Here’s how we roll around this outfit.

One of our gifted educators tweeted about a book she was recommending.

When a great teacher recommends a book, I’m all in. So I bought it and am about halfway through.

Because of this great teacher’s recommendation, I found these words on page 68.

“Between stimulus and response there is a space, and in that space lies our power and our freedom.”
-Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

Wow. I really wish I had read these words before. Especially earlier in my career, the ‘space’ didn’t really exist and I would respond to the stimulus without thinking. Sometimes not to great effect. As we work with kids coming from increased levels of trauma, that space becomes all the more important for the kid….and for us.

I absolutely love that our educators continue to read. Continue to seek new skills, resources, research, and ideas. All in the name of helping more kids, at deeper levels, to achieve higher levels of success.

In the space, realize your power and freedom to choose a response to understanding that the kid is struggling.

Reminds me of this:

A good thought to occupy your space before the response.

Worksheets aren’t automatically bad.

Saw another twitter rant today about kids and worksheets. Like a kid’s life is irretrievably destroyed should he/she ever lay a finger on a worksheet.

You know…it’s not about the worksheet. Just like it’s not about the Chromebook/iPad or device.

It’s about what one does with them. Period.

If the rant about worksheets is focused on a mindless filling out of said worksheet, basically designed to keep kids quiet for awhile, then yes, rant away. I guess. However, I’ve seen great teachers produce gold with kids around a worksheet. The sheet was the starting point for collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking. It’s just a piece of paper. What is on it, and what kids do with it, are the important elements.

Give the teachers who use worksheets as a tool, a starting point, a well designed part of a lesson, a break.

Off the soapbox.

Couros Quotes

Almost 3 years ago, I read Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros for the first time. I hadn’t heard of George before. I read the book first using Kindle Cloud Reader. I find this tool a great way to read, while working. I made 223 highlights and 11 notes. That’s basically highlighting the whole book.

It was great to meet George Couros!

As I was reading, I could feel my perspectives and thinking shifting. That’s a pretty good book, to make that happen. And 3 years ago, I was on year 32 as an educator, with half of that time being as a middle school teacher.

Sometimes I feel a bit like a crazed fan, but I can live with that. The book and George’s thinking has pushed me to be better. This week, I started tweeting my Top Ten Couros Quotes. I think I’ve timed this so that my next blogpost will be about the number one quote from the book.

The quotes I’ve chosen so far are:

10. “Change is an opportunity to do something amazing.”

9. “Any time teachers think differently about who they teach and how they teach, they can create better learning opportunities. Questioning what we do and why we do it is essential for innovation.”

8. “Technology can be crucial in the development of innovative organizations, but innovation is less about tools like computers, tablets, social media, and the Internet, and more about how we use those things.”

7. ….scheduled via Tweetdeck to roll out in about 3 hours.

6. …..scheduled via Tweetdeck to rollout in 27 hours

5, 4, 3, 2, 1….still to come!

Thank you George!