Friday, January 27, 2017

Innovation is the doer not the thinker...

To innovate is not to think
For within a blink your thought
Is forgotten, your power is in doing
Not pretending that your ideas
Are the beginning and the end

Don't pretend that thought is the answer
Work, pen to pencil, to paper to ideas
Innovation is not in thought
But those able to reach the taught

We in the cloud, the white house
Lose sight, doubt the ability of the
mouse, the one that is on the ground
Profound that innovation is the work
The product of collaborative or independent
Typing now the new sound of reimagining

We who think are not innovative
We are nothing more than pushers and fakers
Innovators make it work with all the takers
That is the reach of the teacher

Forget we, the ones that think
That teachers are innovators, they do.
Everyday with every one of their creatures

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Inspire or Trusted? Subtle Differences

I was watching TV with my wife recently, when an individual came on and was shouting about how kids need to be inspired, especially kids from lower socio-economic backgrounds.  I see this a lot, and each time it seems to get louder and more in your face.  We were watching this individual and my wife looked over at me and said, "kids don't need to be inspired, they need to be trusted."

Did a double take and told her to text me that saying, so that I would not forget.  I spend a lot of time talking with other educators, reading, and listening about how to improve schools, connect with students, staff, parents, raise achievement levels, etc.  I also spend a lot of time talking about how to improve in all aspects of life, much of it intrapersonal and interpersonal communication and thought.

I also like to think of myself as someone that models, encourages, and maybe even inspires a few people.  At that moment her statement made sense, it made me think...

Who needs to own the inspiration and who needs to find it vs. be given it?  

Who needs to be trusted enough that they can find inspiration on their own given the right environment and relationships? 

Who and what inspires me and do I choose that inspiration or is it forced on me?

It just made sense, as a reminder, that to inspire kids, we don't need to talk to them, but with them.  We don't need to come up with perfect examples of success stories or "go get'em" speeches.  We don't need to compare students to others, or tell them they are "great" to achieve.  As a matter of fact it is probably better to concentrate on their efforts, give them the power, and courage, so they can demonstrate their capabilities.

We need to be there for when they fall, we need to encourage them to try when they want to quit, and most importantly, we need to trust them and the decisions they make as long as these will help them grow.

Let them find their inspiration, all you have to do is respect them, and trust that they will.  Certainly provide them with experiences, opportunities to try, and some guidance, but let them be inspired by what motivates them.  Inspiration is not based on what you think, but how much you trust them to find their own.  Empowerment is built through trust.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Power of the Walk About

Walk About, a term I heard in Korea
From a guy, a New Zealander

He taught with me, and hung out, making we
His thoughts were to clear, the head, and reset

Walk about was the operation 
The goal of today's situation

Visit 23 classes with a mission
15 I made before dismissal

The power of visits with no intention
Recess, breaks, ELA, math, all for revival

Powerful in it is allowing all 
Every student saw...  me today

I say this needs to happen 
More than I have done in recent days

Only to blame myself in reflection
Let myself be tied to a to do list

Resist I must, only answering compliance
Importance yes, but I also must trust

My gut to make sure they all know
For them is why I am here now 

And forever... Just so you know!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

When a negative is a positive and the struggle with positive

I am reading a book and have been thinking a lot lately about the subtleness of understanding what you really find important.  Part of that understanding is saying "no" and putting things in their correct categories and perspective.

For example:

Saying "no" to trying to read every single email you receive.  Saying "no" to every new tech tool or idea you hear about.  Saying "no" to every friends' request to hang out. Saying "no" to staying up later than you know you should.

I would also say, getting cut off on the highway or not finding the match to your favorite socks should not elicit any increase in your blood pressure.  These are things within the right perspective can be put in a "not important" category.

Hopefully you get the idea and understand where I am coming from.  This is not ground breaking or even research based stuff, this is common sense up to this point.

Here is where I will pivot a minute and explain that acceptance of those things you say "yes" are far more complicated and eventually struggle with.  You do find these decisions important and therefore give time to accomplishing these decisions, actually bring a lot of problems.

For every "yes" and every effort you put forth, brings another set of challenges, one's that you accept because they were your choice.  I am keeping this short, but just understand, from my perspective, that the "no's" and "calmness" during moments of trivial issues become the fuel to allow you to say "yes" and put forth effort to those things you find important.

Wasting all your energy on "no's" and trivialness will only allow you to tread water and you eventually feel like you are going to sink.