Posts

Showing posts from July, 2016

Reinventing the Game

Image
This post was written with Dr. Todd Schmidt (@tsschmidty); you can find his blog here.
In just a few short weeks, students all around the country will be getting ready to start school again. Invariably, on the first day, many teachers will go over the “rules.”  You know the ones…
Raise your hand if you want to speak Stay seated Turn in your homework Follow directions...and so on...
These are some of the rules to that game we call school.  Follow the rules to the game and you might get out alive.  Don’t follow the rules and you can be labeled all sorts of things.  We value the compliant student...the one who doesn’t get into trouble...the one who completes their homework on time and regurgitates the right facts at the right time whether it be in multiple choice or essay format.
Like many educators, we were successful at playing the game.  Homework was completed, tests were studied for, and essays were turned in...but in reality, did we really learn how to “do” anything? Not really...we got t…

Permission to be Great

Image
More than 25 years ago, I was finishing up my last day of fourth grade and walked out of school with one of my all time favorite teachers, Mrs. Lammers.  As we were heading to the walker line, she asked me about my plans for summer, how excited I was for the upcoming baseball season, and what I was most looking forward to in 5th grade.

I loved Mrs. Lammers for many reasons: her passion for baseball, the way that she brought characters to life when she read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, and most importantly how she made an intentional effort to connect with me while pushing toward higher levels than I thought possible. I was not the highest achieving student, nor was I the hardest worker.  School was just not my thing; I really struggled with reading and did not put forth the effort to get better.  However, it was different with Mrs. Lammers, as she held this incredible belief in me and made me want to learn more each and every day.  She showed me that mistakes are not fatal, readi…