Saturday, November 17, 2012

Opening Minds: It's NOT just for teachers


Peter Johnston's Opening Minds has been ON MY MIND.  It was a required text this semester; however, I am confident my students did not find it nearly as thought-provoking as I did!   Truth be told, this fall, I have thoughts of Peter sitting behind me with a notepad "critically" recording my conversations with kids! 

Perhaps the dichotomy grows from the slow pace of the book  I did wonder if Johnston took an "article" and stretched it!  It is also possible that differences grow from my own very critical view of my own professional and personal interactions! Admittedly, I usually reflect on what I could do better rather than on what went well in a lesson or even in a parent conference! 
Admittedly, I usually think about how I might have interacted more effectively with friends and family. 

I am reflecting on this book as someone whom interacts with lots of children and parents.  Even in a theoretical text, there are  "bumper sticker" quality messages for all of us who interact with people!

I’m proud of you can have the same effect as saying I’m disappointed in you.  
Our language choices have serious consequences for children's learning and who they become as individuals and as a community.  Clarify the reason for you praise by being specific and purposeful.  "I like the way you......."  Think before you talk.

Teaching is like jazz.  You are constantly improvising.
It appears to me, at this point in my life, that living well and adapting to the constant changes of life requires a good jazz set and the ability to make the best of what you have at that moment. 

What could be the answer?  
Rather than what is the answer! 

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