Friday, May 31, 2013

may books be always with you

Lisa Bu shares her unique approach to reading in this lovely, personal talk about the magic of books.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

a little book with a lot to say

Last week, one of Seth Godin's blog posts was titled: You should buy the book. The post listed several bloggers who were releasing books. To paraphrase Seth: The frequent blogger has something to share and is relentlessly showing up to teach and lead and connect. If you want that to happen more, if you're getting something out of it, buy the book.

I bought several of the books he recommended: Ctrl Alt Delete by Mitch Joel, Make Your Idea Matter by Bernadette Jiwa, and The Business of Belief by Tom Asacker.

First up: The Business of Belief by Tom Asacker

 "Is this about marketing, life, spirituality, history, change or sales? Yes. A little book with a big idea."
—Seth Godin

Tom Asacker lets us in on a secret: existence is defined by our beliefs. They determine how we feel, what we think, the goals we pursue and the actions we take. Our beliefs drive our actions and our decisions. But most of us are oblivious to how beliefs are born and formed. 

This book attempts to explain what a belief is and how it is created. 

It's a short little book with a lot to say, and I loved it.
"Belief is what humans do. Our personal beliefs define our choices, shape our lives and, collectively, determine our futures. Nothing is more important than belief. If you want to change the world, if you want to change your world, if you want to succeed at work, in the marketplace, or in any other social endeavor or organization, belief is your Holy Grail."

Beliefs are nothing more than working assumptions. Most are provisional, conditional, and have varying degrees of certainty.

So, what is it that you believe?

What do you want to be true?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

almost any how

Friedrich Nietzsche once said, 
"He who has a why to live can bear almost any how."

I have been re-reading Simon Sinek's book, Start With Why. It's a must read anytime you feel lost or unaccomplished or uninspired. Nothing can get you back on track, back on your path, faster than remembering your Why.

Monday, May 27, 2013

happy memorial day

"I don't care about political crap... I just love freedom."  
-Kaziah Hancock

Thursday, May 23, 2013

discover what lies within

I am reading Sir Ken Robinson's newest book, Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life.

"The Element is where natural aptitude meets personal passion." 
- Sir Ken Robinson

The New York Times bestselling author of The Element gives readers an inspirational and practical guide to self-improvement, happiness, creativity, and personal transformation.

Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk video and groundbreaking book, The Element, introduced readers to a new concept of self-fulfillment through the convergence of natural talents and personal passions. The Element has inspired readers all over the world and has created for Robinson an intensely devoted following. Now comes the long-awaited companion, the practical guide that helps people find their own Element. Among the questions that this new book answers are:
• How do I find out what my talents and passions are?

• What if I love something I’m not good at?

• What if I’m good at something I don’t love?

• What if I can’t make a living from my Element?

• How do I do help my children find their Element?
Finding Your Element comes at a critical time as concerns about the economy, education and the environment continue to grow. The need to connect to our personal talents and passions has never been greater. As Robinson writes in his introduction, wherever you are, whatever you do, and no matter how old you are, if you’re searching for your Element, this book is for you.

It is a wonderful, inspiring, thought provoking book. The whole family should read it together and do the exercises together. Amazing!

Having had two children go through the PYP Exhibition Programme, I am wishing that this book had come out sooner. I highly recommend it for all PYP exhibition teachers to read. 

Some big questions from the book to consider:

  • What have been the most important influences and turning points in your life?
  • Which aspects of your life engage you most?
  • Which ones engage you least?
  • Do you know what your Element is?
  • Do you know what direction you want to move in?
  • What would you like to do that you haven't tried yet?
  • Why haven't you?

"Finding your Element is about discovering what lies within you and, in doing so, transforming what lies before you." 
-Sir Ken Robinson

The poet Anaïs Nin once said, "I don't see the world as it is: I see it as I am."

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


“Don’t let your happiness depend 
on something you may lose.” 
~C.S. Lewis

Monday, May 20, 2013

Life is short.

