Be Less Helpful or Be More Grandparent

Dan Meyer talked about “being less helpful” in his 2010 Ted Talk and has resonated with many since. Essentially the idea of allowing students to learn and struggle within interesting, useful problems. On the surface, this sounds simple but the reality is most of us, whether we’re teachers or parents or leaders of any kind often resort to providing answers, or highly structured supports in order to see children and learners succeed. In many respects, this is the greatest challenge we face as educators. 


While I don’t think I’ve ever written about it here (confession: I honestly have written much about anything lately) becoming a grandfather has been one of the greatest joys of my life. I’ve said many times since that if you can bypass the children part and go right to grandparenting, I would highly recommend that! While the benefits are many, one of them is that I have fresh eyes when it comes to how humans learn. As a parent, I probably missed much of this because of the overwhelming feeling of responsibility you have. As a grandparent, I reap all the benefits of parenting but very few of the challenges. 

This quote by Urie … Read the rest

2018 Year in Photos and Video

Once again, it almost didn’t happen. Not only have I been less diligent in my photo a day effort but realizing this year’s photo has been dominated by my new love made me thing it would be too boring. Then my wife reminded me how boring other years have been with golf and conference images.

If you doubt how boring those other years were check out the previous 10.

2008
2009
2010 (aka, the year I tried something crazy)
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017

After reading Alan’s annual post I was reminded that it’s not about a streak but a meaningful method to document life. It works for me. I will say the challenge was much greater in the first 4-5 years before mobile phones. Using a camera was sometimes awkward as well as it was far less automated in terms of uploading. Back then, my focus was to be mindful of my world and try to capture things some may find routine. While I still try and practice that, it certainly has become harder after 10s of thousands of photos later. Travelling lots makes this easier. This year was all about Harriet and I have … Read the rest

What’s the Deal with Your Pants?

Preamble: I need to write more. Sometimes I need a push so I asked for suggestions on Twitter.

Let’s talk about pants.

When I present I typically wear some kind of wacky coloured pants. It began when my wife got tired of me buying infinite pairs of khaki pants. So she bought me a pair of salmon/orange pants. (This specific colour of these has been the source of controversy as well as a “check-in” point) I figured I’d try them and it seemed to get some reaction, mostly in the form of good-natured ridicule.

And then things just progressed.

Today I have around 8 different pairs that pretty much span the colour wheel. In many of my presentations, I share this tweet

I’m not really trying to change the world but have decided if I’m going to talk about joy, I oughta look as joyful as I can. … Read the rest

Insight and Inspiration 

There are some people that inspire me and some people that make me think. Sometimes they are the same person. Sometimes they aren’t. I see the act of inspiring people different from being insightful.

People that inspire me are those who display extraordinary determination or will to overcome challenges. Sometimes they are people who have shown a consistent character over time.

My Dad inspires me. He’s been an example to me for my whole life. His legacy speaks for itself. His faith and approach to life are honorable, to say the least.

 

 

 

 

My wife inspires me. She’s not only a fantastic mother and wife and educator but knowing some of her recent health challenges, makes what does even more impressive.

 

 

 

Lance Rougeux inspires me. I’ve worked for Lance for 5 years. He’s the best leader I’ve ever seen.  He constantly filters out the things that don’t concern his team. He’s never too busy for anyone and is the first to share gratitude. His goal is to make everyone’s job easier. He’s had to deal a lot but never complains.

People I find insightful are those that are typically well read and also are … Read the rest

The Obesity of the Mind

Being a good citizen today is exhausting. Being a good American citizen is a whole other level of exhaustion. Everyone around the world has been hit by the #$I*% storm that is American politics. Every news site and media outlet are dedicated to covering every aspect of the new presidency. If you consume media, even entertainment, it’s very hard to avoid it.

After the last several months using Facebook, in particular, I just got overwhelmed. The concept of “you are what you eat” flooded my consciousness. Facebook’s awful filtering and algorithms are worse for your brain than a Chuck E. Cheese pizza. I was feeling bloated and queasy. Almost everyone was sharing their opinions coupled with some reference to another story that was written to foster controversy at best, hate at worst. I just had enough. Scrolling through various news channels in my hotel room one night, I had come to the same conclusion. I just needed a break. I wondered, is it possible to be over informed?

As someone who advocates for and presents often on the value of citizenship, this might seem somewhat incongruent. I do a number of presentations designed to help teachers help their students navigate … Read the rest