This was our first week back to school in Parkland School Division and teachers are eager this year to try new things. I think the tone was set from our opening day when there was both the “pressure” and “support” that came from our organization. We are looking at focusing on making learning visible, from not just educators, but more importantly, our students. We are looking forward to a great year!
Here are some great things that were shared with me through social networks this week:
1. The question should be –> Why are you not blogging? – Alan Levine, who has been doing some amazing stuff long before I was connecting on social media, writes a fascinating blog that has a great variance of content. He has some great lesson ideas, funny personal anecdotes, and thoughts that will push educators forward. I love the mix.
In his post on blogging, Alan discusses how we need to view blogging in a different way than what we would think of traditional writing exercises (for another great read on this, check out Shelley Wright’s post on blogging as the “new persuasive essay”). Alan shares how the process of blogging should not be as tough as we make it:
But you will say, “It takes me hours to write a blog, I do several drafts, let it sit, comeback days later….”
That is not blogging. That is composing a paper. That is thinking about a blog as a highly published final piece of literature.
Blogging should be conversational. It should be half baked. Or less. It should (in my case) contain typos –because it is not meant to be (IMHO) a published journal article- it is your own personal thinking, shared out loud.
If you are spending that long writing a blog post, then you are wasting time. And you are blogging wrongly.
This may help change the mindset of many who always looking to write the “perfect” piece; it doesn’t exist. Are we okay with out students writing quickly and putting those thoughts down for others to see? I think we should be.
2. Four Lessons from the Best Bosses I Have Ever Had – Leadership is so important to what happens in schools and I recently heard someone reference Todd Whitaker with the quote, “When the principal sneezes, the whole school gets a cold.” So can we learn from the bad bosses? Absolutely. But it is when we are connected to those amazing leaders, they will inspire us to inspire others, not simply say, “that is something I would never do!” Here are a couple of lessons shared from this post:
Lesson: Let Your People Go. When you find great talent, do what you need to in order to encourage and support them. Treat them justly and do what’s right for them and the organization over what’s right for you personally. Give them opportunities to excel and succeed and air cover if they fail. Be willing to take “personal” risks for the right employee.
Lesson: Light the Fire and Clear the Path. Guide your people’s passion and get out of the way: the autonomy and freedom I was given to create and do my job exponentially increased my passion, excitement and success. My manager-mentors made sure my passions aligned with organizational direction, gave me some high-level boundaries, resources, and introductions to make it happen. They removed obstacles, showed me how to handle challenges, provided opportunities, and took the blame while giving me the credit.
What have some of your best bosses done?
3. 10 Words to Live By – Marc and Angel Hack Life is one of my favourite non-educational blogs as it provides simple ways to make your life better. Although it can be a little “cheesy”, it is something worth discussing with kids as learning is very tough when we don’t have mental well-being. Here is a sample of some of the writing from the latest post:
- Positivity – The things you think about, focus on, and surround yourself with ultimately shape who you become. Choose to live with gratitude for the love that fills your heart, the peace that rests deep within your spirit, and the voice of hope that whispers, “All things are possible.” Right now, pause for a moment and repeat after me: “What I think about and thank about, I will bring about in my life.” Read The How of Happiness.
- Patience – Using time, pressure and patience, the universe gradually changes caterpillars into butterflies, sand into pearls, and coal into diamonds. You’re being worked on too, so hang in there. Just because something isn’t happening for you right now, doesn’t mean it will never happen.
Do you think our kids can learn from this type of blog? I sure do.
I hope you have a great week! Definitely take the time to watch the video below that discusses the “deficit vs. strengths model” that we need to focus on in all levels of school. Have a great week!