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Tom Schimmer's Blog – April 2011 Archive (8)

Envision the "Best-Case" Scenario

I've often wondered why - when faced with the prospect of professional or personal change - people often defer to the worst-case scenario or predominantly envision why something won't work.

Now, while I don't pretend to be an expert on all of humanity, I do believe that it is primarily a way to prevent ourselves from looking foolish.  There are few things in life more aversive than the idea that you didn't think it through or were, in some way, naive about…

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Added by Tom Schimmer on April 28, 2011 at 5:24pm — No Comments

"Can't do" vs. "Won't do"

This is something I’ve wondered about for a long time.  Why is it that when students are unable to meet academic expectations we typically consider it an issue of what the student can’t do, but when a student is unable to meet behavioral expectations we typically consider it an issue of what the student won’t do?

Now, I know that is an overgeneralization, but I do think our collective outlook toward behavioral challenges is very different from academic challenges;…

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Added by Tom Schimmer on April 20, 2011 at 5:03pm — No Comments

Math still takes their Lunch Money!

As a subject, math is still the academic bully that many kids face everyday.  It corners them, pressures them, intimidates them, and leaves their confidence shattered.  Math still takes some kids’ lunch money and I am struggling with how we can put an end to it.

It seems as though you either get math or you don’t.  It also seems to be the only subject where it’s permitted for adults to admit they’re not very good at it either. As Kyle asked/commented on my blog about confidence…

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Added by Tom Schimmer on April 15, 2011 at 4:36pm — 1 Comment

The Invisible Leader

Sounds like an oxymoron, but all leaders will face the dilemma between the true purpose of leadership (empowering others) and the ego of leadership (getting credit) at least once in their careers.  Admittedly, this is one I have struggled with.  The struggle between humility and ego is one that all leaders must come to terms with.  Being an invisible leader is what we all know great leadership is about, but it can be challenging - even privately - to park our egos and allow others to… Continue

Added by Tom Schimmer on April 12, 2011 at 4:46pm — 1 Comment

Classroom Management is about "Predictability"

The other day I came a cross a tweet that asked what they key to classroom management was.  The first word that came to my mind was predictability.

Now before I explain...a little disclaimer.  This is not about "control" - it's about creating "conditions."  The word management seems to have fallen so far out of favor that it feels necessary to use "air quotes" each time we…

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Added by Tom Schimmer on April 8, 2011 at 5:14pm — 2 Comments

The Strength of Being Soft

Over the last few years I have spent a fair amount of time reading the Tao Te Ching, a collection of verses authored by the Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu. Now I have been aware of this book for a long time, however, it's only in the last few years that I've really come to know it, study it, and reflect on the profound messages within it.  It is a very short book - it can be read in one sitting - but the messages last forever.  This is a book written 2500 years ago that is still relevant…

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Added by Tom Schimmer on April 5, 2011 at 5:51pm — 4 Comments

How Systems support Practices



My previous post (Leadership FOR Confidence) emphasized that leaders need to balance the hard and the soft – the structure and the soul – of leadership.  Too much hard and we end up pushing at all costs; too much soft and we feel great about going nowhere.  This is especially true when we consider implementing a new practice, policy, or routine. 

Whenever something new is being implemented, it is important to make sure that the…

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Added by Tom Schimmer on April 4, 2011 at 9:13am — No Comments

Leadership FOR Confidence!

If it’s all about confidence then what role do leaders play in creating the foundation for confidence? In Confidence: How Winning Streaks and Losing Streaks Begin and End, Rosabeth Moss Kanter suggests that as leaders, we are responsible for both the hard and the soft of leadership – the structure and the soul as she puts it.  As school or district leaders, this is how we create the foundation of confidence for our teachers.  Kanter…

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Added by Tom Schimmer on April 1, 2011 at 10:30am — 4 Comments

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Shawn Mitchell replied to Katherine Maloney's discussion Leveraging the Potential of Personal Learning Networks for Teacher Professional Development - Doctoral Research Study
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Tata Nech posted a blog post

More Than a Sport: A Look at Scootering’s Evolution

Too many people do not have a clear idea about what is a Scooter; and much less than there is a sport based on it. Besides, it is a sport that has evolved a lot from its beginning, but if you do not know too much about the sport is hard to see it as more than a kid game.However, this sport is more than just kids and young people making scooter tricks in a square; scootering is a kind of culture and a lifestyle that has more than 20 years growing to become what it is today.For this reason, we…See More
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