"...successful leaders worry. I've come to appreciate and respect the worries of my team. Trust worried leaders; doubt the rest. Lack of worry results in over-confidence. Confidence doesn’t eliminate worry, it answers it.
Allan Shaw's insight:
"Plan for things to go wrong. They will."
.. (some) "strategies for dealing with worry:
Explore don’t ignore.Create contingency plans. Planning answers worry.Rank your worries on a scale of 1 -10. Prepare for the big ones. Preparation answers worry.""Determine who is trustworthy. How has the team performed in the past? Trust answers worry.Establish accountability. Ambiguity is legitimate reason for worry.Ask for progress reports.Welcome the worries of your team. Don’t fight them. “I see what you mean,”Take the next step toward success. The downside of worry is inaction. Ask, “What will we do if the worst happens?”Seek counsel from experts.
Successful leaders respond to worry with plans and action."
"Formative feedback is the annual checkup at the doctor. Summative feedback is the autopsy. The former gives one feedback that can be used to improve the patient’s well-being or the learner’s progress toward meeting the course goals. The latter doesn’t do much for the person being assessed. With that in mind, why not put most of our energy into designing high-quality formative feedback plans in our online courses? This is the feedback that helps learners discover how they are progressing toward one or more goals."
Assessment should reflect purpose. We require summative assessment in our society and yet we know learners thrive, grow and develop on a diet of formative assessment. The balance is the key! Feedback and the use of authentic assessment tasks are critical positive factors.
"Educators actually fear creativity - whether we like to admit or not, whether we're conscious of it or not."
Allan Shaw's insight:
As a visual arts and design and technology educator my experiences would suggest there is much truth in this commentary. The reasons suggested as to why this might be the case are valid. The suggestions to assist people are also valid, sensible and able to be implemented. Thanks Deb Welsh @galloised for the lead.
We must lead the shift to a way that maximizes opportunities for investigation, problem solving, and collaboration while maintaining assurance that each child is gaining knowledge, and is able to apply it both alone and with others.
It is wise not to allow allow large dichotomies, perhaps false dichotomies to dominate this debate. Critical thinking, collaborative work and knowledge of content are all important and attainable for good teachers, as they have been. It is a matter of emphasis. Check
One of the most important lessons is that people who care about the needs of others and give of themselves go much further in life. Giving is a winning game
Some people may look at you cross-eyed after you make a kind gesture. “C’mon,” they’ll think, “why are you really doing this? No one does something for nothing.” Then, when they realize there’s no catch, something magical will happen. You’ll be viewed in an entirely new light.
Just think how far your kindness will go toward building trust, strengthening your relationships, developing teamwork and camaraderie, enhancing your reputation and sense of self-worth — not to mention, adding to your karma.
Giving is a winning game. As Patti Thor says, “It’s not that successful people are givers; it is that givers are successful people.” So remember, it IS better to give than receive. Go ahead; give it a try.
I am a 'slow learner' but have gradually come to this conclusion over time and experience. We are making, thus far a successful attempt to have young people learn this at a younger age. This is a useful read.
"Technology is a tool–a platform, a tactic, a strategy, and a space, but–unless you’re teaching a technology class–never an end." I first heard this type of comment in the 1980's from astute educators. It was, and remains entirely appropriate.
“There’s a lot of conservatism built in the system, and for good reason,” I think it’s going to be a slow-boil revolution, but eventually technology will be a natural major component of how kids and grownups learn.”
Betsy Corcoran, ... had a slightly different view. “The thing that’s incredibly important in schools is: First, that the technology work; second, that the technology work; and third, that the technology work.”
Both of these perspectives are important. Another is that learning and schooling are inherently relational. Children need to learn about themselves and how they relate to others, other students, adults and groups, as well as learn 'stuff'! Do not underestimate social skills, EQ development and a sense of belonging as a important outcomes for children in schools.
"Humility is the heart of healthy boldness. Put others at the centre, not yourself. The greatest freedom is seeking another’s highest good. “You develop courage by doing courageous things, small things, but things that cost you some exertion– mental and, I suppose, spiritual exertion.” Maya Angelou"
Allan Shaw's insight:
This particular post resonates at a very personal level. I have worked consistently over many years to develop the qualities of graceful boldness and diminish the characteristics of 'bad boldness'. It remains a work in progress, but progress has been made! Learning to treat successfully people with kindness and generosity and hold them to high expectations has been a significant step. Learning that 'love' does not always have to be 'tough' in a work environment!
