Delight 26: Validation

What’s bad about the Internet is that you can find a study to prove almost any idea or belief. What’s great about the Internet is that you can find a study to prove almost any idea or belief.

That said when you come across something that puts into words or helps explain a behaviour or an idea you’ve had that might seem counterintuitive it’s kind of delightful.

I have shared this tweet often:

I’ve developed a routine or method of creating presentations and keynotes that usually has me beginning early. While that tweet says I start a month out, that’s not exactly true. A month out is when I begin to build an actual slide deck. What happens before that is I begin a note in Evernote where I write random thoughts and ideas. It’s a total mess of images, … Read the rest

Delight 25: Madeline’s Par

If you’re new here or new to this series, this is the origin story of my ongoing series on Delight. In essence, I’m working to be more mindful of those moments of delight that happen all the time but often get forgotten as quickly as they are experienced. This is my effort to document and savour these moments.

Madeline Black is a colleague and friend who shared with me her passion for golf. This week we had the opportunity to play together after our ALP retreat. She was clear that she is still relatively new to the game and had not played this year. I assured her we would have fun together. As someone who plays a lot of golf, it’s always a goal for me no matter who I play with we have fun. Golf can be a very intimating game and I’m conscious to address as many of the barriers as I can and make people feel comfortable. I suppose I take the same attitude into my work life.

Madeline is a natural athlete. She was hitting the ball quite solidly but like most golfers, especially new ones, struggled with consistency. When I play with new golfers … Read the rest

Dear Parents, Be Less Involved

Okay, there’s a title to raise some eyebrows, but hear me out.

As a kid, I never really thought about my parent’s involvement in my education. Like most parents, no news was good news. Neither of my parents had a high school diploma and like many parents of that era, teachers were more educated and placed in relatively high regard as experts and professionals in the community. As more people become college educated and society, in general, became less compliant towards authority, schools and teachers were now more accountable for their actions. That was certainly an important and useful change.

As a teacher, I soon was able to see categorize the levels of involvement of parents. As a first-grade teacher, parents generally were fairly involved and interested in their child’s education. Particularly if this was their first child, they were anxious to know if their child was having success as a reader and learner, if they were developing social skills and if they were enjoying school. Most parents already knew the answer to these questions but appreciated affirmation. Yet while this was generally true depiction, there were some differences among parents. A small percentage of parents never showed up for … Read the rest

The #deanie awards for 2021

My annual giving out of random-meaningless-to-most-but-meaningful-to-me awards which began in 2015, almost didn’t happen. With the year(s) that it has been, it’s difficult to find routine at times. As well, when this began I was a travel warrior and my memories of interaction were largely in person. Yet Twitter was the glue that kept relationships alive and in some cases where they were born. (FYI, if you’re curious about the fake trophy, it’s a picture of shorts, in other words, no pants which have been an ongoing trope of mine for quite some time. Don’t overthink it)

My annual giving out of random-meaningless-to-most-but-meaningful-to-me awards which began in 2015, almost didn’t happen. With the year(s) that it has been, it’s difficult to find routine at times. As well, when this began I was a travel warrior and my memories of interaction were largely in person. Yet Twitter was the glue that kept relationships alive and in some cases where they were born.

My process for choosing who to honour is terribly random and arbitrary. As I’ve mentioned previously the danger of leaving someone out is great. It’s not about who I value most or who my closest friends are … Read the rest

Two Things are True Part 2

My ongoing exploration and interest in better understanding the intersection of acknowledging the current fatigue factor in our schools and the need or desire to learn and grow as humans and professionals continues.

Every time I interact with educators I ask them about this question and get their perspectives. My anecdotal data would suggest things are relatively constant: Teachers are tired and struggling. One conversation I had with a superintendent suggested that one of the things that are causing fatigue is the lack of automation in our day. Duties and routines that were previously automatic are now taking a cognitive effort to execute. Things like getting kids to work in groups, scheduling meetings used to be about the content and task and now are about how to ensure safety and comfort. I recently listened to an episode of This American Life where the opening segment showed how much work it is to communicate given masking, ventilators and distance. That once natural exchange requires an added effort that is surprisingly tiring. The piling on of these daily challenges naturally makes us more tired. This isn’t the only thing that is adding to our fatigue but seems to be something that is … Read the rest