In my opinion, I am often rich as Crœsus, not in money, but (though it doesn’t happen every day) rich, because I have found in my work something to which I can devote myself heart and soul, and which gives inspiration and significance to life.
This post is week 8 of 8 in the 8 Weeks of Summer Blog Challenge for educators.
The #8WeeksofSummer blogging challenge will stay with me. One takeaway is that I do better at blogging with a challenge. I’ve been blogging for close to ten years now, sometimes more regularly than others.
Here is a little history of my recent blogging:
In 2019, I made 16 posts. I began the year blogging, thanks to the #Blogging28 challenge last January through Edublogs, posting 5 times in January. In February through May, I made 3 more posts–no challenges. Then starting in June through today, I’ve made 8 posts in the #8WeeksofSummer challenge.
In 2018, I made 3 posts.
In 2017, I made 57 posts.
What was the difference between 2017 and 2018? Blogging challenges.
Writing heals and keeps me sane, so I need to take time to write. If blogging challenges are a way to encourage me to do that, I will take them.
Thank you so much to Penny Christensen for running this professional reflection challenge for this summer. Thanks also to Penny and other friends who came and commented on my blog–Sheri, Joy, and Scott.
Now. what will my next challenge be?
How am I planning to implement change next school year? My BHAG of improving English language acquisition and literacy at my school will be implemented throughout the school year, beginning even today:
I have no doubt that I and my colleagues will continue to implement the goals we have for the next school year right through next June. One step at a time. One student at a time.
This week Penny asks, “What goal is so powerful that you are compelled to move toward, yet respectful of its immensity?”
I do have big goals, which include:
Is my goal hairy and audacious?
From what I read about BHAG and the example of Boeing bringing commercial air travel into the jet age, my goals so far aren’t easily articulated as one BHAG. It is not a vision statement that will fit on a t-shirt, for instance.
Jim Collins explains another BHAG about getting to the moon in the 1960’s: “…the goal itself—the mountain to climb—was so easy to grasp, so compelling in its own right, that it could be said one hundred different ways, yet easily understood by everyone.”
My list may be the smaller steps to reach a bigger goal. As yet, it is not easily understood by everyone. Perhaps they are the many steps to get to a BHAG that I have yet to articulate.
I need to think about this, and perhaps read Built to Last.
What are optimal conditions in which to learn, for you, and for students? What a great question. I have spent the last decade really grappling with this question, but not taking time to really try to come up with the answers.
When I became what I called a “connected educator,” I learned so much. I became the chief learner in my classroom.
I passionately tried to teach my students to love learning and go for broke. Some of my thoughts from 2012:
Then I moved to a new country, where the culture is so different. The educational values are not what I was used to. Education here is what I describe as more traditional. Students and parents are more competitive and good grades and being on the honor roll are the pinnacle. I have weathered my share of storms as I try to navigate this new educational landscape.
Now, this week, for the #8WeeksofSummer challenge, I was asked the question about what are the optimal learning conditions for me and my students. Today, I have a more nuanced answer than the 2012 writing above.
I have never before stopped to articulate what I think about the colliding of my experiences in eastern and western schools. I’ll take a stab at it today, but really these are just some random thoughts: I’ll keep grappling!
I don’t think I have answered the question, but here are a few optimal conditions for learning worldwide:
I guess these are conditions that work for me and students.