A New Attitude

Maya Angelou once said, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

When reading this quote, I am often reminded of the many times, we sometimes feel powerless. I then take a step back and remember that we do have autonomy over most of what we are asked to do. Sometimes this requires changing our mindsets, even though it can be difficult.

Food for Thought:

Turn at least one negative into a positive

Advocate your students

Collaborate with colleagues on a regular basis

Share a “best practice” with a colleague

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Hear Me

Ram Dass once said, “The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear.” When reading this quote I am often reminded about all the missed opportunities for our students for peer-to-peer discourse activities.

Food for Thought:

Less teacher talk and more student talk

Daily reflections for students to share thinking

Circulate and watch and/or listen to the kids

Lift Me Up

John Holmes once said, “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” This make me stop and think about all the negativity we experience as teachers. What we must remember is to stop and think before acting. Will my reaction be in the best interest of my students?

Food for Thought:

Be still and listen

Be proactive instead of reactive

Be positive with a colleague and/or student that you have difficulty with

The Best

According to my Chinese fortune cookie, he who always does his best, his best will better grow. These are powerful words, as they remind me off all the opportunities we are presented with each day to become the best that we can be. What we need to realize is this requires both feedback AND a willingness to change.

Food for Thought:

Be still and listen

Be receptive of critical feedback from colleagues and administrators

Try to collaborate on a daily basis with grade level colleagues to share ideas

Think About Tomorrow

According to my Chinese fortune cookie, school is a building which has four walls with tomorrow inside. This particular fortune makes me wonder what we do as effective educators to make our students more college and career ready on their journeys to “tomorrow.” Think about one way you can stretch at least one kids thinking in your next lesson.

Food for Thought:

Increased amounts of rigor to expand thinking

Increased opportunities for students to share and/or explain thinking

Increased amounts of accountable talk

Be Still and Listen

Robyn Jackson once said, “When teachers help too much, they reinforce the idea that it’s about getting it right and not about the struggle for learning.”

I will be the first to admit, as a 22 year veteran teacher, I still struggle with letting go so the kids can “struggle”.   However, when I/we do let go, the results are amazing. Think about one tweak you can make to your instruction that allows for more student led discourse.

Food for Thought:

Increased opportunities for students to share thinking and/or explain thinking

Celebrate successes as a class

Let students “work through” the struggles

Let the Light In

Leonard Cohen once said, “There’s a crack in everything – that’s how the lights get in.”

As the First Marking period is nearing an end for many of us, I stop to think and ask myself what opportunities have I provided for students to let their light shine. For some students, this might mean setting them up for success.

Food for Thought:

Differentiated Instruction for ALL students

Celebrate every success

Set achievable goals with students

Clear up misinterpretations in the moment