Microsoft Innovative Educator

Microsoft Innovative Educator

Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Dip

Let's play a game of "Have You Ever"! Have you ever been teaching something to your students and inadvertently learned something yourself? Well, it happened to me just the other day (I'm sure it's not the only time). My class was watching the final episodes of the ClassDojo Growth Mindset Series when I encountered one of those "Aha" moments. By the way, if you have not seen the video series, be sure to check them out. Even if you are not a ClassDojo member, they are available on YouTube. Now, back to my story: This Blog Is Why I dedicate my future success to ClassDojo, Katie, Mojo, and The Dip (And I cannot forget about my personal life coach/consultant)!

This post almost went in a completely different direction. The title would be something like "Rejection". The people in my 'real' life know that my desire is to advance my career and move to the next level. That of course means countless hours with applications, resume updates, interviews, etc. During the process, it gets difficult when rejection letters come in the mail, the phone doesn't ring, or it does ring with the news that "we have decided to go with another candidate". Just like Katie, I was accustomed to reaching my goals more easily. Not reaching the desired outcome can take its toll. Especially when you put in so much hard work. The Dip.

And like a bolt of lightning, the words in Episode 3--"The Big Show"--hit me like a jolt. Wow! Here was Mojomas Edison celebrating his failures. Those failures were key for him to learn new ways to improve. And the kicker: "The most certain way to succeed is to try one more time." Now these ideas were not new to me, but the idea of enjoying my moment in The Dip---yes, that was new. I started thinking about all of the great people that I have met, just because I'm in this Dip. I accomplished things in The Dip that I may not have attempted otherwise. Because of The Dip,  I am reflecting and improving. And everyone goes through The Dip at one time or another. So, of course, I cannot give up. I must try one more time.

Not only am I learning, but so are my students. I am impressed with the conversations that they have as a result of learning more about growth mindset through the video series. Below I will share some statements from my 1st graders after watching the final episode:
Translation: "It doesn't matter if you are in the dip. You just got to keep learning!"

Translation: "[But] you got to think so you can get out of the dip. Do it again to get better."

Translation: "Well she (Katie) learned that she needs to think more and reflect more. Well she learned that keep trying until you get it right."

Yes, my kiddos are amazing! I could be biased. What do you think?

Sunday, April 3, 2016

What Do You Fear?

As a child, there were many things that I feared like the dark, thunderstorms (even the warnings that flashed across the television), and Big Foot (or "The Foot" as my mom says I called it). I appreciate those fears, because they help me to empathize with others who have a true fear of something. One thing I know is that you cannot make a fear go away by simply telling that person to "stop being scared" because for them their fears are very real. Does that mean you can never overcome a fear? Of course not. Experiences, time, or maybe learning new facts can all help someone to face or overcome their fears. Some fears may last a lifetime, some only a short time. There is no magic formula. This Blog Is Why sometimes, you must simply step out on faith.

I mentioned my fears as a child and now, as an adult, I still have fears. New fears. Different fears. Real fears. Fears that sometimes may hold me back from pursuing real dreams. There are days and times when I am fearless, brave, and a risk-taker. Those attributes definitely exist inside of me. They drive me everyday in my quest to pursue my passions as a life-long learner. But, it's the fear that frustrates me. Last summer, my biggest fan/critic started taking me out to "The Overlook" to watch planes as they landed and departed from the airport. I love it! Such a beautiful sight. It's relaxing too. But, I still have a fear of getting on one of the planes and flying. At one time in my life, it wasn't such a big deal. But now, it could mean missed opportunities. I know one day, I'll do it. In the meantime, I find myself only attending conferences or writing proposals for conferences that are close (within driving distance). With each passing day, there is a passion that grows inside of me to expand my horizons, face this fear, and open the door to new opportunities. It makes me think about all of the foods that I didn't eat as a child and now I LOVE. All I had to do was try it once. One day. Jet-Setter in the making!

What is your fear? What have you done to face or overcome it?