Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Apple Icon Steve Jobs

Two resources you might find interesting about the former Apple CEO:

1) "The Ten Commandments of Steve"

2) This is his commencement address to the Class of 2005 at Stanford University. At the least, listen to the first of his three stories.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mistakes & Failure and Grit & Success - Part III

How can our children understand failure if they're afraid to stretch themselves to their potential?

T. S. Elliot said it well: "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go."

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mistakes & Failure and Grit & Success - Part II

How DO we measure whether one fails or succeeds?

Imagine a person failing 6 times out of 10 attempts and being considered a huge success. Read the inspiring
NYTimes article "Ted Williams's .406 Average Is More Than a Number."

BTW, failing 7 times out of 10 attempts can be pretty good, too.
I guess failure or success is often in the eyes of the beholder, so parents be kind when your kids fail.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mistakes & Failure and Grit & Success - Part I

I have always thought of good classrooms as safe places to fail—students and adults. I expressed this back in the fall of 2008 when I wrote "Rethinking the 'F' Word."

Click over to this edutopia article "The Role of Mistakes in the Classroom" for another author's excellent take on mistake
making, and last week's NYTimes article "What if the Secret to Success is Failure" speaks to the importance of "grit" as an important piece of our children's character development.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Spud — A Must Read

Having spent 11 years teaching in junior boarding schools, I fell in love with the book Spud. It is a delightful young adult book filled with laugh-out-loud humor. Author John van de Ruit tells of 14-year old Spud's struggle into adolescence. The setting is a boys' boarding school, which is located in South Africa during its 1990 break from apartheid. Also, if you enjoy the music from the play Oliver, Spud plays the lead in his school play, and you can follow the challenges he faces along with the wonderful Dickens characters.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Guide-on-the-Side OVER Sage-on-the-Stage Teaching

I loved the front page NYTimes article "In Classroom of Future, Stagnant Scores." Here is the sentence that caught my attention:

"The digital push here aims to go far beyond gadgets to transform the very nature of the classroom, turning the teacher into a guide instead of a lecturer, wandering among students who learn at their own pace on Internet-connected devices."

Is this what happens in your (child's) classroom?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Brain Plasticity III - Fast ForWord

After reading The Brain That Changes Itself and learning about the work of Dr. Michael Merzenich, I came away with a better understanding of how the brain works and techniques that can help children in their work and development. An intervention produced by Scientific Learning developed the program Fast ForWord. Take five minutes to view this neat video.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Brain Placticity II - Dr. Doidge

Our faculty book group finished Doidge's book and a beautiful discussion on The Brain That Changes Itself. Neuroplasticity and brain mapping are fascinating topics that provide so much hope for the future. Listen to Dr. Doidge yourself.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Brain Plasticity I - The Brain That Changes Itself

I was first introduced to the concept of brain plasticity when I read JoAnn Deak's Your Fantastic Elastic Brain. And the work of Carol Dweck and her book, Mindset, talk about the idea that intelligence can grow. For me, both authors helped to dispel the myth that the brain is "hard-wired" and unchangeable.

Well, for my summer
professional reading, I happened to choose The Brain That Changes Itself by Dr. Norman Doidge.

Here are several of many stories in the book that you can read, and I guarantee you that if you read them, you will want to read the whole book:
  1. Cheryl Schiltz (page 1)
  2. Pedro Bach-y-Rita (page 20)
  3. Willy Arbor (page 72)
  4. Nicole von Ruden (page 150)
  5. Emma (page 174)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Independent Teacher

Independent Teacher is an excellent resource for teachers.

Here is the opening of its mission:

"Independent Teacher is an electronic journal that publishes articles on curriculum and pedagogy, across all grades and disciplines, of particular interest to independent school teachers. It is our hope and intention to promote lively discussion and debate about education that will be useful and interesting to independent school educators."

Click over to read some of the articles.

Better yet, click on the "Submissions" link and see what you need to do to have your own article published.