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Thinking @ Gen-Z Learners

For many years I have admired elementary master teachers whose classrooms are a little chaotic and messy, but the students are learning in a truly authentic manner – a manner that they personally own. Often these teachers have mastered differentiated instruction and assessment and yield incredible outcomes for their students. It is a practice we have come to expect in strong elementary programs, especially those that include Montessori techniques. While some secondary college-prep teachers have incorporated a curated approach to teaching, most have not. I know I have made many attempts at differentiation – some have been successful and a few have been less so. As I think about the students I will be working with in the future, they will be children of Generation Z (those born from 1995 to 2009). After “reading” an info-graphic about this generation, I think personalized learning will have a central role in coaching these students to be their personal academic and personal best.

As I think about my own teaching practice and how I want to encourage the teachers I will lead this fall, I have been considering the role of blended-learning within a personalized learning approach. I was prompted to explore this idea because of an innovation paper I just submitted for a class. The January 5 blog posting on http://www.personalizedlearning.com has really got me considering how best to maximize this approach to teaching and learning, with a specific eye to how this works better in an all girls environment. The way girls learn best really ties to this idea of a curated learning experience. Once my dissertation is complete, I am looking forward to thinking more about personalized learning and talking with the faculty and staff at GPS about ways they already incorporate these practices and new ways we can consider to maximize our time with our learners. (Check out the blog posting to know why I used “learners” and not “students”.)

Now, back to my dissertation.

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Going Old School with Organization

Going Old School with Organization

I learned about the #BulletJournal when reading about design strategies in Fast Company. I am intrigued that this designer uses what he calls an “analog” system, i.e. not digital. While the concept he puts forward makes sense and seems easy, I don’t know how realistic it is. It would still require the additional step of updating a digital/dynamic calendar. However, I like the idea that there are some things – like keeping up with your list of things to do – that just cannot be done via an app or website. Or maybe it is people who have complicated schedules and/or of a certain age that find the need for an analog system. 

A Quote to Keep Me Writing

Working on my dissertation can be lonely, boring, and frustrating all in the same moment.  I’m struggling to find the “perfect” third site for my dissertation research. This Ben Franklin quote will serve as my inspiration for this week as I prepare for a meeting with my dissertation chair.

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”

The farther you go…the harder it is to return. The world has many edges and it’s easy to fall off.

Anderson Cooper

Another reason why breaking bread together is important

“Strange to see how a good dinner and feasting reconciles everybody.”
― Samuel PepysThe Diary of Samuel Pepys

Motherly Advice . . .

Motherly Advice: “There is something my Mum always told me and my 5 siblings when we were growing up; she said before going to bed every night ask yourself ‘what have I done today to impact the rest of my future’ and every morning remind yourself ‘today is the first day of the rest of my life’.”
Elizabeth Njao

As I prepare to celebrate my mother and the many women who have mothered me, this quote resonates with me.

“If you are not a school of the future, you won’t be a school in the future.”

– Pat Bassett, outgoing NAIS President