Anxiety to Growth

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It’s refreshing to read about the new evaluation system in a “growth mindset.”

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I wonder, though, if the requirement for comprehensive evaluations provides that mindset. It requires documentation for hundreds of bullets under over forty criteria in the Marzano Framework. The original framework offered choice in growth planning; that framework would encourage growth and change.

But like this dynamic principal, we look forward to a “promise of growth.” A promise. A hope.

What hope do you see?

Kaizen Learning

We are transitioning to a new evaluation system for both teachers and administrators.  This was something I shared with staff in regards to my transition to the new system.

“Anxiety is an unpleasant state of inner turmoil.”

Many people often experience this general state of worry or fear just prior to confronting something challenging.  Something that means a lot to them.  Something that comes with some kind of judgement.  Anxiety is most often associated with a test, interview, public performance, or presentation.  The feelings that accompany anxiety are easily justified and normal.  At least that is what I kept telling myself when I began to read and digest the leadership framework from which I will be evaluated this year.  The more I read the more anxious I became.  The anxiousnes I felt soon transitioned to feelings of inadequacy as a school leader.  Especially after reading the first two rubrics:

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Reframing Henry

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Change the way you think about it.

Thanks to Paula for this bit of wisdom.

That’s my goal for reframing the focus on skills / test prep to include  Authentic Projects.

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I’m going to turn around my last post about blaming Henry Ford  and think again about community of learners in the classroom, like when I taught writers and readers workshop.

Communities are messy; they aren’t the perfect working machine; they change and flow from one need to the next. And they get stuck in ruts. They need to “Change the way you think about it.”

I’m going to start by asking my students what “work” they want to do — as readers, researchers, and authors. Perhaps, we’ll change our way of thinking about our skills together, as a community of learners.

It’s actually starting from them now. We just finished a short iSearch project in which students learned questioning, research, collaboration, analysis, interpretation, presentation, speech. Two students asked, based on their chosen article [ Drama VS Bullying ], if they could create a video about their learning. Their work will be my first model for the others… They have changed the way they thought about their research. I love that.

It’s Easy…

Pause to Reflect…

Nespelemmeadowtues

It’s easy to follow the usual road with the time you have in the day speeding by. Sometimes the road is not clear. I read a wonderful post by Chris Wejr, It’s Easy, which I found in my Twitter feed this morning. 

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It’s amazing how the path of a twitter feed leads to solutions. Have you ever felt as if what you do is for naught? –You’re given a task of leading others, and resistance abounds? Or perhaps it just seems that way because you receive little feedback?

The easy path is to give up, but then then this tweet appeared:

Tweetstevejobs

to this post: Steve Jobs: Thoughts on Life   [updated link: Improve it.]

“Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”

“You can change it.” “Improve it.” “Make your mark upon it.”

It’s easy to step back and give up.

It’s hard to keep going to help “change it.”

After re-reading Chris’s post, I could now reply:

It’s easy to read this post and agree.
It’s hard to ignore the ignorers and focus on the movers.

It’s easy to forget that time and lack of tech are issues with teachers who wear so many hats in these changing and budget-strapped times.

It’s hard to search for support and solutions that encourage such choices.

Conversely,
It’s hard to do it all.
It’s easy to take one small step.

What small step?

Two other posts guided the path today:

1) a comment from a colleague, Tracy Watanabe, on a previous post, which included this suggestion:

WOW and a Wonder (something that is a specific praise and a question meant to guide them to think about one way they can improve)

2) a post on Facebook by my granddaughter:

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Relationships are key. Appreciation is key. Build relationships and appreciate what has been done. Teachers are overwhelmed and under-appreciated. We all wear so many hats to help schools function and students learn, and the technology needed is not always at hand. During my teacher prep time (I teach full time), I take Tech walks (my other hat) to see what staff need. I need to preface the visit with a specific appreciation. And in staff meetings, I need to Wow before I Wonder.

Play to learn…

One small step to help move forward would be to WOW with a specific appreciation for what is working and improving. Appreciate the small steps by others. In staff meetings, WOW again the positive steps in tech use throughout the school. Then ask an “I wonder”– a small step that could be taken next — a step towards implementing technology by non-techy staff. Perhaps it will be an app for instruction; perhaps a way to communicate with students or parents; perhaps a tool for productivity.  At any rate, start with a WOW and add an I wonder if…

So the road may be unseen, but find the path while wandering through the blossoms of appreciation to find the next staff-needed I wonder.

It’s hard to do it all.

It’s easy to start with one small step.

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Credit:

Thanks to the inspiration of   and

Wow and Wonder Strategy by Tracy Watanabe

Tracywowwonder