Sunday, January 31, 2016

Why Sharing is Essential for Educators

David Geurin makes some great points in this recent Blog Post

8 Ways Sharing Is Essential For Educators

1. It inspires new ideas. When you share something from your classroom with another educator, it might spark a conversation that leads to something new for their classroom. Ideas always build on other ideas, and they get better as we get more input and various perspectives. It's the power of collaboration.

2. It creates a culture of learning and continuous improvement. What you choose to share with others reveals a lot about what you value. By talking about student learning and how to make it better, you are helping support a culture of improvement and keeping the focus on the bottom line, better learning for students.

3. It builds self-efficacy. Sharing good things that are happening is encouraging to self and others. We all want to feel like we have the ability to do our jobs well and make a difference. When you focus on the positive, it gives you a greater sense you can impact your work for the better.

4. Success breeds success. When something is working well, share it. It can give others the confidence and inspiration to replicate what you are doing or build on it. 

5. Sharing pushes your own thinking. When you share with others, you inherently think differently about the idea. It causes you to reflect and consider the audience and what might be important to them. Reflection is extremely important for taking your thinking deeper. We tend to reflect more on things that we are thinking of sharing with others.

6. Taking risks can encourage others to take risks. When you try a new idea in your classroom or do something innovative, there is an element of risk. By sharing this experience with others, they might gain the confidence or inspiration to step out of their comfort zone to try something new. 

7. You might enjoy your work more. I think when teachers share the positive things happening in their classrooms, they feel validated for what they do. Everyone needs to feel noticed and appreciated in their work. It's more likely for this to happen if you reveal some of the neat things that are happening in your classroom.

8. It's too good not to share. When students do something amazing, it's just a shame for it not to be shared outside the classroom. So many things get noticed in our culture that aren't positive. We need to do our part to amplify the best things in the classroom.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Recognizing and Overcoming False Growth Mindset

Carol Dweck has written much about growth mindsets and grit. In the following Edutopia blog post she writes about some of the misconceptions that educators have recently shown about growth mindsets.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Teachers as Lead Learners

I've been a huge fan of the thought of teachers and administrators being "lead learners". In this post, "Educators as Lead Learners", Jackie Gerstein does a great job of describing the importance of being intentional about how we learn with our students.

She discusses the idea of learning being an "iterative process". I completely agree with this and it made me think of our own Inquiry Process.