10 Days 10 Posts

10 Days 10 Posts seemed like such a long time and now that it is day 11 it is hard to believe it’s over for me (You can start any time, it’s not too late!).  I stumbled upon the challenge really, I might have laughed when I first considered it, but was convinced that if I was challenging others to share a post, any post, each day for 10 days, I needed to challenge myself.

There were moments when I second guessed my posts. They could have been more composed, thought out, well written. I compared my process to that shared by others who had better structures and editing strategies and second guessed myself immediately. I realized though as the 10 days progressed that really it is about my process, taking the time to share thoughts that aren’t always filtered or complete.

I am still flabbergasted others came along for the journey. It is amazing the power community can have to inspire, to support you in your crazy endeavors,to keep you accountable. There were many times I didn’t feel like writing but seeing a tweet on the #peel21st feed got me at my computer.

So thank you to everyone that joined along or just started. Thank you to everyone that read the posts.

Check out some of the blog and Twitter posts below. Hopefully they inspire you to take on a 10 day challenge. If I missed you, please let me know.

 

Success 10/10

We were sitting in a meeting last Tuesday night chatting about a vision for the future and it dawned on me how much of our hopes, dreams, and visions are dependent on our definition of what success for students means. For me I think I would define success as learners being happy, healthy active members of the community. And then comes the question of how do you measure happy, healthy, active community members while being equitable and as unbias as possible.

Sometimes I worry that my definition of success is too lofty and then I think of some of the moments where I have felt success in my current role. From the learner that remembers you from one class the year before, the chuckles when a grade 3 learner goes in to manipulate their first game, a teacher mentioning you have impacted their practice.

Maybe more than anything success in school relies on learners catching the learning bug, of sparking a never ending passion for learning. How would you define success for kids?

marvacollins

 

Knowing When… 9/10

I love Seth Godin’s blog. On top of the sage advice, his brief, to the point posts always have made me slightly envious so here is my poor attempt.

Knowing when…

  • Knowing when to push and when to step back
  • Knowing the line between just enough and too much
  • Knowing what cause to champion and what battle to let go
  • Knowing what is in our control and what we can not
  • Knowing when to lead and when to pass on the baton
  • Knowing when fear or ego are becoming roadblocks
  • Knowing when it is time to stay and when it is time to move on

Some of the hardest lessons that I continue to learn as a teacher leader are the above. Not just knowing when but being at peace with the decision as well.

Knowing when… 

 

35 Years Later 8/10

I remember chatting with my professor one day as I was sharing with future educators and she caught me off guard when she mentioned how little has changed since technology was introduced in the 80s. As I was reviewing chapter 3 of Will Richardson’s book From Master Teacher to Master Learner and stumbled upon the below from Gary Stager, I was brought back to our conversation.

Thirty-five years after schools began purchasing microcomputers, they must still bribe, trick, coerce, cajole, or threaten teachers to use them. Nearly two generations of students have missed powerful learning opportunities due to the inaction of adults.  Will Richardson, The Master Teacher to Master Learner.

My role as a technology coach definitely take on many roles: cheerleader, confident, provocateur, curator and more often then not it also feels like a sales job. I have to convince folks it’s worthwhile (I don’t mind).

So I got to thinking:

Do I really agree? Are we still having to bribe, trick, coerce, cajole or threaten educators? Has it gotten better?

Do we too often tell educators technology will make life easier that when things go array they aren’t willing to persevere?

How do we help see technology as a right and not just an option? 

So many questions to continue to ponder. What do you wonder? Would love to hear your thoughts!

 

Confessions of an Introvert 7/10

I remember bringing the results from a Myers Briggs survey home (INFP) and chatting with my mom.  I fell close to the line of Introvert and Extrovert. My mother was not buying it. She was sure I skewed the survey somehow. No line to be had I was an introvert in her mind through and through. Most that know me socially or seen me at a party would probably agree.

