Friday, April 19, 2019

The Importance of Emotions in Learning




Earlier this month, Dave Burgess shared a great tweet of a slide from Amy Fast's presentation at What Great Educators Do Differently in Houston.
It's true. It's so important to do the emotional work, your emotional work to connect and care and empathize, because it influences the emotions of everyone around you. It influences others. 

How important are emotions? Emotions are "energy in motion." Our emotions are always moving us toward something or away from something. We don't always have to choose to follow those emotions, but they are powerful. Just understand that when a student or colleague is stuck in a performance rut, there is nearly always an emotional component to that.

Most people want to succeed and do well, right? They didn't wake up in the morning wanting to fail. But sometimes they lose their way. At some point, their thoughts, beliefs, or feelings start getting in the way. Their words and actions are impacted. They allow the obstacles to weigh them down or stall their progress.

We need to create positive emotions in our classrooms and in our schools toward each other, toward learning, and toward making a difference. We need to support each other and believe in each other and never give up on each other. A positive learning environment is a positive emotional environment.

How often are there moments in your school that bring great joy, hope, and purpose? Those moments help create a heightened state of emotion. A peak state of emotion leads to a greater sense of motivation.

Think about it...
When you are laughing, smiling, encouraging, connecting, complimenting, progressing, and succeeding, you will have more energy, enthusiasm, effort, excitement, enjoyment, engagement and more. 

And conversely...
When you are frowning, criticizing, isolating, blaming, or complaining, you'll reap what you sow with that too. You'll have less energy. You'll be more tired. You'll be less likely to take a risk or do something great.

If you want to increase learning and performance, create an environment that provides for positive emotional support and growth. Create a positive environment. Create an uplifting environment, a fun environment. Bring your best energy.

Be intentional to create opportunities for students and colleagues to have more positive emotions. When the emotional environment improves, everyone has a better chance to change and grow and experience more powerful learning and connection.

What are ways you create an positive emotional environment in your classroom or school?

How do you set the tone each day for connection and care?

What behaviors need to be addressed that are damaging the emotional environment?

I want to hear from you. Leave a comment below or respond on Facebook or Twitter. Thanks for all you do to bring your positive vibes each and every day!

Friday, April 5, 2019

7 Future Driven Questions to Discuss With Your Team


Earlier this week, I was speaking at What Great Educators Do Differently in Houston. It was a fantastic event with a great lineup of inspiring education leaders.

My topic was Great Educators are Risk-Takers and Difference-Makers! When I have the opportunity to work with school districts or speak at conferences, I want to remind educators that we're educating kids for the world they'll live in and not the world we grew up in.

It's an central message in my book, Future Driven

The world is changing faster than ever and schools need to be changing too. I always ask, "Is your school a time capsule (static) or a time machine (dynamic)?" We can't afford to teach to a test or simply prepare kids for the next grade level, or even college or career. We're preparing them for life and anything they might face.

We can't continue to prize student achievement while ignoring the critical importance of student agency. Kids need more opportunities to make decisions and take initiative. We need to develop future leaders and passionate learners, not just proficient test takers.

And the only way that will happen is by allowing teachers to have the needed professional autonomy to be risk-takers and difference-makers. Educators must have the freedom to take initiative and make decisions. They need the flexibility to use their strengths and bring their passions into their classrooms.

But I also want to challenge educators. What are you doing with the autonomy you have? Are you pushing limits? Are you challenging the status quo? Are you creating extraordinary learning opportunities that prepare students for a complex, unpredictable world? If we're going to crush student apathy, we have to start with addressing teacher apathy. We have to show up strong!

Here are 5 Future Driven questions to think about with your team...

1. What will students need to thrive in a complex, unpredictable world? (addressing rapid change)

2. How can our school better meet the unique needs of today's kids? (kids are dealing with new issues/pressures)

3. How can we create a place where kids who resist school are empowered to love learning? (compliance vs. empowered learning)

4. Do teachers have the autonomy they need to create deeper learning? (teacher agency)

5. Do students have opportunities to pursue and explore their own questions? (inquiry)

6. Are students expected to create and innovate in your classroom? (critical thinking, problem-solving)

7. How are students helping others through what they're learning? (empathy, service)

What other future driven questions do you think are relevant for educators to discuss? It's amazing how questions can help us make the best decisions. I want to hear from you. Leave a comment below or respond on Facebook or Twitter
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...