To help encourage conversations and dialogue about the importance of slowing down and making time for our interests, our topic/question for the dinner table is: What are some areas of interest you would like to spend more time learning or exploring? Making Time (Week of 12/9/18) (This is an anonymous Google Form)
Blake's Guiding Lights
Blake's Core Values: Respect, Responsibility, Resourcefulness, Reflection
Our Essential Question: How can we cultivate and curate the progression of student learning and growth?
Our Mission: Blake Middle School believes in a living mission statement, based on the concept that our community seeks and respects knowledge, integrity, character, wisdom, and the willingness to adapt to a continually evolving world.
We enjoyed a festive weekend, getting together with friends both Friday and Saturday night to celebrate the holiday season. I am not a ‘social butterfly’ and definitely experience some anticipatory social angst, but these annual get-togethers with friends are always nice and centering in many ways. They are also great opportunities for me to stretch myself a bit out of my comfort zone! We also enjoyed basketball games with the boys and I was glad to find/make time for some morning runs - something I neglected to do this past week.
As one who often makes excuses for not ‘finding/making time’, I came across this quote from Brené Brown this week and it really spoke to me...
- What keeps me up at night is how people feel
- It’s everyone’s responsibility to create a healthy climate
- Emotions always have a seat at the table
- It is a disservice to find the ‘quick tool’ to delve into emotional intelligence
- Emotions are driving people’s thought processes
- Emotions drive engagement
- We grossly underestimate the roles of emotion in regulation
- We need to understand how our emotions and feeling interact with our personalities
- Introverts and Extroverts need different support systems - we need to understand who we are
- ‘It’s all about the feelings’
Although I do believe I am one who does take a lot of time to think about feelings and social/emotional learning and how they connect with the greater scope of our actions and environment, I also know that I can often ignore aspects within my own development. I do not think that is an uncommon phenomenon - ‘we’ can all often give advice better than follow it for ourselves. With these ideas in mind I am sharing a post about the ‘benefits of procrastination’ and a sampling of responses from last week’s question - both have helped me to reflect on a deeper level and they may do the same for others...
Why Procrastination Can Be Good (Unless You Want To Be Productive)
This post is an edited transcript of a conversation with journalist Andrew Santella, author of Soon: An Overdue History of Procrastination, from Leonardo and Darwin to You and Me. As one who does not like to put things off or procrastinate, I sometimes have the ‘opposite’ challenge - slowing it down and actually allowing myself to procrastinate! It is an interesting read/listen.
It’s interesting to find that even great thinkers could become a little more understandable to us, a little more accessible to us, even to regular schmoes like me, because we all share that pretty human tendency to put off the things that we dread doing….When it comes to creative thinking and problem-solving, there’s no one efficient path to follow. Sometimes the ideas will come to you when you least expect it, and sometimes ideas will come to you when you’re doing anything to avoid them.
It might seem easy to blame information technology for our tendency to procrastinate, but one of the history lessons of procrastination is that people have been finding ways to put off what they don’t want to do for as long as there have been things to do. It long predates the internet. It long predates my Twitter account.
I would take issue with the premise of productivity tools and productivity in general. I think procrastination is something that we should tolerate and try to understand better. If we try to use it as a way to get things done, then we’re just falling prey to the same sort of devotion to efficiency that doesn’t work for us in the first place. I think we should listen to the procrastination, try to understand what it’s trying to tell us about ourselves, try to reflect honestly about what we’re putting off and why we’re putting it off. That might help us understand what really matters to us and how we can get things done better and more quickly...I hope that they’ll be more tolerant of procrastination in others and in themselves. We’re all human. We’re all wrestling with the same demons. So, that’s the first thing: a plea for tolerance for the world’s procrastinators. And I would ask them to embrace and understand the history of procrastination.
Topic/Question (Week of 12/2/18): What can we do as a school community to help students better understand themselves?
- We can challenge them to see how they are similar to others
- Answer questions
- We need to explicitly teach learning strategies and give students numerous opportunities to reflect on the skills they have and the deficits that they still need to address.
- Mirror them. Repeat what they say and put it in the context where it may belong. Maybe have students mirror the teacher...(in communication or expression), to understand how we are viewed by students.
- Give more exploratory lessons in our classes so students can experience different aspects of a subject.
- Having lots of things to do that they are passionate about
- We can give compliments and encourage students that they are good at what they do so they can become more confident and sure of themselves.
- Give positive feedback
- Take time for students to reflect on their learning and seek their input about what kind of learners they are.
I look forward to the work that lies ahead for all of us.
Enjoy the week and take care.