Sunday, March 5, 2017

#IMMOOC Week 1 - Being More Dog

After writing my answers to these questions I could see some clarity taking shape as to my educational philosophy.   I appreciated the opportunity to be forced to reflect and bring the different pieces that resonated with me together.   I am looking forward to continuing this process throughout the IMMOOC course.

The purpose of education is to provide access and opportunities to all students.  I recently heard Nadia Lopez (@The LopezEffect) tell a large group of educators that and it made sense to me.  I was impressed at her drive to empower students to learn and believe in themselves, not matter what their circumstances.   If we only offer opportunities to sit in rows and answer multiple choice questions, we are limiting the students' access to greater opportunities in the future.  Ones that require critical thinkers and problem-finders to get the job done.  I think as educators we must seek innovation to change what is available to our students so they are equipped in the best possible way for whatever their future holds.

Change can be scary and changing an entire organization can be daunting.  What I have come to realize is that I need to make small changes that are within my realm and not worry about the big things I cannot control.  I sometimes become paralyzed when the task seems too big or the system seems set against me.  By focusing in on what changes I can make that keep my focus on  what is truly best for students.  I am an instructional technology specialist and I am based on a campus to work with staff on integrating technology into their lessons.  I have also chosen (based on later chapters in this book and ideas gained from Kids Deserve It) to focus on the strengths of the staff I work with.  They have such great skills and ideas to offer and I should be seeking those out in a more intentional manner.  I believe that by changing my focus, I will have a greater impact.

If I would start a school from scratch I would want

  • To be able to put the right people in the right places and the flexibility to move those folks around as needed.   
  • I would want to work with a staff of those willing to say "Why not!"   I had a principal years ago that encouraged innovation and trying something new.   He told us that even if we fell on our face, we were making progress.  
  • I would want people to have time to truly implement something with fidelity before racing off on the next best trend or buzzword.   I think we abandon ideas and thoughts too quickly and then we lose the trust of those we work with.
  • I would want to develop a common set of skills and vocabulary to go with those skills so no matter what class students were in they would hear the same strategies.  I worked in a building where that happened and we were then able to focus on content and deeper understanding, instead of the activity itself.
  • A Genius Hour concept or 20% time would be built into the school for students and staff.  I want everyone to have an opportunity to grow in areas that interest them and to be able to see how those areas tie into school.
As I read through the Introduction, many things hit home and made me say shake my head in agreement.  One thing that challenged me was the commercial mentioned on page 7 "Be More Dog." We all have choices in how we want to spend our time and energy each day.    I would want the staff I work with to look at how I approach my job and my support of them and say I am more dog than cat.   I want to spend my days providing access and opportunities to the staff and students at my school so that great things can happen. 

I am looking forward to week two of the IMMOOC!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Robin, changing a system is a daunting, overwhelming task, but if you focus on doing what you can within your role, that is a great start. You will need to be strategic in terms of where you invest your time and resources. Look to those that you believe have the ability to build capacity in your schools. You can't be everywhere at once, harness the talents of others around you, and watch it spread!