Tuesday, October 10, 2017

"Insert Learning" - Make the Internet More Powerful

If you are interested in making internet articles more powerful and more efficient, look no further than "Insert Learning." This tool is a Chrome extension that allows you to customize online articles you find for your students.  With this tool, you can highlight text, insert sticky notes, add questions and add discussion right within the article itself. Then, after you have created what you want, can assign it to your class via Google Classroom, making it a very smooth process. The free version is limited to five "assignments" but check it out and perhaps this is something you would want to have your school buy for you.

Here is an example: https://insertlearning.com/v1/share/32uidqf1 (Add the Insert Learning chrome extension and check out the example).

Monday, October 9, 2017

Rulers Rule. Leaders Lead. There's a Difference.

People obey rulers out of fear and obligation. People follow leaders out of love and respect. Just because you are a ruler, doesn't mean you are a leader. Just because you are in charge, doesn't mean you are a leader.  It's quite simple actually, yet astonishing how so many miss the mark on what it means to be a leader.
A ruler (boss) is really good at telling people what to do, but not much else. A leader is in it with their people. Those that are being led feel like their leader is right there, in the thick of it, with them. "In the trenches" so to speak.  Not disconnected from some Ruler on Mount High that has nothing to do with them. At the end of the day, a leader makes their teachers feel valued. They encourage them. They listen to them. They seek out their opinions. A leader understands they are nothing without the teachers, therefore does everything they can to inspire them and help them.  Leaders routinely say, "Hey, I really appreciate you." or "Thank you for covering that extra recess duty." Or "Nice job working with those students. We are lucky to have you." Teachers should be saying the same things to their students.  It's so simple to say those things! So just do it. Be a leader.

Have you ever heard of a "servant attitude?" A leader should have this. It's when the leader acts as a "servant" in a way--by approaching it like, "How can I help you?" or "What do you need to do your job better?"  The reason these questions aren't asked more often is that some don't feel secure in their position of power because they can feel those under them only obeying out of obligation. They need to make sure everyone knows who is "in charge." If you have to remind people that you are in charge, then you are no leader.

If teachers/students walk away from a full day of work and feel dejected and/or worthless, that's a problem. That means the person in charge is far from being a true leader.  A teacher should walk away feeling encouraged and hopeful. They should be eager to get back to school the next day and work hard for their students but to also want to work hard for their leader. Students should be excited to return to school the next day and work hard for their teacher leader.

It's amazing how many don't get this.