Monday, October 13, 2014

What Will You Do Differently This Week?

Over the last few days, I have been inspired!  I had the privilege of attending the Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools Biennial Conference on Friday.  The keynote speaker, NAIS President John Chubb,  was fantastic.  I attended two excellent sessions, one in particular on gamification with Jon Cassie. The closing speaker, Adam Bellow, was phenomenal.  Click here if you want to check out the full program.

I was positively tingling with ideas and inspiration.  But then it was Saturday and I had to buy groceries.  On Sunday, I had a party to attend.  Even though today was a day off, I spent most of it waiting in a doctor's office.

My point is, it would be easy to just show up tomorrow at school and do the same old stuff.  Sure, my classes are engaging and we are in the throes of some really fun projects.   But all of my inspiration would go to waste if I didn't commit myself to implementing my new ideas IMMEDIATELY!  It's October already!  There really is no time to waste.

I made myself a list of the three main things I learned on Friday:

#1 Gamification is powerful.  It engages students and enhances learning.  It requires planning, but I can start small.

#2 Students need to make things that matter.

#3 Independent schools have the power to innovate because they are independent.  We can lead the way.

I wrote these on my calendar, on my phone, on a post-it note on my desk and in my kitchen.  Already, I have seen the list several times.

My goal is to plan in such a way as to address these ideas often and in multiple ways.

Sounds great, but I thought I also needed a more explicit plan.

So under the list I wrote the following question:  What will you do differently this week?

We had already planned to publish our latest writing project into an iBook (#2 and #3), so that doesn't really count.

I started working on a mitosis game for my science class (#1).  It has been challenging, but I am making progress.  I learned some additional ideas here.

I realize that this will not be an easy practice to maintain.  But a worthwhile one.  I am hoping to get some colleagues to help me be accountable to this plan and to provide me with inspiration and support.  Perhaps you are one of those people.  Perhaps you can help.  In the meantime, what will you do differently this week?




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