Sunday, December 6, 2015

Chapter 5: Finding the Feeling

This was a very interesting chapter as it focused on the way to change behaviors through engaging the emotions and using that to foster change. In education we have faced many negative depictions and simplification of our profession, which has brought about the reform movement that says that it will hold everyone accountable while hunting down the “Bad Teachers”. Keeping that in mind, I found it ironic that the most successful companies and groups are shown to not use these methods, but it is expected to work in education. On page 122 the author notes “Negative emotions tend to have a narrowing effect on our thoughts,” which is interesting as we are trying to think outside the box and create solutions to problems for a variety of students and situations. As I reflect on this chapter, I realize that at different times I have felt that the attack on teachers over the last decade has frustrated me and made me focus too much on the barriers to change. As I read further, I liked how it was stated that for success we need “hope and optimism” and that will lead us to collective success. Now we can’t always change the decisions that are made at the governmental level, but I think that as a group we can be optimistic and have hope that we will always do the best for our students. We do it already and I think we have to focus on the bright spots and support each other, and through our own shared accomplishments we can show a better way to foster creativity and success in children and adults. I plan as my new year’s resolution to focus on the good things that are happening and push myself to be more optimistic. I hope that by doing this I can be energized, hopeful, and creative (p.107) when solving the many problems that we all face.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Chapter 4: Point to the Destination

In addition to finding the bright spots and scripting the critical moves, Chapter 4 asks us to point to the destination in order to direct the rider. To do this, the authors suggest making a “destination postcard” which shows what can be possible in the near-term future. Destination postcards should simultaneously direct the rider and motivate the elephant, which is a departure from “data-driven” goals that do not generate emotion. For example,  a teacher’s goal for her first graders was to be like third graders academically by the end of the year. Destination postcards look for a strong beginning, a strong ending, and getting moving. The middle will look different. I feel like this is very applicable to students as their journeys can be very different while working toward the same academic goals. I think the emphasis of our district on posting learning targets and making sure students know their end goal aligns with this chapter; however, while there is a clear destination in the learning target, it seems to lack the critical emotional component. For example, in kindergarten, a long-term learning target is “I can read Level D books in June.” While the direction is clear to me as a teacher, how can I make that motivational to a kindergartner? 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Chapter 3 - "Script the Critical Moves"

I felt that chapter three had many valuable points.  For example, I agree with the idea of decision paralysis.  When given too many options, people will shut down and not make a decision.  Also, I agree with the point made about being crystal clear (clarity dissolves resistance).  People need a clear picture to move forward.  I found that this applies to education because specific directions help lead students through tasks.  My only struggle seems to be that what is specific for one student is too much for another, so how do we meet all needs?  With that said, I know the answer to that question will be for teachers to differentiate. 
The hardest part for me to grasp in this chapter was the fact that it stated that we don’t need to get to the root of the problem.  The example given was related to child abuse.  I believe change can occur without getting to the root of the problem, but I do wonder about the long term effects of the change because I feel that the root of the problem needs to be addressed. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Chapter 2: Find the Bright Spots

Here are my thoughts on Chapter 2:
     Look from within an organization for solutions, the change is then considered internal  and not from an external force.  It lends validity to the change  because it is already happening and by a known source.    Instead of focusing on what's going wrong, focus on what's going right.  Change is initiated  from a strength based position instead of a weakness based one.  Use effective questioning as a technique for pulling solutions from someone. Many times the solutions are already within ourselves, we just have to reason through them and be able to articulate it.
     The only thing that I didn't think was addressed was the environment in which all these things will occur.  There has to be trust and an understanding amongst all stake holders that the purpose of  using this lens is not to call people out but to pull from the expertise within.  It's not a process that  should be viewed from a personal perspective.   Instead it should be viewed from the following:   this is what works with our kids.  Let's share, reflect and make it our own. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Chapter 1:  Three Surprises About Change…they surprised me too!
Jen went with a simple question to start the post/conversation.  I, too, was intrigued with the elephant and the rider and am anxious to hear what folks have to say about the relationship between the two.  However, I think what intrigued me more were some of what the authors considered “the surprises”…to me they were actually “AHA” moments.  First, “Self-control is an exhaustible resource.”  Who knew? And, as the authors stated, “What looks like laziness is often exhaustion.” Next, “If you want people to change you must provide crystal clear directions.”  WOW. This really struck a chord.  I think we see this as a problem in education a lot, and not just related to students.  The authors explained, “What looks like resistance is oven a lack of clarity.”  This really resonated with me as a professional.

I felt this chapter does a good job setting the stage and getting the reader excited about what’s coming.  I am looking forward to finding out the best ways to get the rider and elephant on the same page, and learning how to shape the path.  

I wonder if anyone else had any aha moments while reading this?  

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The elephant and the rider (analogy or metaphor)

I have thought a lot about the elephant and the rider that is discussed in chapter 1.  I am not exactly sure what to make of it.  I have some ideas but I am left contemplating the relationship between the elephant and the rider?  Anyone?