Friday, January 19, 2018

Teaching Tip #87


Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #87

One of the best summer reads for me last summer was George Corous’ The Innovator’s Mindset.  Throughout the book he has questions for discussion.  I’ll use some here for my teaching tips.

How might you create an environment that fosters risk-taking?

College Comp 2 – students can revise every single paper.  So there is no excuse – other than laziness – for them not to get an A.  Now, that they are assured of their precious little “A,” let’s get down to doing something interesting and risky.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Teaching Tip #86





Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #86

One of the best summer reads for me last summer was George Corous’ The Innovator’s Mindset.  Throughout the book he has questions for discussion.  I’ll use some here for my teaching tips.

What risk might you take to change learning experiences?

I think we always take risks when it comes to this.  I would take any risk necessary.


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Teaching Tip #85


Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #85

One of the best summer reads for me last summer was George Corous’ The Innovator’s Mindset.  Throughout the book he has questions for discussion.  I’ll use some here for my teaching tips.

What questions do you think are vital to understanding those who we serve in education?

  • How do you learn best?
  • How can you best demonstrate mastery of the skills I’m teaching you?
  • How can I push you (safely) outside of your comfort zone?
  • How can I catch you doing something right?



Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Teaching Tip #84





Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #84

One of the best summer reads for me last summer was George Corous’ The Innovator’s Mindset.  Throughout the book he has questions for discussion.  I’ll use some here for my teaching tips.

What has changed in our world today that not only makes innovation easier to do, but is also necessary for our students?

Social media and instant connection.

I know I’m still in the minority here, but social media and using cell phones has transformed how I teach and my effectiveness.
Literally, on a given school day, I will have a student text me at 4:00 about an assignment.  I’ll harass them some about being a nerd and doing their homework in the afternoon.  Then they’ll text me that they have to do it then because they work from 5-11 at Laundry Land.  Then I feel like an idiot.  Then I’ll get a text from another student who is on the bus to an away game looking for some clarification on a question.  Then I’ll get one from a student who is doing their homework at 7 (a traditional time for me when I was in school).  Finally, around 10:30 I’ll get two more texts from students coming home on the bus.

Students are learning all the time.  Why shouldn’t I do my best to be there for them?

In fact, that’s one of the things students love most about my classes.  Last spring Kora asked me what I was giving up for Lent.

“My cell phone in the afternoons, “ I said.  “I’m going to come home and put it in a drawer and stay off it all day.”

“But what about your students???? What if students have questions?” Kora asked, alarmed.

“My wife already brought that up,” I said.  “I’ll just check it and text back.  But I will be off an apps and off of social media in the evenings.”

But what about your students?  I love that Kora thought of that right away.


Friday, January 12, 2018

Teaching Tip #83


Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #83

One of the best summer reads for me last summer was George Corous’ The Innovator’s Mindset.  Throughout the book he has questions for discussion.  I’ll use some here for my teaching tips.

What is an example of a practice that you consider to be innovative? How is it new or better than what you did before?

For me, it's Google Drive and feedback for student writers.  This has transformed not only how I teach, but it has made me a far more effective teacher of writing for my College Comp one students.

Right now I'm home with my daughter who is ill, but I am still in contact with my College Comp class as they revise their literary analysis. Thanks to Google Drive.

Likewise, when students are struggle to come up with ideas for an essay, I can drop in on their document and give them ideas to get them started.

This has totally transformed how I teach writing.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Teaching Tip #82



Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #82

Teachers have to be active life long learners . . . in front of their classes.

So true.  This is one reason I am always writing with and in front of my classes.  This is one reason I tweet and blog about the books I’m constantly reading.  This is one reason I love visiting with colleagues in the halls in front of students.

I want every single one of my students to be passionately curious, life-long learners.  That is what I’ve grown into, and that is what I have to model.



Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Teaching Tip #81




Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #81

How can we take advantage of this generation’s strong entrepreneurial genes?

One of the books from my summer reading list a few years ago was Generation iY Tim Elmore.

Finally, this generation has a strong desire to be entrepreneurial.

Now I think this is great.  As Godin, Ramsey, Vaynerchuk and many, many more have noted this is the best time to go into business.  

First, there are more problems to solve than every before.  You want to start a gym to help the majority of our population (your’s truly included) who are fat and need to lose weight.  Go ahead.  You want to start a website that democratized commerce (as ebay did and as Etsy is doing now too).  Go ahead.  You want to start a business repairing cracked iPod, iPhone, and iPad screens (as one of our former cleaners did for awhile).  Go ahead.  The tools are there.  And most of those tools are free.  

Second, people are just waiting to buy the thing they never knew they actually needed.   Twenty years ago who knew we needed bottled water?  A George Foreman grill?  Essential oils? Supplements?  Digital music.  Or phones we keep in our pockets and never even talk on?

Third, the old school jobs – the baker, the plumber, the electrician, the handy man or carpenter, aren’t going away any time soon.  In fact, when I need a plumber, it was all I could do to find one who could squeeze a small job like mine into their schedules.  The same was true for when I needed gutters installed on my house after it was resided.  There are still a ton of opportunities for students who want to go into these fields.