It’s still just a tool.

Caught this as part of a tweet this morning. From Rob Lennon. A Wharton professor requires his students to use ChatGPT. Here are the rules for its use:

This is a solid policy, in my opinion. My favorite bullet is the last one. It’s a tool. Great for some uses, terrible for others, emerging as a tool. We’ve had that stance in our district for a long time. Sometimes a pencil is the best tool for the job at hand. Or a device. Or ChatGPT. Or…..

Learning how and when to employ a tool is a skill as much as anything else.

“Learning to use AI is an emerging skill…” I like this too. Let’s not run away. Let’s not be afraid. Let’s not ignore. Let’s embrace, learn, control, build, imagine, scheme, and grow.

“Be thoughtful about when this tool is useful.”

Sounds about right.

Once again, a simple idea.

Photo via Twitter

Here we have a great picture of kids studying, working, and learning in a group. Reading books of choice in a Holocaust unit. 8th graders. Picture and lesson design shared by Dr. Jacquie Duginske.

Check out the bulletin board behind the kids. That immediately caught my eye. I have a propensity to look at all the stuff in a picture. That board jumped out big time. I believe an entire doctoral program could be used to study that which teachers choose to adorn bulletin boards. The choices are just amazing. This one is a beauty. Is beauty.

“Take what you need”

Humility, hope, love, self-control, kindness, peace, patience, confidence.

I reached out to Dr. Duginske to ask about the board. Here’s what she said, “Yes, the teacher puts quotes in each envelope for students to take when they need one.” I love this idea.

My teacher heart and mind just started cranking additional ways to use this idea. Kids create the SEL areas for quotes. Kids find and fill the quotes. Kids take the quotes they need. Quotes in other languages. Pictures.

Such a simple, beautiful, elegant idea.

Taking what I need.

Took a minute.

Had a few minutes this morning before various events, visits, and meetings. Headed to TweetDeck. Found 3 ideas/quotes that caught my attention and challenged me to think.

Good way to start the day.

Idea one:

I have seen this idea before. It sure seems like a great way to start any meeting. I know we have done this very activity in our TLI department. Wrote cards to various colleagues. Of course, the cards were well received and appreciated. I also know from my teacher/principal experience that feelings would be amplified when the cards/messages are sent to kids or to kids’ caregivers/families. Thank you Emma Pass for this one!

Idea two:

I just love this idea. In our district, we start with relationships. Peers, colleagues, kids, families/caregivers. The teaching and learning act remains a human endeavor. Tools are always flying at us to dehumanize the presentation of information and facts. They can’t replace the relationship between a teacher and a kid. Thank you Kimberly Kindred for this one!

Idea Three:

“It’s very simple. You just need to be a completely different person.”
-Michael Fung, then principal of Charlestown High School in Boston, to a second-year teacher who was still struggling with classroom discipline. Fung, who also served as principal of Taft Middle School and as a central office leader, passed away last month. (Marshall Memo, 2.7.23)

I’m still pondering this idea. My initial, gut reaction was to push back. Then I thought about different experiences I have seen in classrooms. I don’t know about being ‘a completely different person.’, but I do know that the counsel I offered in some cases was that to expect a change in anything, while doing exactly the same thing, was likely folly. So something had to change. I also strongly believe that the best teachers are pretty much the same people in and out of class. I also think about the idea of ‘fake it until you make it’. So I don’t have any final, cool thoughts on this seemingly simple quote. Ain’t that great? It’s got my mind rumbling around, arguing with itself. To make it better, I need to talk with others about it. Probably why I emailed this quote to three different groups of colleagues.

Ok, off to a meeting.

Every day brings a new opportunity.

From the new FHS STEAM Center, photo credit: Rachel Elder

A good friend of mine made this photograph this morning. Her son has a zero hour class, so they were at school really early today. The photo is from our newly completed, and recently opened STEAM Center at Fife High School. Science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. A gift from our community to its children and the people who work with them. Possibilities, dreams, action, plans, innovation, discovery, failure, challenge, triumph–all possible here, every day.

In addition to just being a stunning picture, a reminder of the beautiful area in which we work and live, it also reminded me of the power of every day and opportunity.

Reminds me of this great line:

“Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it yet.”

L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Always a tomorrow, to make new mistakes, new learnings, new discoveries.

As sure as the sun is going to rise.