This past week, for me, was about honouring the work of teachers. It was, after all, Teacher Appreciation Week! I made sure to reach out individually whenever I could to say thanks, to offer support, and jump in to provide solutions where I thought I might be able to. Our faculty are working above and beyond, and now with the end of the year wrapping up, we have events on the horizon that are being reimagined. But we know that these will continue to be for our faculty a pressure on their precious time. So, this past week I jumped in when I could.
I guess that is why this week just flew by for me! Week 7 behind us and moving into Week 8. The focus on these three resources is moving forward. Feeling that forward momentum! One is about overcoming ‘Perfectionism’ to move forward; the other is about a Phys. Ed teacher who is modelling how he is moving forward and sharing his work through a podcast; the final one is about how good leaders stumble as they move forward.
1. Listen to: Truth for Teachers: Episode 198 “3 Sneaky Ways Perfectionism is Holding you back
What I really LOVED about this podcast is that is speaks to a mindset that is holdingus back while it provides strategies for the way forward. Too often we are telling ourselves stories about who we are, and sometimes these stories help determine the way we set about, procrastinate, ponder and sometimes carry out our work.
In this episode, we learn how to tell our stories differently – because now we have to. As an educator we can no longer:
– ignore the role of student agency
– dismiss technology as something we do not need or cannot use
– say we can’t learn new things
– say we can’t change our practice
– stand in front of our students and “do school”
2. Listen to OR Read the Tweets of Marcus Down – Podcast: Episode 2 “Pardon the Physical Education Interuption”
I knew Marcus when we was an educator in Toronto, and since then he has been in International Education. If you are a Phys. Ed teacher, this is the podcast for you: virtual Olympics, ideas for active and healthy living, and an interview with a school that has just opened!
He is active on Twitter, and I wanted to share this with you as a great model for educators trying something new – pivoting and adjusting with tech – to share their experiences. Great start Marcus!
3. Read: “Leaders Stumble”
To know that this is worth the 15min read, just read the first page. Here is an excerpt:
The thrust of this paper is that stumbling forward is how a leader operates in real-life settings, when the future is unknowable and the present only partially understood. The leader needs to be honest about the problems faced, offer credible hope that a solution can be found, enlist the community’s support in creating a solution and act courageously and empathetically, knowing that all decisions will be imperfect.
I read that and took a moment to breathe. Being transparent that we haven’t gone through something like this before, that we don’t have the perfect answers, but we will do our best. I needed to hear that this week.
I also really enjoyed this section where the author decouples some leadership instincts from their origins in order to help us visualize a new mental model:
In the context of mental models, it can be said of stumbling leaders that they are comfortable living within a society that more closely resembles a milling crowd rather than a disciplined army. One of thepowerful mental models that holds us back in our thinking, has its origin in Newtonian physics. Newton pictured isolated atoms bouncing off each other like billiard balls with predictable trajectories. With such a mental model, conflicts are inevitable. Today, we have a new mental model of chaos theory from Quantum physics that better describes our chaotic world and accommodates the complexity that we find in it. Instead of thinking isolation and collision and drawing linear maps, our new Quantum image allows for personal relationships where individuals are transformed in their meetings, of organic networks with charts of complicated, changing networks. The leader is not at the top of a simple hierarchy but at the centre of a web of constantly moving and interacting networks.
More than ever we need to rely on information coming from more than one source, but rather from a network of sources; likewise, we need to share our ideas, our progress, and our challenges with other to learn with and from them.