Every time I roll out a new activity or program to increase the depth of knowledge for my students, they are never as excited as I am. None of them. While there are a range of reactions, to a student they are either thinking or voicing the fact they would rather just take a quiz. As educators, we often feel the same way about lesson planning and professional development.
A favorite time of year for me is most definitely Christmas. I freaking love it. The decorating, the shopping for others, secret Santa fun, giving back to the community, the family and friend get-togethers are just a few of the reasons I love this time of year. As of last year, a new reason for absolutely loving December is the Ditch That Textbook Digital Summit put on by author and speaker, Matt Miller.
Ever had one of those days where multiple students, if not most of the class, struggled with the content? Maybe you were showing a movie that had important information, but the students weren’t getting it because they were not engaged? If the truth be told, we’ve all probably had a class, a day, or a period where the students struggled with being engaged in the lesson or content while we struggled with the students. If this is sounding a bit familiar, then boy have I found a little nugget of “This doesn’t suck” for you!
Getting out of our comfort zones, pushing back against the status quo, and finding a different perspective. Here’s a look at my journey into flexible seating at the high school level.
Too often we focus on all that’s wrong in our lives. It can be overwhelming. Living life to its fullest with a positive outlook isn’t a personality trait. It takes true grit, resilience, and determination. It is hard work. It is a mindset.
This may not seem like an educational blog post at first, but bear with me. Though educators are whom I originally intended this post for, it is not limited to them. I think the implications will become clear as you dig in deeper into the post, since that is where I swing the hammer of obviousness…hard. But don’t duck the swings. Even though you will see it coming in plenty of time to duck, let it hit. Absorb the blow. Find the beauty.
The constant struggle faced by many school districts regarding professional development generally leads to a discussion of how to bring teachers the professional development they need, tailored specifically for each of them. It’s quite the tug-o-war. All District PD days generally lead to frustration by staff because their individual needs are not met, they are not given time for processing and reflecting on what was presented, and there’s certainly no time for applying what was learned if by the smallest chance it did actually fill a need for some teachers.
While I’m a big proponent for thinking OUTSIDE the box, I nearly always use the results of that thinking to innovate WITHIN the box where I currently reside (a few times to get out of the box), whether that be personally or professionally. My brain does not work like other peoples, a fact of which I’m well aware (and my mother did not have me tested), but there are some things everyone can do to think a bit out of the box and then apply it TO and WITHIN your own box (and learn about prepositions as a side bonus).