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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Mistakes
Posted by on in Teaching Strategies

Happy Friday!

Or Saturday, depending on when you read this.

As school draws closer (or maybe already back to the grind?), teachers and administrators experience a renewed sense of purpose. We reflect on how to start the year off right and how we can do things better.

I have an ironic, but very true answer for doing things better. It involves making mistakes. Lots of mistakes!

I took a screenshot of something I found on Pinterest a while ago and decided to make it into a poster you, I, and the rest of the Universe can print and use in their classroom, office, or spaceship.

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Posted by on in General

the-big-four.jpg

Twitter, Facebook, Email & Voxer.

Twitter, Facebook, Email & Voxer.

Twitter, Facebook, Email & Voxer.

I couldn't stop. I don't know if it was the dopamine or the procrastination that kept this cycle going. Either way, it was getting out of hand. I had a terrible headache and was able to convince myself that it was okay to lie in bed and just keep going. It wasn't as if there was anything that I had to do.

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Posted by on in General

mona-lisa.jpg

My daughter is a perfectionist. She does not like making mistakes. Whenever she colors outside the lines or something doesn't look quite right, she will often start over or sometimes, when she is angry, give up.

Not this one day.

I'll never forget the day she was working on her own personal art project. It involved some new paints she had gotten for her birthday and some tape. She was engaged and having fun. What more could a parent ask for? At one point when I was comfortably positioned on the couch watching a movie, she asked me to come look at what she had created. What kind of dad would I be if I didn’t?

I got up and went into the next room to check out her newest creation. It was pretty cool. I loved her use of color and the addition and subtraction of tape made for sharp lines. My duty was done and I went back to watching the movie. After another twenty minutes or so I lost interest in the movie. I couldn’t focus on it and I wanted to do something else. I wasn’t sure what yet.

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Posted by on in General

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Brad Gustafson is someone who celebrates his students and staff like few others. Check his Twitter feed on any given day and you will see what I mean. And that is why Brad’s admission was so powerful. During our interview, I even gave him an opportunity to back out. But Brad is not that kind of leader. Not that kind of person. He said, “Jon that would be too easy.”

He is about as connected as an educator could possibly be. He is always finding new and innovative ways to challenge himself, his staff and his students. Actually, his reach extends much farther than that. Through his book, Renegade Leadership, his 30 second takes, his UNEarthed podcast that he hosts with Ben Gilpin and countless other initiatives, he has managed to challenge the rest of us.

The mistake that Brad made was one he didn’t even realize he was making. As previously mentioned, Brad does all that he can to celebrate the amazing things that are taking place at his school. He tweets out photos and videos so that the rest of us learn from and with he and his staff.

But at the end of the day, what matters most to Brad are the relationships that he forms with his staff, his students and his community. And as he admitted on the show, the way in which he was feeling about people just wasn’t coming through. He was so eager to highlight staff that were trying new and innovative practices that he lost sight of those that were not. Just because staff members weren’t doing things differently, didn’t mean they weren’t doing things well.

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Posted by on in General

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Anyone that follows my blog knows that I am fascinated with the way in which my children interact with and interpret the world. I truly believe that they have much more to teach me than I have to teach them.

The difficulty lies in the fact that the lessons they have to teach me are not always readily apparent. Usually though, if I stop and allow myself time and space to reflect, I am able to come away with something.

I'll never forget the day that I was experiencing a moment that was meant to teach me something, but I couldn’t figure out exactly what. Actually, I experience quite a few of these moments. My son and I were playing with blocks. We would stack them as high as we could. And then each time, without fail, he would take extreme pleasure in knocking them over.

But why?

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