Hubris to Humility: Practical Rebellion is Born

When we are good at something, we have a certain level of hubris. I know mine, rears its ugly head at times. When we put in our 10,000 hours, we often carry the audacity and chutzpah, like a badge of honor. We whisper to ourselves, "I am now an expert." What does expertise mean? Competency, proficiency, readiness. But, for many, it becomes a certain level of finesse and mastery, that often leads to self-importance. A sense of completion that can leave one stale and stagnate. If one feels they have conquered the beast, they raise shield and sword, as if to say I am undefeated.
A reinvention need not occur. Simply, a recognition of this presumption, is all that is required, to break through the ostentation. A mirror, is only bad luck if it is broken. If held up to reflect our flaws and see our strengths, it is personal wizardry, causing a shift in perspective. There is no magic moment, where this transformation takes place. The false confidence and determination, slowly gets di…

Prolonged Phase of Inertia: Overcoming the Drag

The Big Bang
As a child, growing up with Dyslexia, in the 1970's, I did not find school fun. Nor, did learning come easy for me. The standard classroom set up was, desks in rows, teacher at the front lecturing, students taking notes, and then a worksheet for homework. This was pretty much a standard routine, in all of my classes. We had some labs in science, albeit, a cookie cutter one, with step by step instructions, leaving no room for deviation or discovery. This regiment of learning is exhausting for any child, even more so, for one struggling with Dyslexia.
I had to adjust to my disability quickly, my teachers were not going to repeat the notes and they expected me to take thorough ones. They checked them at the end of class. This generally put me in a tail-spin, because I was so focused on trying to take notes, that I missed 1/3 of everything they were saying. Needless to say, I didn't get good grades. I was a left-handed, Dyslexic student, sitting at a right-handed desk (…

Call Me Maybe? The Importance of Communication

Human Nature

We have all been guilty of it, at one time or another: miscommunication. We have all been at the receiving end as well. It is a part of human nature to speak, without thinking our thoughts through. We react quickly, far often more than we, slow down and process new information, before we respond. It is not only misperception and befuddlement that spoils an otherwise pleasant conversation. It is our ego-centric view. Our self-centeredness.
Yet, our personal approach of self-preservation is a necessary component of our humanity. So how can we avoid it? It is built into our survival instincts. We can’t entirely. We can lessen its stronghold, be more generous and self-less. But, for most of us, our survival instincts are permanent and thank goodness. But, with a concerted effort we can be more mindful of this and make adjustments accordingly.
Another aspect of human nature is communication. The need to be heard and understood is ingrained, so deeply within us, that when we becom…

Listening as a Student Not as a Teacher: The Glass becomes Clearer: The Light Gets More Focused (Part 3)

Listen as a student not as a teacher. See the reflection, diffraction and refraction, as they do. When we as educators slow our own wavelength, sit atop the crest and just observe, quietly, we see things we would never encounter otherwise. The glass becomes clearer, when we take the time to polish our craft. The light gets more focused when we design the learning environment, to be student-driven. When curiosity and desire is not planted but discovered, solidification occurs. When students are the light, guided by their own decisions, their wavelength strengthens and focuses. This is when true learning takes place. 

Let students know that you don’t have all the answers.
As teachers and parents, we all want what’s best for our children. Empowering students, letting them discover their own answers is important. But, just as critical, is teaching the skill to be able to communicate, their ideas to others. If we can get students curious about a topic, they will teach themselves more than we…

Diffraction of Light Rather than Refraction: Why Change is Better (Part 2)

Reflection, abrupt change in the direction of a wave that strikes the boundary between different mediums. Refraction is the change in direction of waves that occurs when waves travel from one medium to another. Diffraction is the bending of waves around obstacles and openings. -Webster's Dictionary

Waves of Ingenuity

To me students are waves. Waves of ingenuity. Waves of energy and persistence. Waves of determination and eagerness. They have a deep seeded desire, to learn and grow and they are both flexible and ductile. They peak and trough, expand their minds and slow their thoughts. Their perspectives change, their ideas bend and alter direction. Most importantly, they gather momentum and influence those around them. They can brighten any room. To me they are light waves, reflecting, refracting and diffracting between, around, and off of, every surface around them. They are the energy in the room. The impetus of progress. They simply need a smooth, conducive, surface from which, t…

The Shape of Windows: Curved or Flat, Perspective Changes (Part 1)

The Shape of the Landscape A classroom: four walls, a door, seats and tables. Enclosed, yet infinite. Protected from the elements, but open to the barrage of information and data available, to the world at large. Sifting through this assortment, of facts and inferences, opinions and viewpoints, can be a challenge. But, with a solid foundation, of the learning environment, the framework, to tackle this bombardment, will be in place. In place, to organize and dismantle the mound. There is no new knowledge, unavailable to students on Google, it is the interpretation and analysis that is important. This skill, students acquire, through collaboration and community, within a well-designed, student-driven classroom. The clarity of vision, sharpness of contrast and translucence, imagery and discovery, bring a sharpness, to this acquisition. The curve and cleanliness of the glass, through which students gaze, makes all the difference.
Curved Surface A curved aperture creates a breach, an opening …

The Framework of Sustenance: A Pie is More than Fruit and Crust

The Fibrous Nature of Things
To peel or not to peel, that is the question. To remove the fibrous layer or to let the coarse, pulpy skin help the produce, keep its shape and firmness, as it bakes. It may be the inside of the pie, the woody, wiry, mantle of deliciousness, yet it is the star. Thickness matters. Flavor matters. Tartness and consistency matters. A bark-like skin, will be tough and inedible. But, a thin, sweet dermis, will bring forth the juicy, liquid of nature. As it oozes out, it creates a semblance, of freshness and time. It requires the season, to mature and ripen. Only a moment to enjoy its nectar.
If the fruit loses its texture, the filling will be soft and mushy. If the crust does not have enough fat content, if it was not rolled our properly, it will not be flaky and buttery. It will be dry and crumbly. Flavor and taste, both emerge when the details are emphasized. When patience is given to the ingredients, the process and the assembly, perfection is more likely. Whe…