Sunday, December 15, 2013

Finish strong... start stronger... (47)

The year is coming to a close.

You've had many successes so far this year and you've noticed huge gains in several areas.

You've also had many setback and stumbles and you've identified several areas that need your immediate attention.

There have been days when you couldn't quit smiling and there have been days that seemed they would never end.

You've had times when you felt you couldn't give anymore because you were stretched to the breaking point.

You've also had times when everything seemed to fall into place perfectly.

Recognizing the ups and downs in life is one thing.

Committing yourself to having the right mindset and a positive attitude to make adjustments and changes is an entirely different thing.

Don't let what has happened in the past interfere with what you want for the future.

Don't settle for what has been when working to write your future plans.

Don't close the book just because the first few chapters weren't what you expected.

Finish this year strong, but focus on starting the next year even stronger.

Which starfish are you going to save?

Also, remember that not every student is going home to an amazing holiday. Be sure to make their week as special as you can... via @drclintfreeman

Friday, December 6, 2013

Thank you... (46)

Thank you.

Thank you for choosing to take time to read the Monday Morning Memo.

You've made the conscious choice to read this memo knowing full well that you won't get a large sum of money or any special tangible gifts as a result.

You've decided to utilize your limited and valuable time to read something because you hopefully believe it either inspires you, or gives you an idea of something to use in your classroom.

For your professionalism and commitment to taking the time out of your busy schedule, we thank you.

We thank you because you are making the ultimate sacrifice and giving up your most precious commodity... your time.

There's no link, video, or image that we want to share this week with the memo.

We just want to say that we appreciate your hard work and we appreciate all that you do to ensure the best possible learning environment for our students.

This job is tough, and it's definitely not for the faint of heart.

We need your very best and we have no doubt that you are willing and committed to giving your best.

Again, we thank you, and more importantly (though they may not say it), your kids thank you too.

Have a great week and remember what an awesome opportunity you have on any given day to positively impact the life of a child.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Pictures and thoughts... (45)

We are a globally connected society and have been for a while...


Nick Saban after the Alabama vs. Auburn game...

Instilling a love of reading is perhaps the most important thing we can do...

Technology sure is making us antisocial... #eduhumor

Seriously... smiling is also healthy15 health benefits of smiling

Friday, November 22, 2013

The great homework (assignment) debate... (44)

Homework is only a tool. It’s how we use (or misuse) homework that makes the difference. The three questions below can be helpful guides to determine if your homework is a force for good or evil:

  • AUTHENTIC: Would a student be required to do this task on personal time in real life?

All homework assignments should be authentic, or related to the requirements of real life. Some professions, such as general dentistry, don’t require any “take-home” work. However, orthodontists, architects, and editors have quite a bit of “take-home” work. Consider the professions related to the task you’re assigning. Would this task be done on personal time? If so, go ahead and assign it. If not, think twice. Be sure to communicate these connections to students; it will help them make more informed choices about their careers!

  • DELIBERATE: Does this task encourage students to engage in deliberate practice?

Deliberate practice requires you to design tasks that require specific and sustained efforts on individual areas of weakness. Have you identified a particular student’s weakness and targeted it through the assignment of the task? If so, go ahead and assign it. If your homework is monolithic and one-size-fits-all, then think twice.

  • ENGAGING: Would YOU be excited to complete this task?
Completing 50 rote math problems that look exactly the same doesn’t exactly inspire passion. Defining an arbitrary list of words doesn’t correlate with a love of reading and writing. Put simply, would you have the forbearance to complete the task you’ve just assigned? If not, don’t expect your students to be enthralled either! (Check out Nick Provenzano’s attempt to complete all the homework he assigned to students HERE.)

If your homework is authentic, deliberate, and engaging, then it’s likely a worthy tool within the educational program you’ve designed for students. Extending learning in safe, meaningful ways can help students accelerate their progress.

However, if you’re homework is arbitrary, a source of “grades,” or a way to penalize children, just skip it.

Kid President's 20 things we should say more often...

Friday, November 15, 2013

10 self-reflection questions for all educators... (43)

Our beliefs about teaching, learning, and education in general, make us who we are. These beliefs are a culmination of life experiences, professional experiences, and lots of trial and error. Over time it's possible and quite likely that our beliefs will evolve and adjust. Having said that, spend a few minutes reading the ten questions below. Then, more importantly, spend some time trying to answer these questions.

