Friday, January 21, 2011

Think Big

I've struggled to add to my blog over the holidays. I think my brain has enforced an imposed vacation to give itself time to recover from 2010.
I have been working on a few things for the new year though, and one of them is this year's production of 'Seussical'. The production isn't actually part of my assigned workload and so I guess I should be prioritising it below the staff rosters, the timetable and organising the start of year PD days but as I've mentioned previously, it's one of my favourite things to do and so I'm indulging myself by listening to the score over and over until it's inculcated and I've become a part time resident of Solla Sollew.

Each time we do a new play I try to connect to the story and characters in some way, to immerse myself in the story so that the kid's will 'feel' and believe the storyline when I help tell it to them.This time I've found an immediate affinity with two of the characters because I discovered that Horton and Jojo are thinkers! And so am I. Indeed the amount of thinks I have is astounding and like Jojo, they often get me into trouble.

Recently I did this quiz and it told me I was a visionary 'crazy maker' and that my inability to manage so many different projects may be adding to the workload of those around me.I think it was suggesting that I should shed some activities, lose some thinks in order to see more of them through without creating chaos for those I work with. I also read this post by Will Richardson about rethinking our online time and that created more thinking and more worrying. I agree with so much of what he's saying but I can't quite reconcile that with the burning desire to read everything, to follow every link, to try every new program. We live in a wonderful age, it's an exciting time to be an educator and I want to soak up and share every bit of it! It's a conundrum, but it's a problem I've decided to ignore for the time being.

Instead, one of my new year resolutions is to encourage more thinks. I am going to stand up for my right to think.I am going to stand up for my right to encourage kids to think. I will not sacrifice thinks for test scores (although I promise I will pay due attention to teaching persuasive text and I'll do my best to improve their spelling, provided great word choice remains their priority!). I will not be bound by or bow down to the staus quo or the 'historical' routines or a limiting curriculum that focuses on content rather than context. I will encourage and support staff at my school to try new ideas and dip their toes in the amazing networking possibilities of social media. I will no longer accept the 'I'm no good with technology' statement from teachers and I will be resilient in the face of criticism from luddites and digital dinosaurs.
'People are people, no matter how small' and our students deserve to be given access to the sort of
technology and the ways of thinking they'll need in their adult lives.If they are going to save the world instead of destroying it, then they need to collaborate with their peers all over the world. They need to develop skills to solve problems rather than create them. So, as Jojo says, 'I will think and think until I drop', and if that makes hard work for myself and others, so be it, because in the immortal words of Dr Seuss,
 "Anything is Possible'.
If anyone out there has some ideas on how to manage my thinks, I'd love to hear from you.


  1. I love the post and it resonates with me. I do too much linking on line and not enough thinking. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. This is a powerful post. If only so many educators thought and acted like you. All the best with 2011.

  3. Thanks Anne. May your 2011 also be full of 'thinks' :-)