Sunday, November 29, 2015

Hey, Martha Stewart!

Ahhh…the end of an extra long weekend. Hopefully you were all able to enjoy some time with family, friends, and/or 10,000 of your closest shopping rivals this passed week(end)! If you WERE one of the brave souls that headed out to the stores on Black Friday…MORE POWER TO YA!!! While people watching is MOST enjoyable on days like Black Friday, I envy anyone who has a gameplan in mind and is headstrong enough to make that day a productive one (especially before 10am)! I have to tell you, though… one of the reasons I secretly enjoy the "spirit" of Black Friday is that it pushes some people to their creative limits. For some,  it's creating a game plan for which stores to get to and by what time and identifying the aisles they'll attack as soon as they walk in the doors! For others, it's thinking deeply about the interests of their family and friends  and trying to identify the PERFECT purchase to match those interests. And still for others, it's creating a strategy for maintaining the element of surprise in reveling the purchases they made to their loved ones. WHO KNEW SO MUCH THINKING COULD GO INTO ONE CRAZY DAY!!! 

It wouldn't surprise me to find out that each and every one of you mastered whatever creative thinking went into your weekend plans. Why?! Because you're married to your craft… the craft of creative thinking. The craft of problem solving. The craft of being inventive! If you weren't, you wouldn't be in the educational profession that you are currently in (at least that's what my heart believes). Some educators are married to the craft they make (their lesson plans, their quizzes/tests, their discipline policies, their project calendars, etc.), and they are so committed to those particular items, that they aren't able to think beyond those products. But YOU…. You're not that kind of educator. You're listening to student questions and responding in a way that meets their needs. You're using data (maybe responses from journal prompts or from a recent homework assignment or a survey you gave out as an exit ticket) to inform your next move, EVEN though that might mean "shopping in aisle 8 first because aisle 2 was blocked by two folks reaching for the last item on the shelf." You're constantly assessing what you could do next to keep the excitement for learning alive and all the while, finding comfort in knowing you have a foundational plan in place to keep you directed. Yes, my friend…. YOU are married to the craft of the PROCESS of educating and not the crafts you MAKE. And GEEZ do I love you for that. 

As you gear up for the week ahead, I'd encourage you to think of what your foundational game plan is for the week. (By the time you "leave the store," what do you want to have accomplished?) And then… GET CRAFTY!!! Where will you be okay to shift direction based on student inquiry, voice, and choice and which pieces do you need to adhere to in that plan? (And you better check yourself… WHY do you need to adhere to that plan? Is it for the benefit of student learning or simply to make your life easier?! Because as much as I love you… It's not always about you! Yes, even Cyber Monday shoppers have crafted a plan for achieving their goals, knowing they may end up on 7 different websites before finding "the perfect deal.") Remember, teachers need to be married to their craft, not the craft they made. 

Peace, love, and craft rooms vs classrooms,


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