Believing You Are Great Leaves Very Little Room for Improvement.


The idea for this blog came to me after reading a comment left on an entry called “Perception”.

It got me thinking why educators and schools are sometimes the last to know they may not be as perfect as they want to believe.I Need This Poster.

I’m not judging, I’m just saying. 

This is an easy trap.

It can happen to administrators, teachers, custodians, cooks, school boards, parents, athletes, students and entire school districts (is there anyone I didn’t insult???).

Most of us like to believe we are self-motivated (if this was true, I wouldn’t need an alarm clock… or a scale).

And most of us are motivated.

Up to a point.

Then not so much.

The point our self-motivation fails us is when things get really hard.

It’s difficult to do things that are uncomfortable (or new).

I think this is one of the reasons it’s taken so long for technology to be taught by classroom teachers.

It can be hard (ie: new).  And confusing.  Even worse, it opens up the possibility the teacher may not be the smartest person in the classroom.

Many of us also believe the organization in which we are members is far greater than it actually is.

If you are involved with a group of people who are consistently telling each other they are great, you start to believe it.

None of us want to think we need to continually improve, but we do.

We all need help to accomplish great things.  To do our best.  To do things we could have never imagined.

It’s impossible to push ourselves to our limits (if that was the case the Marines wouldn’t need Sergeants).

Most of us think we are working as hard as possible.

We believe we are improving on a daily basis and giving at least a 110% effort (except on Fridays and days before holidays… those don’t count).

The truth is we probably aren’t.

That’s where we need help.

Other people (or outsiders) can recognize areas in which we need to improve.

That’s why we need coaches, bosses, mentors, and professional development.

We may not want people telling us we aren’t as great as we think we are, but it’s definitely what we need.

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Blogging Makes You Smarter.


Every so often, I try to write(?) a blog that encourages (or shames) educators to embrace (or a least try) technology.

While I don’t know if I’ve made any headway, I’m not willing to give up.

Most school administrators don’t know jack about technology (we could have a longer conversation about what else administrators don’t know, but this is a family blog and we need to watch our language).

I point this out because I would include myself in this group.  Most of us learn the basics, but we are hesitant to delve any deeper into the ever-changing world that involves computers (and other iStuff).

Show us how our email works, explain the basics of Excel, hook up a projector so we can present a bad PowerPoint with far too many words, and maybe even sign us up for a Facebook or Twitter account (this last one is just an example because I realize most administrators are frightened of being Tweeted).

Oh, I almost forgot cell phones.This is a School Administrator Before They Started a Blog.

We need our phones.

Sort of.

We only know how to use 12% of their capability, but we know we need them.

Since administrators find cell phones confusing (and frightening), we try to keep them out of our schools.

I not sure why we are against students bringing mini-computers (that their parents paid for) to school, but we are… and it’s not up for discussion.

This lack of understanding and interest in technology is disturbing.

We are educators after all.

We went to college so we could teach the future, not the past (I hate the “teach the future” phrase, but it seems to fit here).

Yet we continue to ignore technology.

This may be a generational issue.  It could be a question of ambition.  It’s probably something that I don’t understand (again… administrators… we aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer).

Whatever it is, I shouldn’t complain too much.

For the last 3 years, I’ve benefited from being one of the few administrators who blog.

There are certainly others, but most have been unable to combine my complete lack of understanding of the English language, with just a hint of sarcasm (like the last 5 words), and an almost perverse ability to blog on a consistent basis.

What can I say, it works for me.

When I say I’ve benefited, I don’t mean financially.

Blogging doesn’t pay the bills.  Or a single bill now that I think about it.

But it has given me opportunities.

More opportunities than I could have imagined.

The greatest thing about blogging… it makes you smarter.

Way smarter.

Granted, I started out in the deep end of the dumb pool but blogging has broadened my understanding of education.

And what superintendent or principal doesn’t need an upgrade in intelligence (I will give the teachers reading this a moment to compose themselves as they wipe away the tears of laughter)?

Blogging is free professional development at your kitchen table (or wherever you choose to type… I’m not here to judge).

No college class required.  No long drive to a workshop that might not be terrible.  You don’t even have to try and find a mentor (which is the French word for “someone who doesn’t want to see you fired”).

It’s simple.  You blog.  People read it.  Then they tell you what a moron you are.

This is how you learn and broaden your perspective (it’s a form of tough love).

It’s great.

And so informative.

I think every administrator should blog and become part of a larger discussion on education.

I also think people fear they may say (or type) something they will regret later.

Possibly.

But the reward of what you can learn far outweighs the risk (really, what is the downside from learning more stuff from more people?).

And the students are worth it.

PowerPoint will only take you so far (even if you use 105 slides with really small font).

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Disclaimer

While this site operates with the knowledge and awareness of the Tuscola CUSD #301 School Board, Tuscola, Illinois, the content and opinions posted here may or may not represent their views personally or collectively, nor does it attempt to represent the official viewpoint of Tuscola CUSD #301 administrators or employees.