Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Reflecting-- looking back to go forward to 2014

Image Credit

This morning thinking- where have I been, what's important, what matters most, where do I recommit and commit, what's my passion. Here's what I've decided for me.

What's important to me, what matters most--  
Possibilities -- My unswerving belief in possibilities-- possibilities yet unknown that will enrich my life experience; possibilities for Gus' health and well being; possibilities for public education and Connected Coaching.

Gus --  My soulmate, my confidante, my love-- who meets each day with resolve and determination, who often achieves the improbable, celebrated here:

Lurching, stumbling, reeling left right back front
Doing his best to put one foot in front of the other and stay upright
Fearless, courageous, never conceding
to the nerves frayed by an awry immune system,
muscles atrophied and weakened by MS

Doing what is possible
and in many cases seemingly improbable
Meeting danger head on with determination and PLFs

Public Education and Connected Coaching -- I am absolutely convinced that appreciative inquiry holds the greatest promise for change.  I believe that every educator wants to make a difference in student's lives. I believe that a strength based approach to coaching helps other realize their dreams and opens them to possibilities to accomplish all that they want for their students. I believe that Connected Coaching can make a huge difference in transforming education.

I want to be some small force to help make that happen. My father sent this quote to me when I was a young teen (he traveled often then and penned many handwritten letters) and it has become a guiding light for my life:
This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.
George Bernard Shaw
Epistle Dedicatory to Arthur Bingham Walkley
“Man and Superman: a Comedy and a Philosophy”

 And so I recommit and commit to--

Being here for Gus--
Maintaining a focus on what's important-- 
Learning and reading and reflecting--
Getting better at helping others understand the potential of appreciative inquiry--
Growing and nurturing relationships-
Living and being the values and dispositions I hold dear--
Improving my coaching practice--

At this time of year, have you been thinking and reflecting too? To what are you recommitting and committing that are important to you?

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Teaching in High Gear-- a compelling story

In Teaching in High Gear , Marsha Ratzel, NBCT, chronicles a powerful journey into connecting, collaborating, and transforming learning experiences for her students.

Marsha highlights the importance of connection -- with her local colleagues, with other global connected educators, with her students and with the content and context of her classroom. Her transparent sharing illustrates the potential of these connections to amplify and deepen student learning and also provides a roadmap for others to follow or adapt.

For educators feeling mired in prescriptive reform efforts yet yearning to design student centered learning experiences for their students, Teaching in High Gear demonstrates the possibilities, addressing head on concerns over coverage, time, and control.

When Marsha writes:
My students today “get” that learning is a process. And while
they may encounter moments where something doesn’t turn
out the way they expected, they know how to change that into
something positive. If students have a better idea than the one
I present, they ask me to change things up. We co-create and
co-learn with each other—we do the hard stuff. (p. 95)
We don't have to imagine how that happened. Because of her transparency, myriads of educators can now more comfortably forge their own journey to vast learning landscapes for both themselves and their students.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Something's happening here-

It's been a while since I titled a post with this
And it's long past time!

"We better stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down"
--Buffalo Springfield
Last week, thousands of students participated in the Hour of Code. 
Twitter was awash in tweets sharing images and happenings at #hourofcode

And the students in Amy Musone's 3rd grade classroom in York, PA proclaimed:
We are kids who code! 

How do we code? We communicate through communicating, writing, problem solving, and collaboration. We know that we have to be exact when we write code. If we make a mistake, we need to go back to debug, or fix the problem. 

Why do we code? Writing code is important in everything we do. From using the telephone to using the thermostat to keep our houses warm or cool, it's everywhere!
 They traveled quite a journey into coding starting here; watch them as they try out the algorithms they had written into code:

But you don't have to take my word for it as they have been transparent in sharing each step of their journey  (including meeting with second graders, and  Skype calls with local and global experts who code) here and here in their tweets.

They debugged, they learned how to shorten their code, and they wrote code so the Angry Bird could catch the naughty pig and the puppy could go on an adventure.

And they reflected--
I think coding is my favorite subject besides recess and lunch but those aren’t really something that teaches you. I think coding is really fun because you have to like figure out the mystery like whats the code.  -Ella

“We better stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down”
There’s something happening here! Are we watching and listening?

Friday, December 06, 2013

So much we can learn--

So much we can learn about dignity, humility, compassion, grace, living and making a difference--