IMG_8287I didn’t really expect my AHA moment to come from In Style magazine, especially an old issue about to make it to the trash. They have a great series I Am That Girl tucked into the back that talks to celebrities about issues affecting girls’ self-esteem. A ‘we all go through it’ kind of feel good read. Not knowing much about Shonda Rhimes I was skimming and scanning as I stumbled upon a line “I had become even more introverted, and I was working more than ever.” Oh my goodness that was me! It seemed to sum up the last few months perfectly. Sometimes I can just get lost in the planning, brainstorming, and creating. I don’t want to give it up because I know it helps me recharge and fill a sense of calm but something didn’t feel write. As I read on to see her solution: “So I challenged myself to say yes to every single thing that frightened me, every offer that came my way, for a year.” Yikes!

I may be writing this completely content to be alone and reflective after a busy week of learning with amazing people but I do realize it may be time to shake it up a little. I definitely say YES to work things all the time, but life things not as much. Things that frightened me probably not. CONFESSION: This introvert maybe let the introvert take over just a bit too much.

So here’s to saying YES to the things that may be scary and really hoping it’s not salsa dancing!  

Be Kind and Courageous 6/10

I’ve pondered this blog post for a long time and never found the right words. I doubt I will find them tonight but the challenge seemed the perfect opportunity to hash out the details. Over the half mark of the 10 posts in 10 day challenge. YEAH!

I remember having one of those reflective AHA moments the first time I watched Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED Talk The Danger of a Single Story. I know her story is so powerful that most can find a part to connec with. I most identified with her second story of the boy that worked in her home.

I think we have all had that moment where we have tried to remind learners of the wealth of resources they have at their disposal and the waste of resources like the food on their plate. Every comment creates a greater divide between US and THEM. Chimamanda mentions just such a story as she shares about the boy that worked in her home. With the constant reminders of “don’t you know…”, Chimamanda, as many of us have, had created her own unhappy story for the boy which differed so greatly from his version of the story.

That line between sympathy and empathy can be so thin and also so easy to step over. Once every other month I cook for a local food bank. It’s a whirlwind of an evening. I find that I usually leave with more than I ever provide. In my interactions there are some clients that are so easy to empathize with: I can see my uncle, parents, brothers in them. Sometimes I even see myself. Then there are other clients where I just feel sorry for them and I have to catch myself. Am I listening to understand or just feeling a sense of pity?  Was my bias or experience affecting my behaviour/response?

Then I reflect upon the idea of bringing empathy to the classroom and I seem to be left with even more questions than set answers. How do we make sure as we help learners be global citizens that show empathy and not just sympathy? Can we really teach empathy or do we learn it through modelling? How can we break up such a huge topic or is it just a constant conversation? 

Maybe it’s not as complicated as I think it is. Maybe social justice education can be boiled down to Cinderella’s quote (I can’t believe I’m quoting a fairly tale): Be Kind & Courageous. Be kind and actively listen to others and courageous enough to stand up when you know something it’s wrong. Here’s to a week of being kind and courageous!

have-courage-be-kind-blue

Present living in the Past 5/10

 

I had just finished a workshop for future educators at Queen’s University in January and started the trek back home. Despite the rain it seemed silly to miss out on exploring the city a little so I tried some of the stores. As I was entering the Gourmet Food Store, the date from the 1800s etched on the store window jumped out at me and reminded me of the great power of history. To be able to stand in the same spot that individuals had many years before and see life STILL happening all around.

I’m not talking about history for history’s sake, not living in the past, good old days- we always did it that way moments, but a repurpose of the space. I love that moment where you can see the present and the past collide together, even better, inspired by each other. Whether Bologna, Quebec City, Cassis or Kingston, you could see how individuals had innovated their space while still honouring the past.

I wonder if sometimes our conversation in education are so focused on changing the past: the structures, the timelines, the physical buildings, that we forget the power we have to REINVENT, REDESIGN, REPURPOSE. I know I have fallen in to the trap before. We see the timetable, the hours, the building set up as a hinderance to moving forward (which it is). But they are often items out of our control. So what can we change? How can we look on our structures and systems with fresh eyes, creativity and passion?

I know I want to be more like Kingston but many questions still remain.

Love to hear your thoughts.