As a school-leader, I always have sent out an email “Monday Memo,” with important news of the week, thanks and acknowledgement, agendas for upcoming meetings, suggestions for advisory meeting topics, mini-surveys, and much more. It is a very important part of my leadership routine.
The most important part of these weekly memos has for several years been the QoTWs: the Quotes of the Week.
I usually put in somewhere between two and four short quotes from the most interesting articles and blog-posts of the week, with links to the full pieces. Quite often these quotes planted seeds, advanced my educational leadership agenda, and prompted collegial conversations that would last all week. In some cases they sparked significant changes or enhancements of individual teaching practices and even school-wide curricular reform.
Usually, 90-95% of the time, quotes I’d select would represent and reinforce my point of view, my educational philosophy. Sometimes, though, I do share especially compelling or well-written pieces which make cases opposing my views, and the conversations which follow can be especially rich.
Other educator/bloggers I know do a great job of sharing on their blogs their own weekly reading suggestions, including George Couros’s excellent “You Should Reads” and Bo Adams’ new #MustRead Shares.
My goal is to continue my Monday ritual by sharing my Quotes of the Week (QoTW) each week here on my blog. For the sake of my readers, I’ll strive to cap them at just five (no matter how tempting it often is to go beyond that).
Note: this weekly post will be somewhat redundant to those readers who follow me closely on Twitter.
QoTW, August 6:
[Have students] comment on blogs and publications. Help students find out who’s writing about what they care about. When they do, support them in joining the conversation by commenting on those topics and even proposing a guest post or article.
5 Ways to Develop a Connected Student by Lisa Nielsen.
Librarians, who have always served as matchmakers of sorts—pairing books with readers, resources with research questions, and, more recently, problems with tools to solve them—should be the “go-to person(s)” to support learners as they construct their knowledge.
5 Key Roles for 21st century Librarians by by Michelle Luhtala
There’s no excuse for a teacher in 2012 to be living totally sheltered from the winds of educational change. Rather than wait anxiously for a buffeting breeze, it would make a great deal more sense to take some time to do your own investigation, by reading books, periodicals, blogs, joining Nings and elists, building PLNS, even by starting a Twitter account and following some of the smart inspirational tweeters out there. Pat Bassett’s May blog had some great suggestions for reading—and connecting.
A Letter to Experienced Teachers by Peter Gow
Stop encouraging automaticity, cultivate mindfulness instead. It is time to embrace Ellen Langer and work to replace the “robot brain” so many schools encourage with the engaged mindfulness of students consciously making decisions. “Mindfulness, [Langer] tells the medical school audience, is the process of actively noticing new things, relinquishing preconceived mindsets, and then acting on the new observations.”
School Re-Start: Change on Day One by Ira Socol.
There’s never a dearth of people I meet who come to the idea of blogging and feel that pit in their stomachs. “What would I blog about?” “Who would want to read what I write?” Or even, “I can’t write at all.” I try to assuage their fears by reminding them that they don’t have to write manifestos or tell stories of their personal lives. That blogging can simply be a link to a good read, a short snip for flavor, and a few sentences of reflection. Start slowly. Build if and when it gets more comfortable…
It’s a constant struggle that, in the end, I think helps me to grow as a blogger and a writer. Even though it would be nice just every now and then to feel a little swagger around my ideas, I never want to feel so secure in what I’m thinking and writing that I stop feeling at least an ounce of two of “oh crap” when I press “publish.”
On Blogging: Finding Peace with the “Pit” by Will Richardson