BONUS: Spend some time speaking with your students about these questions and get some feedback from them...

Sunday, November 10, 2013

5 ways to make your classroom more student-centered... (42)

A student-centered classroom allows students to be an integral part of the assessment development process. This doesn't necessarily mean every assessment is created and designed by students, but it does mean there is a collaborative and joint venture of teachers and students in the planning and implementation stages of assessments. Students who help to design and create their assessments will find the assessments to be more meaningful, and typically students end up creating assessments that are more rigorous than what teachers would have created anyway...

A student-centered classroom focuses on finding solutions to real-world problems. Too often our classroom focus is on solving problems that lack relevance and purpose in the eyes of students. The student-centered classroom addresses real-world problems that affect or will affect students. This in turn will provide meaning and context to student-driven learning, which then will increase levels of engagement and overall student involvement.

A student-centered classroom is not about what the teacher is doing or what the teacher has done; it's about what the students are doing and what the students can do in the future. We all have experienced the teacher observation model that focuses just on what the teacher is doing, but more and more models are now focusing on what the students are doing. Obviously what the teacher does affects and impacts what the students are doing, but the most important piece is what the students are doing or are able to do as a result of what the teacher is doing.

A student-centered classroom embraces the notion that there are multiple ways to accomplish an individual task. When we limit and confine students to following a certain and specific path, we ultimately end up limiting their levels of ownership, innovation, and creativity. A student-centered classroom allows, encourages, and embraces the multitude of paths one can take to solve a given problem. This also allows for students to follow their strengths and their interests when completing a task.

A student-centered classroom firmly believes that there is a partnership and a strong level of trust between educators and students. The teacher no longer is and hasn't been for a while the 'smartest' person in the room. Because of this we need to continue forging a partnership between the teachers and the students and accept an equal playing field when it comes to learning, exploration, and discovery. This partnership is built on trust, and trust happens when we are vulnerable and open to learning with and from others...

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Project-based learning... (41)

Traditional American classrooms tend to fit a particular mold: Students face the front of the class where teachers lecture.
Students take notes, finish assignments at home, and hope to memorize enough information just long enough to pass a test.
Engagement and passion are often in short supply — among students and teachers. The system does not necessarily accommodate all learning styles, and even those who fair well may be missing out on other important work-life lessons, like how to creatively solve problems, stay focused, work as part of a team, and organize their thoughts in a way others will understand.
This is where project-based learning enters the equation.
What is Project-Based Learning?
Project-based learning, or PBL, is generating a great deal of buzz in the world of education, and is often portrayed as an alternative to passive learning and rote memorization. If traditional education is classical, PBL is jazz. In a PBL classroom, teachers present problems that students must solve together in groups. Rather than reciting facts and hoping some of them stick, teachers give students the resources they need to research concepts and apply them in a practical form. Mistakes are allowed and even expected in the course of meaningful learning. The result: Students become active rather than passive learners and build important workplace skills. Of course, all of this requires a great deal of planning, a healthy dose of flexibility and an environment that supports collaboration. Here are four essential elements of a successful PBL classroom.
4 must-follow rules for designing a PBL classroom
1. Learning Spaces Help Set The Tone
One of the defining characteristics of a PBL classroom is the emphasis on group work: Students work with their peers to solve problems. That means the space must be organized in a way that supports collaboration — neat lines of forward-facing desks are the enemy. In a multi-disciplinary elementary classroom, portable floor mats or cushions are an excellent alternative to traditional desks, at least during group work periods.
Teachers still need a central location where all students can congregate to hear stories, lessons or project instructions, but there should be enough room beyond that for break-out group work. Older students, on the other hand, often need large work surfaces and comfortable chairs. Large round or rectangular tables are ideal, but if budgets are limited, teachers can simply push desks together in small clusters.
One key? Keep your content area and common project types in mind. Small writing desks may be okay for English students, but science students probably need large surfaces that accommodate lab work. Digital products will require requisite technology access, as will mobile learning approaches, and community-based projects can benefit from social media access and blogging tools in addition to local periodicals, and even space for face-to-face interaction with community members. You might find online tools like Classroom Architect helpful during the classroom planning process.
2. Think Information Access
PBL is not a paper-pushing style of learning. Students need access to chalk or white boards, reference books, and art or presentation supplies. Young children are often spatial and tactile learners, so it helps to divide these multi-disciplinary classrooms into subject-themed areas that organize and display manipulatives, learning materials and other supplies.
Classrooms for older students tend to be subject-dedicated, so teachers might consider reserving an area for rotating, lesson-specific materials in addition to the usual year-round supplies. Whatever their grade or subject, remember that PBL classrooms are by definition unpredictable and, to a degree, student-guided. You may not know what direction a particular project will take, so try to keep a wide breadth of materials on-hand to support rather than limit creativity.
vancounerfilmschool-draw-23. Use Technology With Purpose
While most American classrooms are increasingly “plugged in,” PBL classrooms prominently feature — and make full use of — educational technology. One of the key goals of PBL is to help students develop real-world skills, and today’s professionals conduct research online, use spreadsheets or databases to organize information, and use video-editing and presentation software to transmit ideas. As Maine-based PBL teacher Susan McCray told Edutopia, “I can’t imagine designing the curriculum that I do without being able to click onto the Internet and get all the materials and resources that are available, and I can’t imagine my students not being able to do that either.”
Remember, though, that technology can quickly become a distraction. Internet use should be monitored, and IT specialists should inspect glitchy or sluggish computers that detract from the learning experience. Teachers should also provide guidance on the appropriate use of technology in the grand scheme of a project’s goals.
4. See Yourself As The Ultimate Resource
Perhaps the most important element of a PBL classroom is its teacher. Unlike traditional classrooms PBL classrooms are by nature unpredictable and, to an extent, student-guided. Teachers must be flexible, supportive and engaged in the learning process, even if they sometimes feel like spectators. They must introduce projects’ themes and goals, ensure students have all the resources and materials they need, and keep students — and their classrooms — organized. They must also know when to teach and when to observe, and then have the restraint to step back and let students make mistakes now and again
Words to the wise: Take the PBL plunge.
The decision to transition to a PBL classroom, even on a part-time basis, can be intimidating for any teacher, but especially those for whom PBL is uncharted territory. As PBL gains more traction, expect it to become a more integral part of teacher training. Until then, most PBL teachers learn through continuing education programs, conferences, books and online resources like the Buck Institute of Education. However you get started, consider your experiment in PBL to be your own personal project subject to the same philosophies you intend to teach. That means plan carefully, remain flexible and, perhaps most importantly, expect and forgive mistakes.

