It Doesn’t Matter If It’s Good Right Now

These quotes and a few more hang on my classroom wall. They’re meant to inspire kids to try, fail, tweak, and try again until they succeed; to help them understand that success requires effort and persistence; that struggle makes the eventual achievement that much more satisfying. I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. — Thomas A. Edison I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying. — Michael Jordan Do they work? Maybe, maybe not. Likely they just serve to make me feel like I’m encouraging them to stretch themselves … Continue reading It Doesn’t Matter If It’s Good Right Now

Imagine a School

Imagine a school where kids burst through the doors Ready to learn and dream and explore Inspired to DO because they know that they CAN.   Imagine a school full of kids who know Only the word “yes”, they’ve never heard “no” YES you should try, YES you might fail, YES we believe in you.   Imagine a school where there’s no me vs. you Where we success is something we achieve as a crew It might also be cheering as that one person pulls through Toward a goal they’d not reached before.   Someday, I want to work at this … Continue reading Imagine a School

Curiosity Inspired that Cat

How does life live? Can girls be robots? Why do worms have faces? How do you make water? Are you old, mom? What is mean and nice? Where did you find me when I was a baby? How does food turn into poop?   https://static01.nyt.com/video/players/offsite/index.html?videoId=100000004976604 Kids are naturally curious. They ask 1000s of questions. They both annoy and astound us with their questions. To parents, it seems like it may never stop. But then they go to school and it does. And that’s the worst. Why does that happen? I don’t know the answer, but I suspect schools are to … Continue reading Curiosity Inspired that Cat

Power to your People

People are your school. People are the system. People make things happen. — George Couros, author of The Innovator’s Mindset Just as each leaf, each branch, each root and piece of bark contributes to the beauty of this tree, so does each member contribute to making a school what it is. Great schools not only draw out the best from their people, but celebrate their talents and encourage growth. Schools are full of teacher-experts: experts in their fields, experts in pedagogy, experts in collaboration or organization, even experts in some activity or hobby. Here are some thoughts as to how you can nurture those … Continue reading Power to your People

Selling it Visually

I’m starting the Differential Calculus unit tomorrow in my IB Math Studies class. It’s always the last one I teach, it’s always rushed, and I’ve never been happy with my SMART Notebook slides for this unit. This week’s assignment inspired me to give my slide show a necessary facelift. Here’s the process I used. Step 1: Decide on a Message Unpack what you want your students to get out of your unit. We often teach big concepts, which students struggle to grasp, so a simple message can really help them to understand what is going on. For me, differential calculus … Continue reading Selling it Visually

90% Theft or Collaboration?

Some say that teaching is 90% theft and 10% ingenuity. Theft. What a dreadful way to describe what we do. I’m sure you’ve used someone else’s material or ideas, probably lots of times, but don’t let anyone call you a thief. You are not this bunny. //giphy.com/embed/VSiNfsl8VIRIk via GIPHY You are a networker, a collaborator, a sharer. I prefer to think of teaching as a craft that requires learning together, reaching out to others, borrowing great ideas, tweaking them and giving back. No one can work in a vacuum. We all need each other to succeed in this business of teaching. And people need you. … Continue reading 90% Theft or Collaboration?