Saturday, May 28, 2011

Week 4b Blog 1 - Weekly Reading

Chapter 9 – Lighting a Spark

I liked the idea of enrollment. Sometimes you’ve got to be crazy and find other people that are crazy too. Only crazy people want to change what sane people say is unchangeable. I also liked the idea of the downward spiral thinking. I can see that in my minds eye and how it works. We see and hear so much downward spiral thinking especially in education.

Chapter 10 – Being the board

This chapter is about not loosing control of your life. I think this is the hardest area to control. There are so many things that happen to us that we cannot control. For example, I have students that do not turn work in on time. I could refuse to accept late work, but that doesn’t help them or me. I come away with a feeling of not being a good teacher. They decide that since it won’t count, they don’t have to do it. Then the next time they are late, they don’t have to do that project either. By telling them that their grade will suffer when they are late, but they still have to do the work, I am giving control to both of us.

Chapter 11 – Creating frameworks for Possibility

This chapter sums up the art of possibilities. It tells us to put our beliefs to the test and break the downward spiral. I can’t say if I am up to the challenge. Only time will tell. I firmly believe that the meaning behind this book can change my life and the lives of those I touch. I already have decided to buy three copies of this book, one for me, one for my principal and one for our professional library. Maybe other teachers will enjoy this book as much as I did..

For years I have been contemplating a video I want to make on creativity. But defining creativity is difficult. I think I have my theme now. It is “ Creativity – The Vision of possibility.”

Chapter 12 – Telling the We Story

The author starts this chapter with a story about the Arabs and the Jews as told by his father. The audience, high school students, remark what a wonderful opportunity exists between the two factions. Yet there has been nothing but war between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The “We” is missing. My classes often feel like the “I/You” situation that chapter 12 talks about. Next year, I need to develop a “We” feeling in class. I think it will be worth the effort.

1 comment:

  1. CK,
    I had to giggle when I read your “crazy”s as I did when I read senior partner Graham Walker’s letter. My nephew gave me the nickname Aunt Crazy when he was little because of the silly things I did to make him laugh…15years later the name still sticks. I take it as a compliment when my family calls me crazy ☺
    I agree with you that educators are exposed to downward spiral thinking both in trying to turn the spiral up for our students and the “utter lack of respect for our profession”, quoting from a dear colleague who announced last month that he was moving on to begin something new. His students don’t understand his decision; his colleagues were shocked, yet we are all happy for him to have made such a bold move.

    Why do our students view grades as the be-all-end-all? “It won’t count, why should I do it?” I have seen the same thing and try to hard to help them make a better choice. Yet, I am so afraid of spending too much energy on one student who refuses to take person control only to look up and see the others suffer. It is a constant trapeze act.

    I also bought a copy of the book. I’ll have to look for more on-line for Barnes and Nobles only had one copy. I would love to share it with one of my principals but am afraid that it might not be received well coming from me. Unfortunately, I am not one of this person’s favorites. Rather, I think this person might see me as “crazy”. As you said, time will tell. But I have to inquire about your words, “…break the downward spiral”, and ask, Do we have to “break it” or do you think that maybe we can help others and ourselves see the ride provided by a spiral? Does that make sense? It’s just something I was thinking about before I read your post.
    I appreciate your thoughts on the last chapter. Unfortunately I was thinking too literally when I read Telling the WE Story. You’re right. It might be worth the effort for me as well.