Friday, October 18, 2013

The brain in education... (40)

Here is your lifelong learner 'brain' hit list for the week:

1). 9 things educators need to know about the brain

2). Boys' and Girls' brain processing differs

3). Girl brain and boy brains: What educators need to know

4). The impact of writing on our brain

5). Left vs. right brain in which side are teachers?

1). A lack of sleep has a significant impact on one's ability to do many of what we would consider to be simple but yet essential tasks.

2). There are two brains and each is quite different from the other.

3). The girl brain and the boy brain have some significant differences that affect learning and affect brain development.

4). There are different stages and different compartments for memory.

5). The stressed student will perform significantly worse when compared to the student who is not stressed... especially over the long term.

6). Physical activity has a significant impact on overall brain activity and brain performance in the short term.

7). Different parts of the brain are engaged depending on the activity and the information that is being accessed in the brain.

8). Exercise affects the brain in a positive manner and impacts several of the most vital features of the brain.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Everything rigor and more!... (39)

Here is your lifelong learning 'rigor' hit list for the week:

1). 4 myths about rigor in the classroom

2). How to add rigor to anything

3). Rigor is not a four letter word

4). DOK stem questions to increase rigor

5). The rigor meter

Rigor is about quality, not quantity – Rigor is not increased by assigning more homework; it results from depth over breadth.

Rigor is for everyone – Rigor is not something reserved just for advanced students.

Rigor is about learning, not punishment – Rigor is about growth and success, not failure.

Rigor litmus test:

~ When you ask a question, do the students need to know just one piece of information or do they need to know several pieces of information to formulate their answer?

~ Can students look up and find the answers to the questions they are being asked by a simple Google search?

~ When a student finishes their work, do they get to do more of the same type of work or are they allowed to transfer what they've just finished into other content areas?

~ If you are absent, do the students have the proper support to continue working or does the learning come to a halt because you aren't present?

- Do you ask high level rigorous questions only then to allow low level less than rigorous responses? For example, a student responds with a 'yes' or 'no' response and then the teacher moves on, or a student doesn't know the answer, and the teachers goes to the next student. Rigor requires the teacher and the student to 'extend' the questioning and the answering beyond just the surface.

