classrooms in September.  Affirm for yourself that you would want to be a learner in your own classroom.  Experience the thrill of dancing on the edge as you try something for the first time.  Fail spectacularly and in full view of your students.  Bring them into the conversation about what you’re trying to do and enlist them to help you make it work. They’ll remember.  They’ll feel safe with you.  They’ll trust you.  And they’ll grow with and learn from you.  They’ll want to be learners in your classroom.

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Author: Jnelson

Jeff Nelson Fife School District Assistant Superintendent:Teaching-Learning-Innovation 39 years as an educator. 16 years teacher 3 years assistant principal 12 years principal 8 years Assistant Superintendent BA, Washington State University MAEd, Washington State University Previous member of AWSP Legislative Committee Previous member of UW Tacoma PEAB, Administrative Certification Established and maintained Fife’s first website for 7 years Present work includes establishing the first Teaching/Learning/Innovation department in the Fife School District. Examples of responsibilities include: teacher/administrator professional development, assessment, TPEP, curriculum/materials review, 24 credit requirement, technology levy leadership, teacher/administrator bargaining. Initiatives underway in Fife, as a result of new TLI Department: AVID, OER, Curriculum and Materials reviews, Student Perception Pilot with CSTP, Google Expedition Cofounder of Educational Internet Communications, LLC. Marketed and sold one of the first online grade checking programs in the US. Consulted with Seattle Educational Internet Company for 2 years.

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