Unselfishness – How Michael Richards inspired me.


Over the break, I got a little into Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.  I think I saw someone post it on twitter or something, but started with Louis C.K. and just worked my way backwards.

Lots and lots of funny moments with funny people, some good observations on life, with Jerry Seinfeld who knew right? Most of it was just something to enjoy, right up till the Michael Richards episode.

Anyway, he was talking about that one night he verbally abused some guy and walked out.  He was reflecting, openly and honestly about a mistake he made. The word he used was selfish, he was being selfish about his act.

This made me think about teaching.  How often am I selfish of my lesson, or what I want the take away to be?  I don’t think it is that often, but it made me set my resolution this year to be totally focused on student learning, and from their perspective.  What is it that they want to take from the lesson.  How can I empower them to start directing their own learning, and allowing them to think whatever they want about my teaching.  I see this as an opportunity to be a better learning, and technology coach.

When working with the students this week, I’ve been working on developing their voice in their blogs. I adapted some of George Courus’ work on blogging to present to the teachers about why we should be blogging with students. With our migration unit, the grade four and five students are thinking deeply about why and how people migrate. I’ve also been really happy with the sharing of the writing. Blogs have made sharing so much easier for my students, and the immediacy of feedback has really inspired some to write more. 

When working with teachers this week I’ve been much more patient.  For the last month or so, I’ve been focused on achieving the school goals, while this is really important, I wanted to focus on each teacher’s perspective and ability this week.  It’s been great so far, I have the goals we set at the beginning of the year, and while we have been progressing, I took this week to review our goals and make some changes.  It’s great to see where they are in applying the SAMR lingo to their lexicon, and even more inspiring to see how redefinition of integration is constantly being modified.

Anyway, a fantastic episode and an inspiring start to the New Year.

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