Sunday, February 23, 2014

Navigation to Happiness and Success

As a parent, educator, and now, grandparent, I find myself constantly trying to connect the dots on guiding children, adults, and myself to happiness and success. The first big dots for me were listening to Sir Ken Robinson at an NAIS annual conference and hearing and reading Mihaly Csikszentmihaly's theory of Flow; then these other dots followed . . .

It was Paul Tough's How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character andThomas Friedman's op-ed piece "How to Get a Job at Google" in today's NYTimes that provided the mental pencil for me to actually draw the lines between the dots.

Don't worry if you have not read or watched my "dots" mentioned above, but do take five minutes to read Friedman's article, and you will see what I mean when it comes to arriving at happiness and success—not by academic achievement but—by all of the other difficult-to-quantify characteristics, i.e. perseverance, empathy, critical thinking, curiosity, impulse control, . . .

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Developing a Passion for Writing

While I personally love to write, I have always worked on encouraging other educators to write. It is such an important part of our craft . . . to be good writers. "Developing a Passion for Writing" is an article I wrote that was recently published in the Parents League of New York Review 2014 with the intent on helping all educators to write.

As a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the American Montessori Society's Montessori Life magazine, the Editorial Board of NAIS's Independent Teacher, and a former chair of the Editorial Board of NAIS's Independent School magazine, I can highly recommend to educators these publications along with the Parents League Review as places to submit your writing for consideration. Go ahead, do it now.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Virtual Choir?

I happened upon Eric Whitacre and his choral works, putting thousands of voices together to form a world-wide chorus. The best explanation is for you to see and hear "Lux Aurumque," one of his pieces sung by 185 voices from 12 countries using 243 videos.

To learn more about this wonderful composer, click over to his TED Talk - "Eric Whitaker: A virtual choir 2,000 voices strong." BTW, he will be a keynote speaker at this year's NAIS Annual Conference in Orlando, FL.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Triple Package of Success

JI Lee - NYTimes
I wrote about success in my article "Is Good Best" back in 2003. Here is an excellent similar article that recently appeared in the NYTimes.

"What Drives Success?" by Amy Chua (the infamous Tiger Mom) and Jed Rubenfeld (her husband) posits ". . . the strikingly successful groups in America today share three traits that together, propel success. The first is a superiority complex — a deep-seated belief in their exceptionality. The second appears to be the opposite — insecurity, a feeling that you or what you've done is not good enough. The third is impulse control."

The article goes on to say "But research shows that perseverance and motivation can be taught, especially to young children." Check out Angela Duckworth's work and her TED Talk that confirm this.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Pay It Forward

I never knew what that expression meant until I saw the 2000 movie Pay It Forward with Haley Joel Osment, Helen Hunt, and Kevin Spacey. It is such a great concept for us to do for one another but more importantly to model the concept for our students and children.

Here is a beautiful short StoryCorps piece that sends the same message. Hear Thomas Weller's short story.