Saturday, October 31, 2015

What comes first, the chicken or the egg?

"If your actions inspire others to dream more,
learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader."
- John Quincy Adams

Some moments are ingrained in our minds forever.  They can be moments of great happiness, tragedy or misfortune.  But we all have these moments that forever sit with us.  

For me the moment happened years ago.  The girls name was Abby.  She was very soft spoken and a young girl that would seek me out for a hug or a high five.  Each day I would notice Abby in class and I would watch her participate and listen to her share her answers.  Abby was a pleaser.  She worked hard in school.  Anytime we did a positive behavior challenge she would always be one of the first to the pinnacle.

THE MOMENT  - I remember sitting down with her parents at Fall Conferences and sharing her successes.  We talked about her positive attitude, her friendliness towards others, and her drive to learn.  But I also had to share with her parents that her learning was a struggle.  She was for all intensive purposes right on grade level or just slightly below. Her parents didn't appear overly concerned.  In fact they shared one of her favorite out of school activities with me.  I smiled and had a strong sense of pride when they talked about her "playing school," at home with her dog and stuffed animals.  I could just see her doing that!  I wrapped up the conference with a plan for her academics and lots of praise for their fabulous little girl.  

Then her parents said something I won't forget.  The looked at me and said, she loves it here.  She wakes up early and always has a smile on her face.  We know you'll get her where she needs to be. 

As time has passed I have seen my share of students that resemble Abby.  Great kids that love school, work hard and stay right on grade level.

But I've also witnessed many students that do not love school.  They don't care to try and thus they often struggle.

Abby taught me many things.  Abby taught me that kids that love school will keep growing, keep trying and keep dreaming.  I also learned that the student that doesn't want to be here or doesn't care, isn't going to maximize effort.  

So what comes first, the chicken or the egg?  I'd like to re frame the question in educational terms.

What comes first?

A student that loves to learn.


A student with good results in school.

Something to ponder:

If you have a student that doesn't enjoy school.  I would assume they are not meeting their potential, their effort is lacking? Correct?

How do we first build a love of learning?

  • Have you found your student's passion?
  • Have you invested your time to get to know your student(s)?
    • Have you formed a meaningful relationship?
  • Have you shared celebrations with parents?
    • Or just negatives?
  • Have you worked one-on-one with the student?
    • Did that have a positive impact?
  • Do you know how your students perceive school?
    • If you found out your students didn't like your class, how would you feel?
    • Would you change?
  • Would you want to be a student in your classroom/school?
This Week's Big question?  As a classroom or school leader, do you inspire others to learn more, do more, dream more?


Monday, November 2nd:  4th Grade Jackson Tour
Monday, November 2nd:  Book Fair (first day)
Tuesday, November 3rd:  Admin Meeting 9:15am
Tuesday, November 3rd:  String Team 3:30
Wednesday, November 4th:  Adrian Administration Visit
Wednesday, November 4th:  Assembly for grades 3-5 at 8:45am
Wednesday, November 4th:  Early Release 
Thursday, November 5th:  Book Fair (last day)
Friday, November 6th:  No Students, PD begins with breakfast at 8:30am in Mrs. Oliver's classroom
Saturday, November 7th:  Glow Run Jackson 5K (encourage your kids to sign up)

Articles Worth Reading:

Homework: An unnecessary evil? Surprising findings from new research...  by Valerie Strauss

U.S. Public Schools Could Benefit From Less Test Taking... by John Rosales

Students have only gotten better, not worse - we should stop blaming them @mwniehoff

Stop Trying To Be Perfect @kara_welty

Trust at the Starting Gate: Our call to tune in and listen @NKrayenvenger

Youtube: Informational Text Hotbed? @TonySinanis

5 Ways To Uncomplicate Your Thoughts (love #3 on this list) @marcandangel

Ban Halloween in schools? Parents FUME over this! @iveydejesus

Videos Worth Watching:

@TheEllenShow with hilarious Halloween Fun! (4 min)

Around the World in 7 Days! Tremendous story... (12 min)

Nike's New Ad for Snow Days (2 min)

Stephen Colbert tells the Donald... (3 min)

1 comment:

  1. Great post today Ben! Love your questions about building a love of learning!