I got to thinking about Computer Labs. I really do not like the term. Once upon a time you went to a computer lab to learn about computers. I prefer Learning Lab. A place where technology is available and learning on any subject can take place.
The journey into teaching coding also got me thinking. The typical lab layout is way to sterile. Rows of tables all lined up where comfort and collaboration are hindered. I would like a lab more like a coffee shop. Relaxed atmosphere, computers not tethered to cables, variety of seating arrangements, adjustable lighting, and multiple large displays on the walls streaming a variety of tech related streaming video. Oh, and a barista bar for the instructor.
What does it mean to be a coder today? The answer isn’t so simple. With technology as the backbone of our economy, everything from entrepreneurship to art galleries to medicine is affected by code. That means the ability to read and write code – even at a fundamental level – can not only make you a valuable team member, but can also help you communicate and better integrate your ideas into the final product.
Teacher Appreciation Week is over, now we can all go back to normal.
A great question came across my eyes this week and it had to do with how leaders support faculty and staff. Good question, how would/do you support. The plethora of responses ensued with “chocolate and jeans”. There is absolutely nothing wrong with chocolate and jeans, that is unless it is used in a ‘Sheldon’ like behavioral modification scheme. Take your leadership to the next level and move beyond trinkets and gimmicks by thinking through the question a little deeper. What does the question of support really entail? It goes deeper, much deeper. It has to do with value.
Restate the question as a statement and present it this way, “I know that I am valued when…” It is a question of value. Am I important and how do you demonstrate to those under your care that they are valuable to you?
Four things immediately come to my mind when I think of value. I know that I am valued when I am acknowledged, heard, included, and affirmed.
Acknowledged. I know that I am of value and you support me when you recognize that I am here. You take the initiative to greet me and call me by name. You take the time to recognize my presence and declare that I am more than something and that I am a someone.
Heard. I know that I am of value and you support me when you listen to me. You take the time to focus on what I am saying, comprehend what I mean, and thank me for my input.
Included. I know that I am of value and you support me when you ask for my opinion and you make me a part of your decision making process. I realize that you may not agree with me, but you keep me informed and you demonstrate that my thoughts and insights are a part of your commitment to excellence.
Affirmed. I know that I am of value and you support me when you call on me for my expertise. I am a highly educated professional who knows stuff. I am a continual learner who is not a novice. You realize that I am tenured in the world of experience, mistakes, and successes. You seek me as a source of substance and I am grateful.
Move your leadership beyond symbolism and into substance by acknowledging, hearing, including, and affirming those entrusted to your care.
Never underestimate the value of the Google Doodle and never assume that everyone knows about it.
The 155th Anniversary of the Pony Express sets the stage for an Interactive Google Doodle. It also provides the opportunity for kids to play the app and ask questions. Questions like “Why are those guys on horses”? Questions that have me responding, “I am glad you asked”.
Food For Thought. Have your students explore a Google Doodle and then write a six sentence paragraph, or a six slide presentation, or an info-graphic, or any other digital composition about the Doodle of the day topic.
More Food For Thought – Tell another teacher about it and they will think you are a genius.
Listen Current makes it easy to bring authentic voices and compelling non-fiction stories to the classroom. We curate the best of public radio to keep teaching connected to the real world and build student listening skills at the same time.
Two Words, One Phrase, with powerful results. Nothing stirs the heart like someone acknowledging your effort. No matter how small the gift, insignificant the act or unimportant the gesture might be, when gratitude is expressed to the giver, they know they are appreciated. Make a habit of using “Power Words” on your campus. You will be amazed at the results.