Live your dream and share your passion.

I have a copy of the Holstee Manifesto in my kitchen. Tonight I found this awesome Holstee Manifesto: Lifecycle Video on youtube...

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Are you ready to challenge your perception of work?

Seth Godin was the speaker at last week’s CreativeMornings/NewYork. 

Completely worth the 20 minutes...

Be remarkable and watch the Q&A if you have 20 minutes more...

2013/05 Seth Godin | Q&A from CreativeMornings on Vimeo.

His comments around 16:50 are pure gold for education.

share your light

As part of her Mobile Mirrors exhibition at Christian Larsen gallery in Stockholm, artist Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen created a series of four reflective mannequins clad in shards of mirrors. 

When I saw these images, it reminded me of how Buddism encourages you to share your light, “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” - Buddha

Next time you walk into a room, imagine yourself as one of these mannequins clad in mirrors... and let your light fill the room.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

“This is really great. You should enjoy it.”

Look what I got yesterday !!

You know I LOVE Neil Gaiman (as evidenced here, here, and here) and I absolutely adore Chip Kidd (likewise here and here)... so when two of my favorite people collaborate to create something remarkable, my head nearly explodes !

First the speech, then the comic, now this beautiful book... if you're not inspired to "Make Good Art", then...  look a little closer, stare a little longer.

Be sure to listen to this sage advice from Neil Gaiman about changing the world in the way that only you could change it.

This book is the perfect graduation gift, birthday gift, hostess gift, retirement gift... any gift you need, this book is it! Buy and give many copies.

“This is really great. You should enjoy it.” - SK

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

for a lifetime and beyond

Yesterday I finished the book Teach Like A Pirate by Dave Burgess.

I had hesitated in reading it because... teach like a pirate? Arrrgh. 

But the praising reviews kept coming and the subtitle - Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator - had me curious.

Teach Like a Pirate did not disappoint. And like Mr. Burgess says in the book: 
Teaching like a pirate has nothing to do with the dictionary definition and everything to do with the spirit. Pirates are daring, adventurous, and willing to set forth into uncharted territories with no guarantee of success.

Be a daring teacher! Let every student experience the joy of creativity.
Teaching is no longer about relaying the content's about transforming lives. It's about killing apathy. It's about helping the next generation fulfill their potential and become successful human beings. It's no longer about memorizing fact; it's about inspiring greatness.
After I read this book I knew that Dave Burgess had his newest, biggest fan... me.

Bring a breath of fresh air into your teaching. Invite your students in, get to know them, encourage spontaneity, engage them with purposeful activities, sit beside them, allow them to find an outlet for creative expression, have fun, try everything and learn from them.

For Mr. Burgess, a lesson on Abraham Lincoln becomes a lesson on persistence and overcoming adversity. The story of Rosa Parks teaches that a single, ordinary person with strong convictions, and the courage to act on those convictions, can transform history. A D-Day lesson is an opportunity to teach appreciation and gratitude for the sacrifices made by previous generations to secure the liberties that we often take for granted today. And the story of Malcolm X becomes a platform to express that no matter where they start in life, or how low they fall, each student can still, through the power of self-education and their own efforts, rise to greatness.

With nods to Seth Godin, Tony Robbins, Simon Sinek, The War of Art, and Daniel Pink... with creative alchemy and the power of asking good questions... this book must have been written from my gospel.

Seth Godin writes, "Something remarkable is worth talking about. Worth noticing. Exceptional. New. Interesting. It's a Purple Cow. Boring stuff is invisible. It's a brown cow."

Teach Like a Pirate is definitely a Purple Cow.
Follow Dave Burgess on twitter and keep learning @burgessdave ; you can also find him participating in #sschat

My favorite quote from Teach Like a Pirate:
Designing a class that empowers students to become life-long learners, avid readers, and voracious seekers of knowledge, will have an impact that reverberates for a lifetime and beyond.

