- “Well, I wish I could have talked with the teacher more about my idea to have a clear goal in mind. I just wrote and came to a conclusion.”
- “It’s good to ask questions, figure out what you could do better, then do it. Don’t be passive.”
- How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough, which I picked up in an airport this past summer, read on the ensuing flight, and promptly loaned out on arrival. (It also figured in the blog “Five Research-Driven Education Trends at Work in Classrooms” a colleague sent around a couple of weeks ago.) The subtitle says it all.
- Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell. Yes, I’m behind the curve on this one, but better late than never. Finished reading it this week. Fascinating ideas, including 10,000 hours to master something, a threshhold of genius, rice paddy foundation for math excellence, and the impact of culture on airplane safety. I’ve already had one staff lounge conversation with a colleague who noticed it on the top of my pile of books.
- Crucial Accountability: Tools for Resolving Violated Expectations, Broken Commitments, and Bad Behavior by Patterson, Grenny, Maxfield, McMillan, and Switzler. I’m involved in group of staff people meeting weekly for 6 times to discuss this book. Just this week we discussed chapter 4: “Make It Motivating: How to Help Others Want to Take Action.” The principle of placing the focus on long term benefits is probably the most frequent classroom application.
So how does that come back to my classroom? I’m going to make sure I get a chance to conference with student #1 during the writing of our next paper. I’m going to work harder to touch base with all the quiet students. And I’m going to think about how I can target teaching not just the writing process and skills, but the life attitude of asking questions, figuring out what you could do better, then doing it. Not being passive.