Sunday, August 9, 2015

Teachable Moments

Yesterday my daughter and family came in the door with Sonic drinks for all - perfect treat for yet another day over the 100 degree mark!  The cardboard carry-out carton was sitting on the table and my daughter gave it to my granddaughter and said, "Here, see if you can make this flat."  After glancing at it for a second, granddaughter said, "I don't know," and then just sat it back on the table.  Of course I had to continue that teachable moment my daughter had initiated.  I suggested that she look at the carton carefully on all sides and see if she might be able to figure it out.  Of course she did, and that was the end of that.

This scenario stuck in my mind and got me thinking about what is important and I've come to this conclusion.  Tenacity, perseverance, stick-to-it-ness - these may be the most important life skills to develop that will carry us far in this journey we call life.  And, if these skills are so important, how can we teach, develop, and nurture these skills in our children?  These skills definitely do not lend themselves to one and done lessons.  In fact, quite the opposite.  These skills must be woven throughout all of life's experiences.  It is these very skills that will create a mindset to want to explore, create, discover, and problem solve.

As teachers everywhere are already hard at work (on their own time because contract days have not started yet) getting the physical learning spaces ready for students, my hope is that they are also busy thinking about the best ways to grow the minds of their students.  It is increasingly more and more important that students have the opportunity to not only master the curriculum but also master the arts of communication, collaboration, creativity, experimentation, and problem solving to be prepared for their future!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

In 2033...

"What will the world look like in 2033?"  That is the question a colleague asked last week, one that had been asked at a recent conference he attended.  I thought for a moment and responded that #2 granddaughter would be graduating from high school and #1 granddaughter will have graduated from college, so the year 2033 is pretty significant to me.

I must admit that although my career keeps me pretty deep into the world of technology I really can't imagine what new advances and developments will be available to consumers in 2033.  While I'm far from the cutting edge, I do have wearable technology, my Apple Watch.  Funny story regarding the Apple Watch - my husband commented to me over dinner a few nights ago that he really can't believe that I even like my watch because it's always telling me what to do, and neither of us respond well to people telling us what to do.  My quick witted replied was that he is mistaken - I tell the watch what to tell me so in all actuality, I am in control.  (At least I like to pretend that I am in control but that's another story.)

My little story regarding the Apple Watch is a reminder that technology is only as powerful as the one controlling the technology.  This brings me to my big question - what can we do with the technology that is afforded schools, classrooms, and students to really make a difference in student learning and ultimately their success?

Eighteen years from now is not that far away.  It's personal now - I want my granddaughters to have every possible opportunity to succeed in school, and in life.  I want my granddaughters to learn that it's about learning, creating, discovering, experimenting, collaborating, solving problems, and maximizing the tools and resources available today and tomorrow that will provide the engaging experiences that will prepare them for 2033, and beyond!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Are we there yet?

As a child I probably asked my parents that questions way too many times to count. What child doesn't ask that question, over, and over, and over?

As an adult I still ask that question, at least subconsciously, probably every day.  It is evidenced in my love of making lists!  In a sense, making a list and checking off items helps me see how close I am to getting there, wherever there may be.  Admittedly I sometimes make lists just so I can immediately check off every item - I guess it gives me a sense of accomplishment or something.

What I have come to realize though is my lists, my experiences, my day to day journey - these are just mile markers along the way.  This blog is just my reflections, my thoughts, a new discipline, to help my slow down, think about, and enjoy the journey.