Sunday, December 7, 2014

Change is Inevitable, Growth is Optional!

This past week I had the good fortune of listening and learning from one of the greats... @ToddWhitaker.  The title of this post was a quote from the beginning of his keynote.  

During Todd's Keynote I heard several quotes that I wanted to tweet, but couldn't get myself to take 10 seconds and stop listening.  I did jot down several quotes, and here they are:

"We give negative people the power to ruin our day."
"Great teachers have an intention behind every action they do."
"Twitter is not an obligation, but it is the best FREE professional development in the World."
"In great classrooms, each child believes that he/she is the teacher's favorite."
"When it comes to behavior, the best teachers want prevention; the poor teachers want revenge."
"Treat ALL people as if they are good."
"The difference between effective and ineffective people is, effective people know how they are perceived by others."
"Positive feedback will do loads for the morale in your building."

I've read a couple of Todd Whitaker's books, and I've now had the pleasure to meet and listen to him in person.  What I appreciate is this- if you're looking for a silver bullet you're likely to not find it. But if you are looking for practical, sensible and people driven support, there may not be a better person to learn from.  Todd is engaging, witty and his stories will make you laugh out loud.

I say all this as the premise to this week's post.

Change is inevitable, Growth is Optional

There are times in my life that things are moving so fast that I feel as though I'm simply trying to tread water, not move forward.  The day to day dealings have the ability to mask real issues that can improve the entire organization.  I often reflect and feel as though I need to continuously improve.

This week our teachers will participate in Classroom Labs.  What's a Classroom Lab?  This is a model of a teacher sharing his/her room as a laboratory.  A couple years ago I attempted to get people to observe each other, and a few took the leap, but now as a district we are jumping in with both feet. I'm excited about the Classroom Labs.  I've participated in a few and I see tons of opportunity for insight, reflection and growth.  What I believe is simple. Change is Inevitable. It is up to each individual to determine the amount of Growth.

This week I expect some people to feel energized, I expect some to feel overwhelmed, and I expect some to be hard on themselves.  

I say that because I've been there.  I've visited classrooms and buildings and I've internalized a lot. Four years ago I visited a different building.  I listened and took in all the things happening.  I left feeling challenged to improve.  Any time we step out of our comfort zone and we are willing to grow (because change is inevitable), it is a risk.  I'm excited about the opportunity in front of us, and I will do everything in my power to help others grow.  I hope you'll walk along side me.


Monday, December 8th:  Santa's Secret Shop
Monday, December 8th:  Grades 4/5 PD in Nancy Pack's classroom (8-3pm)
Monday, December 8th:  4-5pm Lego Club
Monday, December 8th:  String Team 3:45
Monday, December 8th:  Happy Bday to Nicole Kelly
Tuesday, December 9th:  Santa's Secret Shop
Tuesday, December 9th:  Michigan Innovative Schools Conference (Lansing, MI)
Tuesday, December 9th:  4-5pm Minecraft Club
Tuesday, December 9th:  Bible Release
Wednesday, December 10th:  LIBRARY CLOSED (MAISA PD will be conducted in the library)
Wednesday, December 10th:  Grades KDG/1st in Micki Archer's classroom (8-3pm)
Wednesday, December 10th:  Santa's Secret Shop (alternate location)
Wednesday, December 10th:  Holiday Tea (1:30-4:30)
Wednesday, December 10th:  8:45am Grades 3-5 assembly in cafeteria
Wednesday, December 10th:  3-4pm Board Game Club
Wednesday, December 10th:  3:45 String Team
Thursday, December 11th:  Grades 2/3 PD in Suzanne Woolworth's classroom (8-3pm)
Thursday, December 11th:  Lockdown AM
Thursday, December 11th:  CP Federal Credit Union PM
Friday, December 12th:  Warner Fun Night 5:30-8:30
Friday, December 12th:  Select Choir 9am in the gym

Articles Worth Reading:

Teaching is the most exhausting job I've had, but I won't quit @HufffingtonPost

Playing Nice With Others: Why schools teach social emotional learning @HuffingtonPost

Why teacher's aren't going anywhere @twhitford

3 Ways Social Media Can Improve School Culture @gcouros

It Appears My Students Have More Faith In Me Than I Do @pernilleripp

Point of Pontification @TonySinanis

It's Elementary When it Comes To EdTech @E_Sheninger

10 Habits of Happy, Healthy Couples @marcandangel

Videos Worth Watching:

Ellen discusses Emoji's (2 min)

Adam Levine on Jimmy Fallon (4 min)

Steve Harvey on Ellen (5 min)

The Crazy Ones (1 min)

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