I ended 2015 and entered 2016 determined to read more (and watch less bad TV!). As I read, I highlight lines that stand out to me. Below are a few quotes from my recent readings that resonated with me.
“The way you view change- in education, technology, and life- shapes the way you lead.” ~ George Couros, The Innovator’s Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity
Change is such a challenging dynamic in education. Leaders play a critical role in how change occurs in a school or district and how new initiatives succeed or fail. Leadership in times of change is also about knowing your people and ensuring you have created safe, trusting environments where people are willing to take risks for changes that will impact student learning.
“When trust, respect, and clear communication are cultural norms, teachers are more comfortable sharing ideas and learning from each other.” ~ Jim Knight, Better Conversations: Coaching Ourselves and Each Other To Be More Credible, Caring, and Connected
Trust, respect, and communication go a long way for any teacher, coach, or leader. These elements must be present and authentic for real learning to occur with students or with adults. High-functioning PLCs are the model of this quote!
“Research indicates that poverty has a significant impact on the brain and its ability to learn. Perhaps as toxic as drugs and alcohol to a young child’s brain, poverty not only affects the development of cognitive skills, but it also changes the way the brain tissue itself matures during the critical brain “set up” period during early childhood.” ~ Martha Burns, “How Poverty Affects School Success,” from Smart Blog on Education
Every time I read anything about poverty, I am struck by the brutal realities. So many children in America are growing up in poverty and it does affect their lives inside and outside of school. Educators need more information on how to support students living in poverty and how to rally a community together to make meaningful change.
“Where online can I see the trail of magic you regularly create?” ~ Seth Godin, “No Direction Home” blog post
I love this as a possible interview question. In this day and age, we all have a digital footprint, unless you live under a rock and work to actively avoid making a digital mark publicly. This quote encourages the regular writing of a blog, or posting of pictures or pins or tweets, which I appreciate. It also implies that one has moved beyond the stage of lurker and into that of contributor in the global world.
“‘professional learning’ implies an internal process in which individuals create professional knowledge through interaction with this information in a way that challenges previous assumptions and creates new meanings.” ~ Timperley, Helen (2011-06-01). Realizing The Power Of Professional Learning (Expanding Educational Horizons (Quality) (pp. 4-5). McGraw Hill International. Kindle Edition.
This book is all about shifting from professional development to professional learning. I love the process described here, where true learning takes place after you interact with new information to create new understanding.
“My aspiration to become a jurist had been laid to rest in the Graveyard of Failed Hopes, an all-female establishment.” ~Kidd, Sue Monk (2014-01-07). The Invention of Wings: With Notes (Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 3) (p. 88). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
This was such a powerful book about the lack of rights for African Americans before and after slavery and the lack of rights of women. This particular quote was a thought by a future Suffragist and I was drawn to the detailed, vivid description. [And I love fiction writing so much I had to include one!]
“Effective teacher professional learning is motivated by their need to know rather than someone else’s desire to tell.” ~ Timperley, Helen (2011-06-01). Realizing The Power Of Professional Learning (Expanding Educational Horizons (Quality)) (p. 14). McGraw Hill International. Kindle Edition.
Another quote from a book listed above- this one jumped off the page at me! Learning is driven by an individual’s desire, not a mandate. How are we encouraging professional learning that is individualized and personalized?
What quotes have resonated with you lately?
Lately I have been reading books such as The Leader in Me by Stephen Covey and his son, One to One by Lucy Calkins and a children’s book – Separate is Never Equal. I was inspired to teach a mini lesson in a 5th/6th grade classroom at Mendoza using this text as read aloud while teaching strategies around standard RL.6.3, and used several mentor texts (English, Spanish and Bilingual) on standard RL.6.3. I began with a picture walk and a review on what strategies readers use to understand characters challenges in a story. I even video taped myself. I still have to watch video, but I felt good about it.
I know it sounds like I’m rambling on, but the point is that the reading I am doing is inspiring me to become a better teacher and model to coach teachers and coaches on what we should be seeing in the classroom. Does that make sense?
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