~ Do students say your class is hard because they haven't memorized all the dates, definitions, or names of the people involved? DOK level 1, basic recall and memorization, can be quite hard and difficult, but it's NOT rigorous.

**Please remember, you need to have DOK levels 1 and 2 before you can have levels 3 and 4, but if you only have levels 1 and 2, then you are shortchanging your students. Also, just because something is 'hard,' does not mean it's rigorous...

Rigor is not…
50 math problems for homework when fewer will achieve mastery.
More worksheets for the student who finished the assignment early.
Using a seventh grade text book with your high performing sixth grade students.
Covering more material in a shorter period of time.
Just for a select group of students.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

10 small ways to make a huge difference in someone's life... (38)

Here is your lifelong learner hit list for the week:

1). At the end of the day, send a short thank you or complimentary email to someone who helped you or did something great that day. For teachers, send a quick email or make a short phone call to a parent about their child. Bonus, do a hand-written personalized note and hand deliver it...

2). Find some information or resources for someone who you know is either looking for assistance or struggling with a particular situation. This may include finding someone else who excels in this particular area and asking them to reach out to this person to help them through this process.

3). Surprise a colleague and do something that is typically on their job responsibility list. This is only effective when the intent and purpose are to help. Don't use this as an opportunity to outshine or one-up, or you risk turning a positive gesture into a negative.

4). Stand up for someone who you know is right and struggling to make progress against the masses. This could be as simple as saying something publicly in a meeting or sending an email and including others on that email. The key here is to show your support and help to validate the points that are being shunned. Bonus, by doing this you may empower and embolden others who feel their voice is not being heard...
5). Commit to doing something in the future that will help someone to do something in the present. There are countless times when others need a little support and encouragement to get them over the hump of trying to do something or change something. Your gesture of commitment in the future is just what they need to get the ball rolling in the present.

6). Find something funny and share it with others. You can't ignore the power of laughter and when presented at just the right time, a good laugh is the difference between an average day and a great day.

7). Finish the task you said you would finish. You would be surprised at how often we say we will do something to only finish half of the promised task. Be the difference and go the distance by finishing what you said you would finish... this means a lot to people.

8). Present someone a challenge you think they can handle and would be excellent at overcoming. Present this challenge in a way that highlights the strengths of others, and remind them that you believe their skill set is perfectly aligned to tackling this challenge. The key here is to empower and send a boost of confidence to someone who may be lacking of late.

9). Start saying 'yes' and 'why not' more than 'no' and 'that's not possible.' Be careful with this, because if you always say 'yes' then you will become overwhelmed and over-committed. In the same breath, don't always say 'no' because you will become the person who nobody approaches with new ideas or possible changes. Help someone by embracing their creativity and innovation by giving them a green light.

10). Be yourself and don't try to be someone you aren't. Far too often we try to be who we think others think we should be, and in the end we ultimately disappoint both them and ourselves. Be yourself and others will be greatly appreciative.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

DOK is more than just a verb... (37)

Here is your lifelong learner hit list for the week:
5). How to trust your students

BONUS: (each building was emailed by Mr. Jones in the technology department about the wonderful opportunities available via this platform). Take time to get signed up and check it out!

Depth of knowledge level is NOT determined by the verb, but by the context in which the verb is used & the depth of thinking required.

DOK is not about difficulty... it's about complexity.
It's very difficult to list the names of every U.S. president... but that is level 1 DOK simple recall.
It's very complex to describe the relationship between Abraham Lincoln's presidency and President Obama's presidency as it relates to the societal trends happening during their presidencies... that is a level 3 DOK. 

Same verb but 3 different DOK levels
DOK 1: Describe three characteristics of metamorphic rocks (simple recall)
DOK 2: Describe the differences in metamorphic and igneous rocks (requires cognitive processing to determine the differences in the two rocks)
DOK 3: Describe a model that you might use to represent the relationships that exist within the rock cycle (requires deep understanding of the rock cycle and a determination of how to best represent it)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

What exactly is critical thinking? (36)

1. Summarize. Extract and restate the material’s main message or central point. Use only what you see, read or hear. Add nothing.

2. Analyze. Examine the material by breaking it into its component parts. By seeing each part of the whole as a distinct unit, you discover how the parts interrelate. Consider the line of reasoning as shown by the EVIDENCE offered and logic used. Read “between the lines” to draw INFERENCES, gaining information that’s implied but not stated. When reading or listening, notice how the reading or speaking style and the choice of words work together to create a TONE.

