Thursday, August 18, 2011

What are you waiting for?

I was catching up on watching some TED Talks this past week and found this one by Matt Cutts to be particularly appropriate for the start of a new school year.

The idea to try something new for 30 days is appealing to me as a teacher. It offers the opportunity to inventory my current practice and consider things I would like to add or subtract. I like the idea that the 30 day challenge represents an activity that encourages me to focus on the present moment. It reflects the ideas associated with the growth mindset and building trust in ourselves. Finally, the idea that the changes ought to represent small changes in order to be sustainable (what I call subtle shifts) really resonates with me.

Today, a group of middle school teachers came up with a list of things they want to work on this year to set the stage for continual improvement at their schools. This was the result of our discussion of chapter 8 from The Teaching Gap. Here is their list:

  • Volunteering more to be part of district teams developing exemplary lessons and assessments;
  • Engaging in more peer coaching;
  • Sticking to practices that are effective based on formative assessments even when standardized tests do not show immediate improvements; and
  • Spending more time reflecting on practice using a structured approach.
Given Matt's TED Talk, I suggested they consider focusing on these practices for 30 days in order to develop these as habits.

And what are my 30-day challenges?
  • Add: making ShowMe think-alouds
  • Subtract: grading any work
I will get back to you in 30 days and let you know how I did.

1 comment:

  1. Great TED talk. Thank you for sharing it and your thoughts on it as well. I'm in the midst of doing a 30 day challenge to add exercise to my day. I've done the 30 day novels as well. I've never thought to apply this to my teaching. Great idea.