I think it's easier now than ever before to be envious of someone else. Social media gives us a quick glance into a person's life through snapshots. Unfortunately, it makes it easy for us to assume that because they are smiling in a picture that they are happy. Or that they have life so easy because it appears that they have what we do not.
When in reality, success is like an iceberg. We only see a small fraction of the amount of time and effort people put in to have what they have. There is so much more below the surface.
In school, it's especially easy for some of our kids to get frustrated when things do not go their way. For example, that moment in school when the teacher passes back a test. You fail it but your neighbor got a 100%. Now, it may have been easy for them - maybe they did not need to study. But reality is, I'm sure they put in the time and effort to get that good grade.
I talk to my kids a lot about taking their time, doing their best and being persistent when things get tough. Teaching is not just about teaching kids their math facts or how to spell words. It's about instilling in them good work habits, a growth mindset and ....well the list could go on.
Our job as educators is to light a fire - or at least spark a fire. Whether it keeps burning or not - that is their choice. But our job is to spark it and allow our students the opportunity to develop into more than what they thought possible.
Recently I have been the guest teacher in many classrooms and have been able to experiences grades K-3. Each grade level and classroom philosophy is unique and different. The only thing that is the same is the course of action for guided reading instruction.
A couple weeks back I stumbled across an article about guided reading. Honestly, I have no idea where I found it, or what I did with it (I thought I saved it). But a quote stuck with me from the article….
I find that with stations or centers, teachers are busy planning activities that keep students occupied so that they can do guided reading instruction. However, there are a few problems with this plan.
For me, the whole point behind literacy centers is to engage students in meaningful tasks that push their thinking. That give them time to practice skills they need to move them forward with their learning. If you are absent, while this learning is taking place, who is helping to guide students through the learning process.
Don’t get me wrong. I do like the guided reading model. I have read books on it and researched it online. Yet, I find myself in a place of upset when I am conducting guided reading because not only should I be at my table with the 3-5 students that I have seated in front of me, but I should also be with the other 15 left on their own.
I have found there are other more meaningful ways to meet with students. For example, during reader’s workshop, pulling a small strategy group of 3-5 students to work on a particular topic with them. Or sitting down at a station for a quick minute and reviewing a topic with students. Those moments can be just as meaningful if they are planned.
Start thinking outside the box. Using our time wisely is so important. And using the students’ time is important too. Find ways to get creative so learning is happening for all students.
An education is not a thing one gets, but a lifelong process.
– Gloria Steinem
Lately my mind has been extremely focused on the process of learning. Wednesday night, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and came across a picture about success and the work we put into being successful.
Now people define success many different ways. But to me, success means stepping out and trying something new. Accomplishing a goal that you set for yourself.
For young kids, tying your shoes is a big accomplishment - but it is also very challenging. Michelle, from Full House, got extremely frustrated trying to learn. She had given up and decided to throw all her shoes with laces out….until her uncle stopped her. They had discussion about the process of learning and how we don’t just stop – we persist! After that, her mindset shifted and she kept trying.
Have you had conversations with your kids about success?
It's important we talk to kids about the work we put into being successful. Success doesn't happen without hard work, mistakes and - well the list is endless. If we don’t have conversations with our kids about the process of learning, they won’t know that success comes from hard work. It’s easy for anyone to see the end result of something and never think about all the work that goes into it beforehand.
To promote life long learners, we need to have those conversations and empower our kids to take risks and learn new things. It’s through the whole learning process, good and bad, that we expand our minds and grow.
Until next time,
When you take a look at the world and how it operates, there is a lot of animosity everywhere. But in reality, life is not suppose to be about being at the top, getting even with the person who you think wronged you and the thinking that, “my idea is better than yours” – it’s about people.
It’s about doing what is right for everyone.
In Chapter 1, innovation is defined as a way of thinking that creates something new and better. What are some examples that you consider innovative? How is it new and better than what previously existed.
When I implement something, I implement it because I feel it will be beneficial for my students.