3. Synthesize. Pull together what you’ve summarized and analyzed by connecting it to your own experiences, such as reading, talking with others, watching television and films, using the Internet, and so on. In this way, you create a new whole that reflects your newly acquired knowledge and insights combined with your prior knowledge.

4. Evaluate. Judge the quality of the material now that you’ve become informed through the activities of SUMMARY, ANALYSIS, and SYNTHESIS. Resist the very common urge to evaluate before you summarize, analyze, and synthesize.

Another way to think about critical thinking, is to think RED:

How do we ensure our students are given ample opportunities to think critically? 

Do the activities in our classes allow for thinking critically? 

How can we increase the number of activities that encourage out students to think critically...?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Don't give up... (35)

Here is your lifelong learner hit list for the week:

1). BYOD begins with trust and respect

2). Simple ways to use mood music in your classroom to amp up learning

3). An obituary for student desks

4). Undermining student improvement

5). My favorite mistake

You know that idea you shared with your colleagues...

You were so excited to share the idea and you spent plenty of time trying to figure out the best way to get this information out to your colleagues. You tried to put yourself in their shoes so you could make this idea relevant and applicable to what they were doing. You even found a couple additional resources to complement the idea you were enthusiastic about sharing. You envisioned their response and knew they would be greatly appreciative of your time and effort to share an idea you think would benefit their practice, and most importantly, their students.

Unfortunately, the way it played out in your head isn't exactly the way it played out in real life...

If you are new in your position or new in your district, or if you are just trying some new things and new approaches, you most likely know what it feels like to share something with such passion and enthusiasm only to feel as if your words were falling on the proverbial deaf ears.

It's not a good feeling, and after getting that feeling several times, it's easy to see how some educators decide to work in isolation and simply focus on doing "their thing" rather than the collaborative and open-communication approach we would all benefit from.

It may be tough not to, but the easy thing to do is to give up on sharing new ideas. New ideas cause people to feel uncomfortable because it is the unknown, and it's human nature to fear what we don't understand. Additionally, it's easy for the person who is sharing these new ideas to be ostracized and cast aside as someone who is "pushing" their own agenda.

What you might not realize is that even though it appears these new ideas are going unnoticed and that people are ignoring anything and everything you say, I can almost guarantee that a few people are taking notice. Even more so, I would be willing to bet they are secretly having conversations about these ideas and possibly even trying them out in their classrooms. 

This won't be evident (at first), but after a while a few pockets of "initiators" will begin to form. People who didn't hear the idea first hand will begin talking about this new approach because they are hearing it second hand from others. You might even get a nice email thanking you for taking the time to share. You might... 

You might also never hear anything. You might never know how this idea or how the time you spent talking about it affected those around you. Even though you might not ever know, is not an excuse to stop doing what you do...

Don't give up... 

We can't afford for you to give up. Our kids can't afford for you to give up...

Friday, August 30, 2013

You are more than just a teacher... (33)

Here is your lifelong learner hit list for the week:

1). 5 point plan for a great day

2). 3 rubric makers that will save you time and stress

3). Leading to change / effective grading practices

4). Digital assignments: How shall we grade them?

5). Your one stop shop for web 2.0 tools

You are more than just a teacher...

Everyone knows that child who doesn't have someone advocating for them. As an educator, you are in a position to advocate for and fight for what is best for that child. Wow... what an awesome responsibility.

Where else in the world do you get to work with so many different personalities, egos, and varied life experiences all in the course of one day? If as an educator you can't find something to learn from your students, then you aren't looking hard enough.

In what other profession can you literally witness the growth and development of a child on a daily basis? You are in a position to see first-hand the progress and growth that takes place every single day in your classroom. You are able to take a student who possibly knows very little about his/her interests, and then help them discover and explore those interests while simultaneously watching them change before your eyes.
How many other professions can say they are a punching bag for the media and the sole reason for all the problems in society? (joking here) Educators seem to be getting all the attention... how cool is that to always be in the limelight! On a serious note, if what you were doing wasn't important, then people wouldn't notice.

Some of your students will get to know you better than anyone else in their lives. You will spend more time with some of your students than even their own family members. You will get to experience all the highs and the lows right alongside your students. Being this much a part of the lives of your students definitely makes this an awesome job.

