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Monday, April 25, 2016

Couple Change and Challenge with New Learning

Several years ago I had a grade/school change within my system. That was a mighty change considering I had three young children at home. I was worried. Yet, I always liked that line, "When a door closes, a window opens," so I decided to use the change as a chance to embark on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification. That gave all the work that goes with change a good, positive focus as well as a supportive team of NBPTS educators to support me.

I also used this approach when the Common Core standards were introduced. I knew that it was going to include lots of work to embed all those standards into my work so I chose to sign up for a university course related to the standards. The university course not only guided my new standards learning and embedding, but it also gave me a credential that contributed towards a welcome pay raise.

Right now I have a similar big challenge which is to complete my Teacher Leadership Initiative capstone. I know it's going to take some time to summarize a year's work and growth. I want to invest all that time into a skill that's challenging and forward moving like the NBPTS endeavor. Hence, I've decided to couple my efforts with my desire to improve my speaking skills. Hence a large part of my capstone will be much like a Ted Talk

Think about the teaching/learning expectations and challenges that you have ahead. How might you couple those challenges and expectations with gaining a new skill, connecting to a new group, or earning a new degree or certification. For example one of my sons has a job at a national park this summer. He loves the outdoors and is very curious about the wildlife so I suggested that while he work at the park that he also become an expert on the wildlife there. That's a skill he can use later as he grows his ability to work and lead in nature. 

Coupling new learning with change and challenge is a promising way to travel the road to better teaching and learning. Let me know if you have any other thoughts related to this travel guide.