Thoughts for a Monday

I have been reading Linchpin – Are you indispensable? by Seth Godin.  He talks about the power in each of us to be leaders and to be the linchpin in our work, families, community, society, etc.  It is challenging because he talks about just taking responsibility for things that you feel need doing and doing them.  No permission, no hedging; just action where and when it is needed.

He also talks about being able to push past our reptile brain – the one that says to not take risks.  He talks about how whenever we feel most afraid or frustrated, we are probably on to something big.  Fear is what keeps us from doing great things.  Fear is what keeps us from being unique or creative or from just trying something new.  He says that the key to that problem is to just push on and do it.  Beat the fear.  Take a risk.  Because (as Seth Godin describes it) there is a cost to not doing so.

Are you willing to try this?  Try it on something small if you like, but I challenge you to try it.  Take a risk.

I’d love to hear how it turns out.


Assessment on My Mind

This weekend (and for the last week or so) I have been reading and thinking about assessment.  I have been thinking about what it looks like when you are doing inquiry.  I have been thinking about what it looks like when you are working on building a growth mindset.  However, one of the threads that keeps returning to me is the idea that if you have a good assessment in place you will be able to know what the goals were just based on the evidence you have collected.

So, this is intriguing to me.  If I showed someone who does not know our board improvement goals what evidence we are collecting and value, would they be able to determine the goals?  I fear not.  If not, what do I need to be collecting and noticing and bringing in to the story that is our board improvement plan in order for it to be clear and meaningful?


Lessons from Skiing

It was so nice today and I was out skiing and thinking about what I might put in my Monday MLOG.  As I skied I wondered if there were some lessons I might learn from the wonderful activity I was doing.

First my mind went to the soul enriching renewal that was happening because I was in nature and in solitude.  My mind was quiet and I was able to actually listen to my thoughts and ponder any patterns that might be there in my over-filled mind.  Lesson?  Sometimes we have to provide time for students/teachers/staff to think and renew and get their thoughts in order.  What does that look like in a regular day?

Secondly, my mind went to the idea of the tracks I was following.  The rigidity of the ski tracks give me the freedom to develop my technique and to ski smoothly.  Lesson?  Sometimes we need to have rules or templates or boundaries in order to have the ability to develop creatively.

Okay – enough for this time!  I am sure there are more lessons out there, but they will have to wait for another MLOG.

New Year, New Word!

I always feel like the New Year starts in September (or in our case August) when we have a new school year, but the rest of the world likes to celebrate the New Year in January.

Okay – so, what if we are thinking about the New Year and the old trick of resolutions?  What would I do?  Well, first of all I would consider the blog post by Dan Rockwell (Don’t make a resolution – choose a word) and then I would choose a word to be my focus for the year.  The blog is based on the book by Britton and Paige called One Word Can Change Your Life.  It suggests that you follow these three rules to choose a word and then let the word lead you for the year as it will be the word that embodies the essence of life for 2014.  Here is a short excerpt from the blog to get you going:

Your word in three easy steps:

First, look in by finding silence and asking three questions.

  1. What do I need?
  2. What’s in my way?
  3. What needs to go?

Second, look up by asking God for your word and listening. Don’t stress about your word. Receive it from your maker.

Third, look out by living out your word everywhere you go. But, look out, because one word isn’t predictable. It surprises.

So, what is your word?