Sunday, November 29, 2015

you love this world very much

Yesterday was Small Business Saturday. At our local bookstore I bought Mary Oliver's new book of poetry, Felicity. It will make a wonderful holiday gift for all the Mary Oliver fans and poets on your shopping list.

I couldn't resist reading it before I gift it.

Here's my favorite:

A Voice from I Don't Know Where
by Mary Oliver

It seems you love this world very much.
     "Yes," I said. "This beautiful world."

And you don't mind the mind, that keeps you
     busy all the time with its dark and bright wonderings?
     "No, I'm quite use to it. Busy, busy,
     all the time."

And you don't mind living with those questions,
     I mean the hard ones, that no one can answer?
     "Actually, they're the most interesting."

And you have a person in your life whose hand
     you like to hold?
     "Yes, I do."

It must surely, then, be very happy down there
     in your heart.
     "Yes," I said. "It is."

Monday, November 16, 2015

wherever you go for the rest of your life

“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” 
- Ernest Hemingway

Friday, November 6, 2015

create something new and better

Innovation is a mindset - a way of thinking - that creates something new and better.

This week I read The Innovator's Mindset 
by George Couros.

I highlighted more of the book than not. It may take several readings and re-readings before the entirety of the many ideas fully sink in. 

I have so many favorite parts and quotes. Here are just a few:
Change is an opportunity to do something amazing.
We forget that our responsibility isn't solely to teach memorization or the mechanics of a task but to spark a curiosity that empowers students to learn on their own. To wonder. To explore. To become leaders.
I believe education's why is to develop learners who create a better present and future.
When I use the term leaders, I'm not talking about bosses but people who have influence over and can make an impact on the world.
The world only cares about - and pays off on - what you can do with what you know (and it doesn't care how you learned it).
Innovation, though, starts not by providing answers but by asking questions. To be innovative, these questions focus on having empathy for those we serve.
And this bit comparing school vs learning:
School promotes starting by looking for answers. Learning promotes starting with questions. School is about consuming. Learning is about creating. School is about finding information on something prescribed for you. Learning is about exploring your passions and interests. School teaches compliance. Learning is about challenging preconceived norms. School is scheduled at certain times. Learning can happen any time, all of the time.
School often isolates. Learning is often social. School is standardized. Learning is personal. School teaches us to obtain information from certain people. Learning promotes that everyone is a teacher, and everyone is a learner. School is about giving you information. Learning is about making your own connections. School is sequential. Learning is random and non-linear. School is about surface-level thinking. Learning is about deep exploration.

I have followed George Couros on twitter (@gcouros) and have always been inspired by his posts and articles. When I saw that he had a new book out, I knew I had to read it. George's passion for innovation in education is exceptional. This book is a wonderful guide that is sure to inspire change.
Developing students into problem solvers and problem finders is crucial for their success

Learners need to be creative, innovative, interactive producers... not isolated consumers. We must promote and capitalize on open, connected learning. "My encouragement to you is to share your learning every step of the way, so others can benefit from your experiences."

I highly recommend Innovator's Mindset to all learners, teachers, parents, and leaders... so, really, anyone interested in critical thinking, productive citizens, and responsible decision makers.