Monday, May 13, 2013

structural change

On Facebook today, "Don't Fail Idaho" posted this infographic with the question, "What does Structural Change mean to you?"

In my opinion, structural change in education begins with Will Richardson's 19 bold ideas:

That was pretty fast. Here's the list in case you missed it:

Will Richardson’s 19 Bold Ideas...
  1. Forget open book / phone tests.
    Let’s have open network assessments where students can use the tools they own and love for learning. School should not be a place where we force kids to unplug and disconnect from the world.
  2. Stop wasting money on textbooks.
    Make your own texts with things like wikis.
  3. Google yourself.
    If we’re not empowering ourselves and our students to be Google well, we’re not doing a good job.
  4. Flip the power structure from adults to learners.
    Empower students with the tools and resources they need to go where they want to go and explore and develop their interests and passions.
  5. Don’t do work for the classroom.
    Support learners in doing work that is worthy of, can exist in, and can change the world.
  6. Stop telling kids to do their own work.
    That’s not reality any longer.  Support them in collaborating, interacting, and cooperating with others.
  7. Learn first. Teach second.
    We must come into our classrooms knowing that we are learners first. If we think we are teachers first, we are not giving our students the powerful learning models they’ll need to be successful.
  8. No more how-to workshops.
    Educators should know how to find out how to on their own. When we come together it should be to talk about how we are doing.
  9. Share everything.
    The best work of you and your students should be shared online. This will help us all get better.
  10. Ask questions you don’t know the answer to.
    The learning of high stakes tests with predetermined answers is not as powerful as the learning that comes from finding our own new and unique answers.
  11. Believe that you want to be found by strangers on the internet.
    If you think kids aren’t going to interact with strangers on the internet, you’re wrong. Let’s embrace that and support kids in being smart when doing so and learning a lot about the minds they are meeting.
  12. Rethink the role of the teacher.
    We should not be doing the same work that 20th century teachers did. Consider how technology can and should change our roles.
  13. Toss the resume.
    No one cares about your resume anymore. The internet is the new resume. What will people find when they look at who you are online? That is what you should be focusing on.
  14. Go beyond Google to learn.
    Build your personal learning network and learn with and from the people you know via places like Twitter and Facebook.
  15. Go free and open source.
    We have a budget crises, yet schools are wasting millions on things that are offered for free.
  16. Create an UnCommon Core.
    Don’t ask how you will meet the common core, empower kids to think about how they will change the world.
  17. Stop delivering the curriculum.
    This is no longer necessary.  Information can be accessed without a teacher.  Move beyond delivery to discovery.
  18. Be subversive.
  19. Stand up and scream.
    Tell everyone that education is not about publishers and politicians but rather it’s about what students and parents want and how teachers can best give that to them.

So, what does structural change in education mean to you?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

and the lightbulb goes on

Congratulations, H !
You are a compassionate traveler in this world.

"And so there are lessons that you can't get out of a book that are waiting for you at the other end of that flight. A lot of people - Americans and Europeans - come back and go, "Ohhhhh." And the lightbulb goes on."

Sunday, May 5, 2013

we outnumber you...

"Nothing in this world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." -MLK Jr.

Saturday, May 4, 2013


Unfortunately for me, 
grumbling about injustice 
doesn’t make things just.

You can’t create positive change from a negative mindset.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Changing Education Paradigms

The following video, created by RSAnimates, depicts the messages in Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk about the history of education and why today’s reformers have it wrong. 

Sir Ken Robinson, PhD is an internationally recognized leader in education, creativity and innovation... and one of my heroes. 

If you are not one of the 5 million people who have already viewed this, I encourage you to do so now! And, even if you have already... why not give it another go?

One of my favorite bits is at the 8:05 mark... divergent thinking.

Collaboration is the stuff of growth.

What's the culture of your institution? Parents, Schools, and Communities make a difference.