#Socks4Dean

It was a big one. 50. 50 years old. To celebrate I planned a week of golf with buddies. Sandwiched in between was a couple of speaking gigs. I left 5 days before the big day. The day before I left I received a package in the may from Phillip Cummings. In it was a pair of Memphis Grizzlies socks. What a lovely gift. I left town and didn’t think much more about it other than to thank him for his thoughtfulness. A few days later, my wife began posting pictures of packages that were arriving at the house. In a strange twist, these packages were not for her. Each day more were added to the pile. By the time I arrived home 9 days after my birthday, there were 52 packages for me from people all over the world.

 

 

Looking over this pile I was completely overwhelmed at the thought that so many people would think of me. I didn’t want to open them, I saw the cumulative as a an unbelievable gesture of care and community. Many of the people are people I’ve known for many years but others I’ve never met. As I … Read the rest

An Oscar Type Moment

During any talk or presentation I give I make sure that people can reach out to me to share a story, ask a question and even challenge me. I value the ways in which we don’t need to let a one time presentation but a one time presentation.

Recently, someone shared a great story and I thought I’d pass it along here. It’s a story about gratitude, joy and storytelling, three of my favourite things

I was a PETE&C this year where you were the keynote speaker.  I just wanted to let you know that Joy still exists, at least in my school.

This is one way I used technology in my classroom.  Not a lot of teachers would voluntarily video tape their lesson and post them on YouTube. However the good news is that when Google needed an example of someone teaching a technique for a commercial they were going to air during the Oscars, they scoured the internet and found my classroom.

The following is the email I sent to my friends, and attached is the press release the school sent out.

 As I was watching the Academy Awards last night and was sitting through the long acceptance Read the rest

Whatever Happened to Joy? or A Culture of Joy: Part 2

In May I was fortunate to be able to speak at TEDxWestVanEd. Some outstanding talks that I’d encourage you to peruse for yourself. If you’ve never been to a TEDx event, I highly recommend. Knowing how long it takes to craft a 15 minute talk, you know folks are giving you the good stuff.

It’s probably pretty apparent if you follow my work at all you’ll see that a theme of joy is emerging. It was the unplugged event in 2011 that clarified this for me. It’s a message that definitely resonates with many educators who devote so much of their lives to helping children, only to be told in subtle and not so subtle ways that joy is only important if tied to achievement. Baloney.

That’s essentially the the message here. As always I borrow heavily from my network. Kudos to :

Also thanks to the great support of folks that came out that day. I always feel a lot of love from the great crew from Surrey who did an obligatory jumping photo with me.

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 … Read the rest

A Culture of Joy: Part 1

Two places I spend a lot of time in are schools and airplanes. What I’ve noticed after the time spent in these places is that cultures are pretty easy to identify. In Canada, the two major airlines, Air Canada and Westjet have very distinct cultures. I mostly fly Air Canada for a number of reasons and must say I’ve had very good experiences. However, if you ask most Canadians about these two airlines, the general belief is that Westjet offers the better customer service. Air Canada is the more formal, serves the business traveller and Westjet has a more inclusive approach that’s focused on a great customer experience sprinkled with fun. Look through their Youtube channel to see what I mean. Air Canada does have a channel too but with a very different focus.

I’ve thought about this before but it struck me after I hopped on a plane after speaking at TEDxWestVancouver on the topic “Whatever Happened to Joy”. On the flight the attendant was so focused on the regulations and walked through the plane literally scolding several people for not taking out their earbuds and talking during the safety presentation. At that moment I recalled a flight on … Read the rest

I.S.S. The Collaborative Lip Dub

I love this song.

I love what Commander Hadfield has been doing as part of his mission. He’s done an outstanding job in bringing us into the world of space travel and along the way reminding us what a wonderful world we live in.

I love lip dubs. I’ve been part of making a few. While they’ve been around for a while I think they represent the power of connected media and storytelling quite well. If you’ve ever participated in one, the weird sense of community and joy is palpable.

I love how my class works and connects young pre-service teachers with great teachers and classrooms around the world. This continues to be one of the most important things I can give my students: the opportunity to work with teachers doing interesting things and sharing openly.

So I decided to combine these things and create a collaborative lip dub. I simply invited interested students and classrooms to sign up for a line or two. Without mandating, it worked out quite well with about 25 participants. I then assigned them a line or two and had them send me their files. They all chose how they wanted to … Read the rest