Week 6 IMMOOC Blog Prompt #1… give a shout out to 3 other blog posts that you have read from other participants.
Love it! I have really appreciated reading the blog posts of fellow #IMMOOCers over the last number of weeks! Here are a few that have stood out for me.
Blog Post 1- The ‘Not So” Secret Ingredient
This was one of the first blog posts I read as part of IMMOOC and it has stayed with me. Everything about it felt right and familiar from the start. The post eloquently highlights the importance of empathy as being the “glue” or “magic sauce” that holds everything together and is as the driving force in all that we do. Carolyn goes on to explore why empathy is “the most important ingredient in our classrooms and our lives.”
Carolyn then offers insight into how to foster a classroom environment that values empathy:
- Listen. Let’s truly listen to our students; our colleagues who share a difference in opinions; our leaders who hold different viewpoints. Listen for understanding and discuss with patience and love.
- Ask questions. We can’t know what something is like without probing and pondering the scenarios of which we have had no experience. Ask questions and then actively listen to the responses.
- Identify biases. Provide opportunity to recognize biases that exist in ourselves and our students. Model and encourage self reflection as a way to confront these biases.
In today’s context, it is essential that we create a culture that builds empathy in our classrooms and in all that we do. This “not so” secret ingredient is key to recognizing biases, giving us perspective and shaping our ability to truly understand the feelings of another. As Carolyn suggests, “let’s make building empathy in ourselves and others the focus of our work here on Earth. Doing so will create an environment where the other 7 innovative mindset characteristics can thrive”.
Blog Post 2: Reflection Isn’t for Wimps
Ashley Helms –@ash_helms
In this post, Ashley shares the many entry points to reflection and some of the challenges we face as educators when it comes to reflective practice. She states, “What is true every time, is that it (reflection) is different every time, and I have to be open to the reflective process. I am committed to being reflective-in my practice, in my parenting, in my relationships, in my life. What I know…is that I don’t have all the answers and I am not going to get it all right-but I am still learning…”
I couldn’t agree more. We must remain committed to the cause, and vigilant in our pursuit of meaningful reflection.
I have been thinking a lot about reflection as of late and considering why it is such a challenge for both students and educators. I truly appreciated the many metaphors Ashley used to unpack the forever shifting reality of reflection as well as its necessity.
Blog Post 3: When Strengths and Passions Collide
Lead, Learn,Grow- On a mission to share and inspire greatness in all of us.
Approaching learning using a strengths-based model, has always been a foundational piece of my own philosophy as an educator and a topic near to my heart. In her post, Jullian suggests that as a learner she is at her best when her strengths and passions collide. She created this matrix exploring this notion:
She makes this statement; “I created this to remind myself that just because adults or kids are good at something, does not necessarily mean that they are passionate about it.” This statement really resonated with me.
Strength ≠ Passion
Just because our students are good at something does not guarantee they are passionate about it. Just because our students demonstrate an aptitude or skill, does not mean they enjoy the process. For example, just because a student is a brilliant mathematician, does not necessarily translate into him or her wanting to spend countless hours doing more math formulas. For these students, their interests or passions may lie in something completely different or unrelated.
Interesting…. now it seems so obvious, yet I hadn’t really thought about it in such simple terms before. Seeing it laid out in the matrix and later as the equation I made above, left me thinking. Supporting our students as they build skills, and strengths are essential but so is giving students the opportunity to explore their individual interests, and passions, keeping in mind all of these pieces may not, and possibly even should not always align. Thank you to Jullian for the visual reminder and thought provoking post.