This is my plan.
This is my plan.
Epic fails! If I am being honest, sometimes it is funny to see the failures of others. (Though I can’t recommend some of the images that come up if you Google search for fails.
Most of the time in real life, though, our failures are not fun or funny. At least to us. But sometimes we have to laugh at ourselves, because we are bound to make some mistakes.
I was doing Inside Outside Circle in my class the other day. If you are new to cooperative learning, this is a Kagan Structure that helps kids share information in a different way. I was using it as a classbuilder and explaining each step…and I don’t know how many times I explained the step incorrectly or unclear. Now, a good teacher might have stopped and tried again…Not me this time. I kept digging my hole deeper and deeper into confusion.
I started to get a little frustrated at the kids and what was supposed to be fun activity to have them share with different people in the room ended…not as well. As I reflected on it,I should have stopped the activity, started over or just tried another day.
One of the good things about teaching, that I try to instill in my kids is that we get to start over the next day…again and again.
I started listening to a podcast called My Bad. Each episode has the host or a guest sharing a mistake, or fail, they did. I like the idea because too many times, we feel like we can’t make mistakes and there is sometimes that sense in teaching. Sometimes it is imposed by outside forces, like certain mistakes could cost you your job (or many, many small ones), or what will the kids/parents/administration think about that mistake.
Other times, we carry our pride with us and feel like a mistake will cause the kids/parents/administration to dislike or not respect us.
More often, our mistakes, if handled well, will help others see us as human.
What is a “fail” you are willing to share?
I am Old School this way. It will always be Christmas break to me. 🙂 And considering probably 90% of Americans celebrate this national holiday in some fashion, it seems safe to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah and Happy Holidays…Besides there were many more funny Christmas break memes. Sorry.
Such a quotable movie. What is your favorite Christmas Vacation movie quote? Share in the comments.
Here are today’s links.
What Makes a Master Teacher– George Couros discusses this and give some thoughts suggesting that it is about the kids first, among other things.
5 Way Tech Can Truly Improve Learning– Matt Miller- This post has some good examples of how to put tech into practice in a away that is beneficial for students.
Patience, persistence, and a willingness to grow.– George Couros discusses the importance of learning and growing, even when we don’t have an audience.
Creating eye-popping infographics with Google Drawings– Matt Miller discusses infographics as an alternative to slideshows.
Here are some “you might be a teacher ifs”…from Kagan Club Online.
You Might Be A Teacher If…
1. You believe the staff room should be equipped with a Valium salt lick.
2. You find humor in other people’s stupidity.
3. You want to slap the next person who says “Must be nice to work 8 to 3:20 and have summers free.”
4. You believe chocolate is a food group.
5. You can tell if it’s a full moon without ever looking outside.
6. You believe “Shallow gene pool” should have its own box in the report card.
7. You believe that unspeakable evils will befall you if anyone says “Boy, the kids sure are mellow today.”
8. When out in public you feel the urge to snap your fingers at children you do not know and correct their behavior.
9. You have no life between August to June.
10. Marking all A’s on report cards would make your life SO much simpler.
11. When you mention “Vegetables” you’re not talking about a food group.
12. You think people should be required to get a government permit before being allowed to reproduce.
13. You wonder how some parents ever MANAGED to reproduce.
14. You laugh uncontrollably when people refer to the staff room as the “lounge.”
15. You believe in aerial spraying of Prozak.
16. You encourage an obnoxious parent to check into charter schools or home schooling.
17. You believe no one should be permitted to reproduce without having taught in an elementary setting for the last 10 years.
18. You’ve ever had your profession slammed by someone who would “Never DREAM” of doing your job.
19. You can’t have children because there’s no name you could give a child that wouldn’t bring on high blood pressure the moment you heard it uttered.
20. You think caffeine should be available in intravenous form.
21. You know you are in for a major project when a parent says “I have a great idea I’d like to discuss. I think it would be such fun.”
22. You smile weakly, and want to choke a person when he or she says “Oh, you must have such FUN everyday. This must be like playtime for you.”
23. Your personal life comes to a screeching halt at report card time.
24. Meeting a child’s parent instantly answers the question “Why is this kid like this?”
During Thanksgiving, I read a lot. Here are some extra articles or blog posts that are worth checking out.
Stick with it until it becomes transparent– Matt Miller discusses the learning curve we all have when we try new technology.
2 teacher-created models for savvy tech integration– Matt Miller. Speaking of SAMR, Matt (yes, we are on a first name basis) shares some ideas some teachers had to make SAMR fit into their plans better. Innovation inside the box maybe?
My ideal 21st century classroom. What’s yours?– Matt Miller shares some ideas on how to move forward and encourages us to change up our thinking a little.
I mentioned this before, but I have recently started reading George Couros’ blog called the Principal of Change. George is the author of The Innovator’s Mindset, which I have not read, yet…No time and a too long reading list already, but I do want to.
Plus, he will be the keynote speaker at the CUE conference this year. So, I might have to so I can feel part of the club.
I don’t know if he expands on the idea, I imagine he does, but I read something he said and I will paraphrase it.
Innovation is not just about thinking outside the box, but thinking inside the box.
I thought it was an intriguing idea. Being creative and innovative is not just about having extravagant ideas, or ideas that buck the system. It is also about making creative and effective change from with the confines of, well, your confines. As teachers, we have all kinds of requirements on us, standards, differentiation, ELD, RTI, HBO, etc, ad nauseum. Most of these things, by themselves are good ideas.
However, taken all together, add your own family/social life and it becomes confining. Thinking inside the box acknowledges these pressures on our lives. In some cases thinking OUTSIDE the box may result in our thinking about another job…because whether we always like them, the general requirements for teachers are nonnegotiable.
Thinking inside the box allows for creative thinking and problem solving within those confines, within your predetermined boundaries. I love this idea!
I am a rule follower, but one of the things I like to do is push back on some of the things I’ve ‘always’ done, just because I have always done it. And I like to consider why I do the things I do and ask “Is this what is best for the kids. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do not believe we ought to be creative and innovative and ignore all the rich teacher heritage of folks who have come before us. That would not be wise.
Just because it is ‘Old School’ doesn’t mean it is not effective. But we sometimes have to be willing to change, and that can be scary. No matter how long we have been teaching.
Getting back real quick to the rule follower part…When I am new somewhere, I like to ask a LOT of questions and I easily turn into THAT guy (Sorry PV). The reason I ask so many questions is because I like to find out where my boundaries are so I can work within those boundaries. The box can be a safe place, and if I am safe, I can have emotional room to be creative and innovative.
So, I encourage you: Get out there, and be innovative, and creative…just be willing to try it from inside the box. Or outside.
Do it or don’t!