Staying on My Toes

I tried to exercise my brain and body last night as I listened in on the first session of The Innovator’s Mindset MOOC (#IMMOOC) while working out on the treadmill.   My main takeaway was that I have to stay on my toes.  As soon as I start to feel as though I might finally “get” this teaching gig (after 14 years), someone like John Spencer comes and blows me out of the water.  The one thing I should try is design thinking?  Ugh, I don’t think I know anything about it!  Where do I start?  But that’s the nature of curiosity and innovation – someone or something planting the seed, and me taking off with it.  Maybe not in the direction they anticipated, but in the direction I need to go to meet the needs of my students and myself.

Another thing I’ve been thinking about is transformational change.  That’s the buzzword in my province for what our government wants to do in the health, education, and social service sectors.  Most people cynically think it just means taking money and resources out of the system to help eliminate our ballooning deficit.  I want to keep George Couros’ quote in mind as we go through this difficult process – “Change is the opportunity to do something amazing!”  As we head into uncertain times, when we feel that we are having the rug pulled out from under us and are potentially losing co-workers to the process, that it’s going to be increasingly important to look for opportunities in the change.  We owe the positive attitude to ourselves and our students.

* Originally written on February 28, but not published until March 12.

Taking the Leap in 2017!

I blame George Couros.

An interesting tweet came across my Twitter feed last year, and I followed him.  That original tweet was quickly followed by other thought-provoking ideas tweeted and blogged by George, and pretty soon I felt compelled to read his book.  So much of what George wrote aligned with my beliefs about education, and the book provided a good pep talk going into September.

I toyed with the idea of starting a teacher blog and reflecting publicly, and it terrified me!  There is no part of my personality that seeks public attention.  A very select circle of close colleagues ever hear my personal reflections and beliefs about education.

But George, and the brilliant people he re-tweets, wore me down.  I kept reading that blogging is great, cheap professional development (I love professional development!  I love cheap!), and that the process of professional reflection in a blog can only strengthen classroom practice.  Teaching in a small, rural school, I don’t have the luxury of grade-alike colleagues in the same building.  Developing a professional learning network through blogging is an attractive and straight forward method of sharing with colleagues in similar positions.

That brings me to today.  I’ve decided to take the leap and join the “30 Days of Blogging” challenge, initiated by A. J. Juliani.  In the next 30 days, I commit to writing 250 words a day, and posting once a week.

And so my personal blogging journey begins.  But the blogging won’t be limited to me.  I met Alec Couros at a presentation he gave in our school division in the fall.  Guess what I’m doing after I post this first blog entry?  Setting up student blogs, based on his emphasis of digital literacy for students.

I wonder if Mrs. Couros knows how persuasive her boys are?