My family and I recently attended a For King And Country concert with some long time family friends of ours. Tom, my husband's college roommate, works with a nonprofit organization which was one of the three businesses promoting the concert, so we attended as his guests. While waiting for the doors to open, Tom gets a call that changed our evening and inspired this post.
I recently took my mom to her hand surgery in the wee hours of the morning. She had to check in at 6:30 a.m., and we were an hour and a half away. As I drove her car before the sun or chickens were up, her CD (Yes, CD. Mom doesn't have an aux cord or Spotify) player plus copious amounts of caffeine helped me stay awake. As we listened to the songs of her childhood, I began thinking about our eclectic taste in music and how it evolves as we grow older. And as I pondered this and avoided the deer emerging from the trees to cross the road, I thought about how we are often unwilling to be eclectic and let our mindset, tools, and strategies evolve in education.
There are several similarities between a canoe trip down the river and how school districts or buildings (or even businesses) can function. Regardless of the obstacles in the way, we need to work together to go around them, through them, or drag our canoes past them until it is safe to float again.
I Could Make It Alone, I Got All That I Need to Survive I had an epiphany while reading Relentless by Hamish Brewer recently. As I put the finishing touches on my #BookSnaps of the quote below then saved and exited Snapchat, I realized it really grabbed me. Definitely. By the throat. You might be … Continue reading Push Me, Please
In the fast-paced field of education and educational technology, sometimes it feels like if we don’t keep up with the pack on the latest strategies and technologies, we’ll get left so far behind that we might never catch the leaders. In those moments, remember that just because a strategy has been around for a while, doesn’t mean it has lost its value or just won’t work.
I recently wrote an article for the ISTE Teacher Education Network with a focus on mindfulness. May is mental health month, and that fits so well for us educators. This is a CRAZY time of year to work in school districts. But as the school year begins to wind down for many across the nation, and even though the end of the year business is in full swing, now is the time we can try new things, dip our toes into teaching those soft skills or new technology, and continue building relationships with students.
It takes a certain kind of person to be innovative. Having the passion and conviction to follow through, to take the risk despite the critics and road blocks, is tough. The old saying, If it were easy, everybody would be doing it, still holds true today. It isn't easy to hear over and over again that you are doing it wrong. It won't work. You are making a mistake. The fact is though, if we never break from the status quo to try something out of the norm, we are left with sameness and miss out on amazingness.
As a my friend and preacher reminded me recently, to have compassion, you need to SEE & ACT. It isn't enough to just see the problem and then form committees, look for curriculum, and hold meetings. We must see AND act. A curriculum, no matter how good, will not reach those students who are in desperate need of some hope.
This post was inspired by the sermon my preacher, Jeff Wofford, gave this morning, which had me thinking of it's applications beyond the church. Jeff's point was that we tend to want our church to be filled with members who are like ourselves, and that should not be the goal. Diversity reaches more people. When I refer to diversity in this post, I am not limiting it to mean racial or cultural diversity. Nope. I'm also referring to personalities, interests, and abilities of my students within my classes and within our schools. Our members are those who enroll in our schools and take our classes. Are we celebrating their differences in order to cultivate unity? Uniformity is not unity. We have to do better for teachers and students.
I've been out of my classroom more than usual this year. Besides the round of sickness that dropped me flat in mid March, I have presented at more conferences, proctored the ACT and our state exam for English 2, doctor appointments, and you get the picture. That being said, I do not like to be away from my classes. Ever. But it happens. So while preparing sub plans last week, I had an epiphany.