I've got three things to celebrate - thanks to readers of Shift This!
I was reading a blog post about global connections and grades (or lack thereof) from a "new" connection I've made on Twitter recently - Monte Syrie. At the bottom of his post, he writes,
Do. Reflect. Do better.
That struck a chord with me. Reflection is such a HUGE part of my learning, teaching me so much. I learn more from my failures than from my successes - as long as I reflect and plan how to tweak (or ditch)! I retweeted his post, and then told him -
Bam. He hit me again. "Lucky to work in a prof. that gives me the opportunity to redo."
Some days we may be kicking ourselves for what we tried - and how we failed - in a classroom of students. And then... then we have the opportunity to reflect, revise, and redo...
...JUST AS WE ASK OUR STUDENTS TO DO.
If you are not yet reflective in your practice, it's time to begin. Begin right away, so you can learn from your successes and failures TODAY. This can come in the form of simply thinking, making bullet points, filling in plus/delta charts, journaling, or blogging. If we want our students to be reflective, we've got to reflect ourselves, share our reflections, and support a community of learners.
A large publisher of educational books contacted me in 2015, asking me to write an outline for them for a book about Genius Hour. Hmmm... That had been done - a few times by then, and even more by now. The list is growing, and I keep it on the LiveBinder here.
So I wrote an outline about what trying Genius Hour did for my classroom... and they said that wasn't what they were looking for. I was told I could write a blog post for their website. Harumph.
I had shared the first part of the story with my students, so I had to update them on this disappointment. They threw my words back at me... "If it's something you want to do, you should do it anyway." They had a point. So I kept going. Why not?!
In August of 2016, I had a revelation of sorts, and I was almost finished with this book about shifts I'd made since implementing Genius Hour. It felt like a huge blog post about how I've changed so many parts of our classroom as a result of handing over one hour a week to my students. I thought of Dave & Shelley Burgess... And I thought, "The worst they can say is 'No.'"
And now it's here. After months of going through the editing process (such great lessons for me that I was able to share with my students!!), and multiple nights wondering, "Is it good enough?"... it has arrived on Amazon.
If you're reading the book, please connect with me through a blog post or your thoughts in an email. I'd love to add your ideas to the website, so others can learn from YOU! Let's keep the conversation going so we can shift learning back to our students!
And here's Dave Burgess's version of what you can find in Shift This!
This post is cross-posted at my blog - geniushour.blogspot.com