In what other profession can you continue to learn and grow in the areas you are passionate about and say that it's a part of your job? Then on top of that, you get to share your passion and interests with others while getting paid to do it. Sounds like a win-win to me!

Research is quite clear in that a great teacher has a tremendous impact on the life of a child. This is not just related to academic achievement, but to all facets of their life. When you think something you might do or might not do doesn't matter, remember this research and keep it fresh in your mind.

You get to be an entertainer, actor/actress, and a Gumby-like person almost every day! I know the 'edutainment' mindset is not the most popular at times, but aren't you first trying to sell yourself? If the kids aren't buying into 'you,' then they will never buy into what you are trying to accomplish in the classroom. Take full advantage of this wonderful opportunity!

Why do you believe you are more than just a teacher? Leave your comment below.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A new beginning... (32)
A new year is upon us. A new group of kids are in front of us. A new set of challenges will surely arise. A new set of opportunities will join those challenges.

There is something rejuvenating about new and there is something pure about starting fresh.

We all start the new year with a blank canvas. A canvas with endless opportunity and possibility. This canvas also happens to be waiting for our best masterpiece yet...

Make no mistake, this canvas won't complete itself. Likewise, this new opportunity won't fulfill its own dreams. The seeds of possibility won't sow themselves...

New Beginnings

by Gertrude B. McClain

It's only the beginning now
...a pathway yet unknown
At times the sound of other steps
...sometimes we walk alone

The best beginnings of our lives
May sometimes end in sorrow
But even on our darkest days
The sun will shine tomorrow.

So we must do our very best
Whatever life may bring
And look beyond the winter chill
To smell the breath of spring.

Into each life will always come
A time to start anew
A new beginning for each heart
As fresh as morning dew.

Although the cares of life are great
And hands are bowed so low
The storms of life will leave behind
The wonder of a rainbow.

The years will never take away
Our chance to start anew
It's only the beginning now
So dreams can still come true.
Remember, it's the small things we do now that lead up to the big things later in life. The quality of the seeds we sow now might not be apparent for years to come, but when these seeds fully develop and we reap what we've sown, the results will be hard to miss... 

Have a great 2013/2014 school year Union R-XI!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Monday morning memo ~ 31

As the end of the year nears and our last ounces of energy are exhausted, a few images with words can be more powerful and impactful than any well-written statement could ever be...

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Monday morning memo ~ 30

What do you see?

So often our eyes and mind play tricks on us... they distort and manipulate what we see, or at least, what we think we see. It's all about our perspective, and what we ultimately end up seeing can be easily influenced by our attitude and our willingness to see either the positive, or the negative...

If you have hall duty or bus duty in the morning do you see it as an opportunity to greet each and every student with a smile to ensure their day at school starts off right, or do you see it as just another short straw that you have drawn...?

If you know a colleague who is struggling do you see it as a chance to help him/her with their struggles because we work as a team, or do you turn your back on them and ignore their struggles while being thankful it's not your problem...?

If you have a conversation with a colleague and you disagree, do you see it as an opportunity to learn about another perspective or do you concentrate all your energy on proving that your perspective is correct...?

If you make a mistake do you see your failure as a chance to learn and grow or do you see your failure as a defining characteristic that will always follow and haunt you...?

If you experience success in your classroom with a particular activity do you see it as your professional responsibility to share it with your colleagues or do you see the activity as something you must protect and hide from others...?

If you get stuck doing something that isn't your job, do you see it as an opportunity to learn about another role in education or do you see it as a burden that shouldn't fall on your shoulders...?

If you are selected to do lunch supervision do you see it as an opportunity to build and strengthen student relationships or do you see it as wasted time that comes with the job...?

If you have a student who is unmotivated in your class do you see it as a chance to help the student find the root cause of the issue or do you see the student as another lazy and unmotivated kid...? 

If you are assigning work to be completed outside of school, do you see the other time commitments and constraints your students may have or do you see homework as more important than family and/or interests and hobbies...?

If you discover that a student is passionate about something that is not related to your content, do you see it as an opportunity to connect and relate your content to his/her passion or do you see his/her passion as something that is getting in the way of his/her learning...? 

Does what you really see match up with what you 
really want to see? Does what you really see match up with what's best for our students?

Every day before you go to work think about what set of lenses you are wearing, and remember that from time to time it's not necessarily a bad idea to throw out your old lenses for a set of new ones...