Teaching: Shoshin-Style

Update for Feb 8-11

Labeled for noncommercial reuse 

I went running Saturday without my running app, music, or device. I forgot to charge my old phone that I use just for running.

I was really bummed because I really enjoy listening to music as I run. I like knowing how far I’ve gone and what my current pace is. For a minute I wondered if I should run at all.

I ran anyway because it was just too beautiful outside. Sure it was 38 degrees, but a sunny day in February in Ohio is a rarity.

About a mile into my run I realized something that I probably knew deep down anyway, but became clear to me then. 

I realized that if you take away the music, if I take away the app, take away the device, and if I take away the little voice that keeps telling me how fast (or slow) I’m going, what I was left with is my determination and the path that lies before me. 

It made me think about where we are in education, how things are changing and how fast we are needing to change in order to keep up. 

Deep down we all know that constantly evolving as educators is something that needs to happen — Education is always changing. It’s just that this time, it’s a little bit more profound because the changes that we see in the world are more profound. Technology is increasing the rate at which people can access knowledge and that is causing parts of our lives to be more simplified, more personalized, and a lot more on demand. And our kids don’t know any different.

Some say we have to “let go” of a lot of things. That sounds scarier that it really is and it doesn’t help us accept change easier. I think it helps to take a Shoshin approach – to look at what we do now with a beginner’s eye. We need to form a different perspective on the work we do for kids. This enables us to see possibilities that we didn’t see before. And if we strip away our current perspective about our work, we are left with the teacher in the learner.  

What we do best is help others learn. Learning is universal. It’s in our DNA. Helping others learn is why we got into this profession. When we start at that point and build up, we can see the possibilities that we didn’t know existed.

I’ve gone through many pairs of shoes, three different earbuds, 3 different devices, and two different apps as a runner. What hasn’t changed for me is that in order to run, all it really takes is my commitment to putting one foot in front of the other. I take comfort in knowing that’s all I will ever need in order to keep running.

Take solace that amidst change in education in knowing that helping others learn will always be the constant.

Have a GREAT week!


Articles Worth Reading —

An Open Letter to Those Who Don’t Feel “Good Enough” http://www.marcandangel.com/2016/02/07/an-open-letter-to-those-who-dont-feel-good-enough/ via @marcandangel

“‘I’, ‘We’, and ‘You'” by Seth Godin http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2016/02/i-we-and-you.html

The Future of Jobs by Dr. Marschhausen http://www.hilliardschools.org/the-future-of-jobs/

Upcoming Events

Feb 8-11 February Conference Week 
Feb 10 — Conference Evening; Band/Orchestra Demos (10:30)
Feb 12 — Parent/Teacher Conference Comp Day, NO SCHOOL
Feb 15 — Presidents’ Day, NO SCHOOL
Feb 16 — Teacher Steering Committee Meeting @ ADE
Feb 20 — Family Fun Day, 10-3pm
Feb 23 — K (AM) & 1st Grade (PM) ½ Day Data Team Meeting
Feb 24 — 2nd Grade (AM) & 3rd Grade (PM) ½ Day Data Team Meeting

Feb 25 — 4th Grade (AM) & 5th Grade (PM) ½ Day Data Team Meeting

Mar 7 — ADE PTO Meeting, 7pm
Mar 7-11 — OLSAT (Gifted), Grades 1 to 5 by recommendation
Mar 9 — Spring Concert, 7pm, Bradley HS
Mar 15 — Hillard U Day! 
Mar 18 — Elementary Student Transfer Request Forms Due
Mar 18-24 — Spring Break — NO SCHOOL
Mar 25 — Holiday — NO SCHOOL

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