Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Most Powerful Tool in the Classroom.....

It's that time of year in Ohio. The snow has melted and the flowers are pushing through the ground. Every classroom is coming alive and enjoying the winter thaw (it was brutal). The sound of the playground is erupting at every school and all the teachers take in a much needed breath of fresh air. For most of us "The Tests" are over this week and we start to look for fun engaging activities. Let's be honest here....we should be doing this all year long. I am going to make this post short and sweet and talk about the one Tool every teacher should use. I hope your ready because I am fully convinced that this Tool is powerful beyond any assessment or OTES Model. When used properly you will be surprised at how much growth you will experience in yourself and in your students (or staff if an Administrator).

Let's first discuss what it is not....

  • ...the magical LMS that saves you time and effort by putting all you resources in one happy place
  • ...the iPad app that makes every lesson Pop with interactive pieces and immediate feedback that drives your future lesson planning 
  • ...a fancy SmartBoard that acts as an expensive whiteboard because you haven't had the right PD to discover how to use it. 
  • iPad or a Computer that you use to share your Google docs through for collaborative 21st Century skills.
  • ...your PLN that you grow weekly by engaging in Twitter chats and sharing Social Media buzz every Wednesday using
  • ...the Staff book study that sends your mind into overload because it gives you a fresh perspective on how to view Education
So...what is it? Think you are ready to discover that one tool....IT"S YOU! You the Teacher....The Educator....The Guide on the Side...The Mentor...The one that listened when no one else cared! You make all the difference in creating the culture within the walls of your classroom and your building. None of the items I mentioned above happen without you taking action on them or seeking/discovering for yourself. Quit waiting for someone to show you how and get out there and create your own way. It's your classroom OWN IT! As Eric Thomas (@EricThomasbtc) says..."Create the New Normal!" Be excited about what you get to do each and every day. Rediscover why you got into Education in the first place and fuel your purpose with passion. Be intentional and consistent with your actions and SERVE your students, colleagues and staff members. Today my class Skyped with author and speaker Jon Gordon (@JonGordon11). His advice to passionate in every moment and finish strong. Focus on one interaction at a time and give it your absolute best. Happy Teacher Appreciation week and I hope you finish the year STRONG!