Friday, July 18, 2014

Good Morning

Every morning during school I stand outside where the car riders drop off. Some mornings it's 85 degrees. Some mornings it's 3 degrees. The 85 degree mornings are not so bad. The 3 degree days- well that's not so good. During those cold mornings many teachers and parents tell me to stay inside, it's too cold. They tell me they understand. But I thought about it. I stand outside for several reasons. Of course I stand out there for the safety of those car riders, but the reasons go deeper. I had a parent tell me one time that her daughter was mad at her because they got to school late and she wouldn't be able to see what I had on. Apparently they discuss my wardrobe each morning. I laughed but I realized they know when I am out there and when I am not. To me standing out there gives me a chance to be the first person at school to speak to them that morning. I am the first smile they will receive. I have a chance to give them a good morning, and I choose to do that. I spend those few seconds asking about their evening, their game, their homework, their tests, their life. I want them to know I really care what is going on with them. I really care about what's important to them. So I have purchased some heavy coats, Uggs, rain boots, rain coats, whatever is necessary to be there every morning. Rain or shine, warm or freezing cold, this is my chance to say "I love you". I just disguise it as "Good Morning". 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

To Fail or not to Fail

Fail. It's a four letter word isn't it. I hear teachers say all the time "failure is not an option," or "I didn't fail you, you failed yourself." But, what if failure was an option? What if we encouraged teachers and students to step outside the box and outside their comfort zone and encourage them to try something new? What if Fail really meant First Attempt In Learning? Think back. How many children walked the first time they stood? How many people drove perfect the first time behind the wheel? So why do we not allow students and teachers to try something new and possibly fail? Let's try this. Let's change our schools and classrooms to learner centered. The learner may be the student OR it may be the teacher. You do something or teach something that doesn't work? So what! Make some changes and try again. The definition of grit is basically a trait based on an individual's passion or ability to hang with a long term goal. How do we teach grit if they don't learn how to triumph over failure? So let's teach grit by teaching students that failure is part of learning. Mistakes are proof of trying, and to just remember that stars don't shine without darkness. Help them shine