A student said a really nice thing to me the other day and he didnt even realize it. He said “Mr. Worth, my brain hurts leaving your class.” This made my day.
Not to mention the behaviors that we squashed at the beginning of the class, I had no idea the class with this student would end on such a positive note. I want my students to get the feeling when they leave because that means learning is happening.
I remember in college leaving classes with a complete migrane becuase my mind had been opened in such a way that I knew I would never be the same. Learning has that power on us. I hope to have all my lessons to be in such a condition of rigor that students are always leaving my class with that feeling. So yes. When I think of if I have succeeded as a teacher, I want my students brains to hurt afterwards!
I just read the book steal like an artist over the last few days and read it thinking about my passion in life: teaching
The book isn’t really a book. More like a bunch of index cards that have good life ideas. This book isn’t just for artists, it’s for everyone who wants more creativity in their life.
Thinking about teaching and this book, well the title goes against a tent of teaching which is, not to steal. I have to constantly explain the importance of citations to students as they want to copy and paste images, pictures and facts like bandits. Kleon explained that nothing is original, everything has been stolen from those that came before them.
The book says to find someone who is doing great thing and get to know all their work. The quote below really hit me as I think that if I see something, that I shouldn’t share it since it has already been done.
“Everything that needs to be said has been said, but since no one is listening everything must be said again” Andre Gide
Stealing in this way is a hard lesson to swallow in education, especially k-8 education. I think their is a lot of value to finding good sources and duplicating the info or ideas in your own way! This is how you can find your voice and the people are the dots the brought you to where you are.
I liked this book so much that I decided to buy his other books as well as undertake some of the ideas in the book. For now I’m getting into to leave you with this graphic about the central points of the book. I will expand upon it in another post.
Playing video games or sports are examples of where we persist. We never give up because we get frustrated and want the notoriety of beating the game, or scoring the game winning goal. It is competitiveness and it is the way we are wired. So, use that to your advantage as a teacher when talking with your students!
I started talking about Odell Beckham Jr. (a favorite among most middle school football fans) and his famous catch. It is ridiculous. The sports world went crazy for how impossible this catch was. Afterwards, when the dust settled from this amazing touchdown, we realized that it wasn’t luck. It was a skill that he has been developing for a long time.
I took a ball and passed it back and fourth with a student gingerly. Asking the class if we are going to make a crazy catch like that. Of course not! We’re not testing ourselves. We’re not trying new things, not practicing running and catch, or defending the pass from the defender(he was also fouled on the play). What about the one handed catch?
I then showed the catch to the students… They all loved it.See it below.
Afterwards we talked about the catch, it’s insane! Talked about how it could be luck, but then I showed my students this video.
He is still practicing his one handed catches. Something he knows he needs to work on to be the best receiver he can be.
What can you do work on? What have you failed at that you need to get better? What is something that you failed at first, that you worked on to be successful?
Hands flew up. Many sports stories about goalies letting in easy goals to hockey skating skills. I want students to see that they already have a growth mindset in some areas, you just need to tap that drive to compete and be successful and harness it for other areas of your life.
This week in my technology classes I have been trying to explain what it takes to have a growth mindset to my students. I have done this in the past as a few inspirational speeches but I’ve tried a few things this week that I think are helpful to teaching this awesome outlook on life. First up is Letting your students fail.
I’ll say it again, let them fail.
We love to tell students and then let them practice this new skill before we let them experience life before we (hopefully) brought new knowledge into their lives. For growth mindset teaching to students, I think it is important to show students first that they might fail while trying an assignment. So, you might let your students try an activity with vague directions, or no directions at all. This might be hard and confusing for students, so don’t let this go on for very long. Then stop the class, talk about failures and successes, what worked? What didn’t? Focus on how failure can help your students learn what not to do on the road to learning the correct process!
I thought hard about failure this week and it is really a great thing, it shows our students what doesn’t work. Sometimes, it is frustrating, but it is another rung on the ladder of success. Try to celebrate those times when a student fails, then decides to use that information to a new academic or relationship success!