- Put the people, partnerships, and possibilities of better first, always. Then projects. Then technology. Then Twitter.
- Model radical vulnerability and transparency in the classroom, in the community, in the coffee shop, in the tiny purple ed tech coach office. Be a person, not a teacher/principal/job title.
- Keep on talking (and tweeting) about all the things — but really work on listening more. Listen to more student voices, listen to more teacher voices; become an empathetic listener of the learning revolution. None of us are alone — let’s stop acting like we are and start with really trying to hear what others are saying.
- Amplify the voices. Use the head and heart to get more people talking about what matters, use the technology to get more people listening.
- Intensify the why of it all. There is so much potential for so much more in so many. A little more emphasis and intensity won’t hurt. Keep amping it up. Keep sharing things that make you pumped!
- Co-create spaces where real learning is happening and is owned by the learner — not the lecturer. Genuine leaders of their own learning. Life hack the classroom. Real voice. Real choice. Real learning.
- Jam out whilst having a few more tiny purple office dance parties to celebrate the small wins. Small wins matter and they deserve jams, dance moves, and instagram posts. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of a little better.
- Jump a little more. Take a few more leaps rather than checking out all the awesome possibilities from the ledge.
- Keep asking why. A whole lot more asking why. Finding why. And acting on why.
- Make more things (mistakes included). Model failure. Model trying again. And again. Write more things. Share more things. Support students and teachers in doing the same — over and over again until we get somewhere else. Lessons learned are not steps in the wrong direction if we’re actually learning.
I just finished Austin Kleon’s book Steal Like An Artist 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative (for the second time.) I think I would read it everyday if I could. Of course, then I wouldn’t get anything done creatively (or otherwise) but I do love the book that much so I suggest you read it. More importantly than that I suggest you act on it.
I have a copy in my classroom window that I throw (or rather, lightly toss) at various students when they get stuck or just need a little space to break free from the walls of their brain – and classroom. I also have a copy for myself that has my own hopes, ideas, fears, freak outs! and questions written in the margins. The latter copy has gotten a lot more attention this summer. As I re-read Kleon’s work I found myself aligning his ideas about what it means to be a creative being and artist in today’s world to what it means to be an educator and learner of today and I’m writing to let you all know that nobody needs to worry…I figured it all out: You are an artist.
I’ve been obsessed with the idea of art and artistry in the education world for awhile. See, Seth Godin argues that art is the thing. He states that “art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates change in another” and he goes on to say that “an artist is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo. And an artists takes it personally.”
Every educator I know that is really doing the work fits this criteria ten fold.
You are an artist. And guess what, your students are too. So lets all starting acting like it.
Until then, please continue to be brave and take it personally. And by all means go create something because that is what we do – and that is what we all need. You’re ready.
dear grammar people: I am aware of my outrageous display and poor usage of exclamations points and dashes in this post. Just do your best to deal with it. I’m letting my freak flag fly. Thanks.