According to the latest data, video for homework is on the rise; mobile computing is "beyond the tipping point"; and most kids don't use traditional computers to connect to the Internet at home. Those are just three of the major trends revealed in the 2013 Speak Up Survey from Project Tomorrow.
I see no reason to doubt this list. It is in accordance with my anecdotal evidence. Tension may arise around teachers not being convinced of the content of the list or the depth of penetration of these trends into the lives of students and some teachers/schools.
Leaders who don’t feel fear are oblivious to the challenges of leadership. Leadership of any consequence takes courage. Be afraid of leaders who aren't afraid. Courage only exists where fear exists...
Allan Shaw's insight:
'"In the realm of ideas everything depends on enthusiasm… in the real world all rests on perseverance.”
Leadership goes beyond personal courage to inspiring courage in others.
Acknowledge the fears of others...Elevate courage by acknowledging your own fears......Courage transforms fear into preparation...Focus on purpose. ...Facing uncertainty without purpose makes chickens of us all.
The surprising side of courageous leadership is finding the courage to let others lead.'
Mediocrity is the result of peace and harmony. Rather than resolving conflict, invite it. Lousy leaders and weak organizations pursue peace at all costs." On the other hand tension cannot be allowed to be destructive.
Allan Shaw's insight:
"12 ways to invite and maximize collisions of perspective:
Open up about tensions. ....Enable healthy collisions.....Reject compromise early on.Ask participants to defend someone else's position.Don’t allow high-level leaders to state their position at the beginning.Identify core concerns....Ask, “Where can’t you compromise?” ...Clarify dissent. “I don’t like it,” isn’t clarity.Uncover priorities. ....Provide rules, and structures that elevate conflict above personalities. .....Ask, “What if?”Build strong relationships during “peace time.”
Blogger's note: This post focuses on the importance of integrating collaboration into classroom practice. In my next post, I'll talk about strategies for successful facilitation of collaborative work...
Learning is a social process, and the learning process is deepened when ideas are challenged and learners are pushed to produce work that surpasses their expectations of what they can do.
That said, working in groups is a continually challenging process. It is important that students aren't forced to work together on projects where collaboration isn't necessary or beneficial to the final product.
"John Dewey believed that education must be " . . . a process of living and not a preparation for future living." This powerful idea is a helpful reminder of the rich, insightful growth and knowledge that can come from deep, collaborative learning experiences."
Therefore, it could be said true learning is about acting out the theory, of rhetoric and reality remaining close, of adults modelling for young people appropriate learning attitudes and behaviours, as those young people, if forced to choose, will copy what you do rather than do what you say!
".. I told you gently to stop trying so hard- I also reminded you that your own expectations were partly where the stress stemmed. For we who truly care are often far harder on ourselves than our students are willing to be. ... Excellence is more readily attained by being.
Being available. Being kind. Being compassionate. Being transparent. Being real. Being thoughtful. Being ourselves."
The professionalism of teachers is about both traditional measures of professionalism, the things we often 'beat ourselves up about' such as quakity of lesson preparation, and the manner in which we do our job. Modelling to students who we are and how we relate to the world is also important. Teachers are often the most significant adults in the life of a child after their parents.
Passion to change things - to make a difference - eats away at you. Show me a leader who’s always content and I’ll show you a lousy leader. Finding happiness as a leader means learning to navigate ...
Allan Shaw's insight:
"Leadership happiness depends on “shared” vision. Without that, you’re sad and alone. The more people who share the vision the happier leaders become.
Second, know their way works too. People seldom do things the way you would. They’re too slow, too fast, too cautious, too detailed. The real question is, will their way get you there?
Leaders who engage others release rather than control.
Third, know your performance is about improving theirs. I thought too little about the performance of others when I was younger. Leadership happiness is found when others step up and step in. Spend your time improving the team.
Call for commit to projects, mission, and vision. Bystanders and fence-sitters grow unhappy and uncomfortable. Align their values with organizational values and invite them to go all in.
Those who aren’t committed find fault; those who are find a way. Think about relationships that fall apart. Once commitment fails, relationships go dark."