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Showing posts from February, 2019

The opportunity to do

"Offer me a chance to contribute, and I'll work hard on it, with focus, and once I begin to make progress, I'll become passionate about it." -Seth Godin

We have all heard an adage similar to this: Do what you love and, if you do, you'll never work a day in your life.

The Godin quote above challenges this. Sometimes work must come before passion. 

The keyword here is "progress." When we can start to see that what we are doing is accomplishing something, then we can get a little more excited about it. It's when we fail to see that progress--doing 10 math problems and doing them all incorrectly, reading 30 pages and not remembering anything--that we begin to shut down, check out, and really become disengaged.

We must make sure we are setting students up in ways that allow them to make progress, to see noticeable accomplishments in their learning. When they feel these successes, they grow more motivated and passionate about their work. Without that nece…

Like in comedy, timing is everything

I regularly listen to the School Leadership Series and today's episode, "Slump or Spark?", made me think about initiatives, goals, and how we often get stuck in the middle.

Danny encourages us to think about the middle, the "often overlooked time." He encourages us to think about midpoints, the lull, and how we can transform them into sparks instead of slumps. He encourages us to be aware of them, use them to "wake up," and to imagine that we are behind rather than ahead in order to motivate us out of "coast" mode.

He also mentions Dan Pink's When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing in the episode. In this book, Pink gives advice for the varied levels of commitment during the middle: "... when team commitment to achieving a goal is high, it's best to emphasize the work that remains. But when team commitment is low, it's wiser to emphasize the progress that has already been made even if it is not massive" (p. 139).

I should’ve taken the time

Yesterday during a teacher observation, a student asked me to step into the hall and talk with them. At the time, it didn’t seem urgent. With this student in particular, we have talked often. Sometimes it was important, other times—from my perspective—it didn’t seem that urgent. 
When I asked her if it could wait 10 minutes, she shut down. I could see the change in how she sat and participated, withdrawing into her desk and no longer asking for help from those around her. There was a noticeable difference in how she interacted with her peers the minute those words came out. 
When I noticed the change, I tried to drop everything right there and talk with her. Let’s go talk, right now, I said. No, it’s fine, she replied. And despite my multiple check-ins while she was working independently, she declined the opportunity to talk again that hour. 
Without even realizing it, I had damaged our relationship. 
We ended up talking later that the day. I saw her as she walked to her next class period…