What stops you from doing the things you want to do? [Hint: The answer is in the question.]
Do you have the answer yet? I hope you will by the end of this blog...
To answer this question truthfully depends on relationships, starting with the relationship you have with yourself. If you have an honest relationship with yourself, you look for a mirror and not a window when there’s a problem. Lao Tzu, the venerable Taoist philosopher, is credited with having said, “Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom.” We spend all day with ourselves, yet we often neglect to spend the time to reflect on what is working and what isn’t. We go through the motions. We are on “autopilot” as Tim Kight explains in R Factor. The relationship you have with yourself will help shape the relationships you have with others. When you are honest with yourself and willing to change attitudes and behaviors that are negative or unproductive, you begin to see your colleagues’ feedback as valuable and helpful.
In Hilliard City Schools, we have a passion for growth. This value is anchored by three behaviors, one of which is being coachable. Our culture blueprint states, “Sometimes others see things we can’t. Other people often have insight we can benefit from; we are open to receiving ideas, thoughts, & feedback. We never assume. No matter how much we think we know, we always work hard to improve our understanding of the situation. We want our students to be coachable, but for that to happen we must be coachable.”
As educators, we have a tremendous obligation to our students, families and community. We cannot meet this obligation without improving ourselves every day. We cannot improve until we can be honest with ourselves about what is working and what isn’t. Because we can’t always determine what’s working and what isn’t on our own, we must ask for help. We must be coachable.
So, I ask you again… What stops you from doing the things you want to do?
Here is your staff update for October 28th.
staffupdate_october202016revised2.pdfstaffupdate_october202016revised.pdfLearning is messy. Wander into my classroom and get lost in a sea of crayons, pencils, scissors, and glue sticks. Books from the classroom library pile up in baskets on the tables as students hoard their favorites and refuse to put them away. Lost staples lay on the floor forgotten as students staple, rip apart, and restaple their latest stories. Remnants of eraser shavings, glue, and water colors stain the tables. Paper scraps, math manipulatives, and pencils litter the floor. These are the tools of learning.
Learning is loud. A buzz circulates my room as students read books aloud to themselves and others, sing along to song books, roll dice, and enthusiastically join in on read aloud melodies coming from iPads. Support teachers roll in and out like waves, gathering up students who need help and depositing them back again. These are the sounds of learning.
Learning is risky. Every day I push my students to the edge, only to move the mark the next day so the goal remains just out of reach. Students think, raise their hands, share their ideas, revise their ideas, and learn from their mistakes. I ask them to do things they don’t know how to do, and to try their best, and to never give up. The frustration can sometimes well up on their faces, only to transform into wonder and excitement when things finally click. This is the work of learning.
Learning is the reason for it all. Learning is the reason we must embrace risk, embrace loud, and embrace the MESS!
Here is your staff update for October 20th.
“Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.” –Ted Huff
We’re on a journey as educators. Our journey is a marathon not a sprint. It can be a long, often times tedious and exhausting, but also rewarding and inspiring journey. It will take us up and down hills, through extreme heat and cold, over long stretches of flat land and everything in between.
Marathon runners know that there are some miles that they have to force themselves to complete; those miles when their legs feel like jello and they don’t think they can take one more step. It’s in this part of the journey that marathon runners must control their thoughts and allow their minds to take over to power their bodies to keep moving forward.
Our journey as educators isn’t very different from the journey that marathon runners take. We, too, must work through the hard parts, be in control of our thoughts, and continue to press forward when times are tough. What separates ELITE educators from the rest is that the ELITE will learn from yesterday but move forward to create an even better today.
Ted Huff’s words have been playing through my mind for the past few weeks. He says, “Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.” As we continue to put one foot in front of the other on our journey let us remember that our next step can be better than our last one. We have the power to press on and make each new moment we have with our students the best it can be for them. It’s easy to dwell on yesterday’s missteps or to second-guess our choices, but instead may we learn from yesterday and win each moment we have today.
Here is your staff update for October 14th.
Our jobs are hard. We are pulled in so many directions. And, as educators we never feel like we can do enough. But, sometimes, we just have to dance.
What I love about my staff is this-
On Monday at 4pm I emailed them and said, "Tomorrow we’ll be passing a camera through the building. Record yourselves dancing. We’re making a video!"
And, they did it. They didn’t complain. They jumped in and went for it.
This is what they do no matter what comes their way. It’s what separates good from great and great from ELITE.
If you have the chance do you dance?
Here is your staff update for October 7.