Some things that kept me up last night: the UumiZoomies theme song and my AP Lit class. I’m struggling with how to meet their needs while maintaining AP level standards. I think I need to ask Mr. K. to talk to them about growth mindset, because I’m disturbed they are so focused on a grade/curve. I’m glad that we are an open enrollment campus, but I feel that some students have signed up solely for a GPA boost. I need to think on this some more, but this book made me examine this issue. I don’t have answers, but at least I’m asking the questions, right?
Back to the book: I saw Educating Yorkshire and I bawled. Actually, I think I watched a reaction video target than the original.
I can see how this builds upon growth mindset. I find it interesting that I mentioned it before I started even this chapter. Education shouldn’t be something that happens to us – it shouldn’t be a passive experience. Rather, it should inspire students to take initiative to answer their questions about the world.
While I am a growth mindset girl, I think that we can all fall into a fixed mindset when we are frustrated. Whether it’s about students, faculty members, or just situations. Sometimes it sneaks up on us, especially when we give our all and it falls short of expectations. Rather than someone who feeds into co-rumination or reminds just to “BE POSITIVE”, I need to be around someone who reminds me that I am making a difference even if I sometimes can’t see the forest for the trees.
How many times have I tried to convince students that there’s more to life than their grades? It’s the APPLICATION! Who cares about Beowulf? It’s the values that I stress. It’s confidence and social codes and nobility. If I want my students to be able to think outside of the box, I have to as well to create opportunities for them to practice that skill.
All students can learn, right? But they (we) might not all learn the same way or at the same time. I think if you recognize that, you are capable of being an educational innovator.
Page 35 the budget is addressed, but only cursory. :/ Innovating inside of the box sounds a bit like a cop out to me: your time and money go where your priorities are.
Failure. I had a friend in medical school who had a hypothesis. She had a huge experiment with fruit flies and mutations. I don’t know the details. At the end, she was upset because her experiment failed. Her professor Todd her no, it didn’t fail: she proceed that her theory didn’t work. I think of it as she just crossed off a wrong answer on a test.
Maybe I’m considered an “innovator” because I had such bad teachers growing up. I know that sounds like a horrible thing to say, and I did have some amazing teachers in my life, but I have always known that if wouldn’t want to grade the assignment, then a student wouldn’t want to DO the assignment.
“As leaders, we need to develop a culture that focuses on doing whatever it takes to ensure that we are successful in serving all of our students.” I have heard too many horror stories of administration guilt tripping teachers into working for free with this statements like this. Maybe I react to it because this is how I end up struggling with my work/home life balance.
But that means we have to not take it personally when we fail. Too often, I know I get defensive when I’m presented with suggestions for improvement. I feel like people sometimes offer suggestions critically, not because they want my idea to succeed but because it’s MY idea. I don’t understand the competition in education. Different approaches are needed in education.
“Would I want to be a learner in this classroom?” Or, “Would I want my child to be in this classroom?”
“What is best for this student?”
“What is this student’s passion?” Proud to say that because my students did the planning document, I was able to catch ho-hum topics and help a student use his/her passion to research and about something they really care about. Diesel engines vs gasoline engines? Jordan is the best basketball player of all time? These aren’t MY topics, but they work for my writers. I do have some that just picked a topic for an assignment, and that’s what this is turning out to be for them, but for this who bought into the planning process, this is more like a genius hour product.
“How do we create a true learning community?” For me, it’s by becoming an active participant. I don’t give assignments, I do the assignments. I model. I ask their linings on MY writing. I ask for feedback to help clarify things.
Regarding anonymous feedback, we just did this for Othello in AP Lit. There was legitimate construction criticism, but other comments made me realize 1. Students are used to being given EVERYTHING and struggle with taking initiative and 2. They don’t understand the point of feedback and data. That’s where I got the idea that they need to reintroduced to growth mindset and grit again.
Question 1: I struggle with this. Innovative usually starts out strong, but when stakeholders leave or shift priorities, the vision becomes muddled and watered down. The mission statement at Vistas was shivering the original staff legitimately used. A few years in, there were new teachers who didn’t know it and weren’t talking about it with their students. We assumed they’d be in the same page as the veterans. They weren’t. The result was that we had students who weren’t buying in to the program.
Being innovative within the box requires us to identify all resources and to slay sine of the golden calves. We have to have the same focus. Is it RTI or extracurricular or test remediation? Random idea: What if I had a student information Center set up in airports? Using my desktop computers?
Q2: I think the PLC questions are essential. Honestly, I’ve only started using then recently. I mean, we had used them before, but we had cop out answers.
Q3: It would start with my staff. I think that’s the most important thing. We’d have technology, but not at the risk of learning. I’d want Genius Hour implemented effectively with a show and tell and the end. I’d want connections and pathways beyond high school. They would graduate with realistic and a step-by-step plan for how to achieve those goals. I feel add mind as my staff had the same philosophy of education and values, we would be able to get past disagreements in how we reach our goals. I think there would also be grade level plc meetings to solve problems issues with each individual class. But I think the struggle is finding people who aren’t afraid to ask questions, challenge the status quo, and do so to benefit the school climate. I’m tired of an emperor without clothes.
Q4: Reorganization and reprioritizing resources in upper admin. I know Hattie’s list doesn’t put a high value on small classroom sizes, but I lived it. It was amazing.