Monthly Archives: July 2015

Which reminder will be on your fridge?

We all need to do what we can to preserve the curiosity and love for learning so it continues for life!

hand raised

Here’s some food for thought and ways to support your child as they shift into “back-to-school” mode:

  1. My child’s strengths.  Start the day pointing out their strengths.  Can you think of 3 positive strengths your child has?  Here’s one you may not have thought about:  at times you notice that your child is focusing intently on doing something, goes into “another zone”.  Point that out for them.  Say, “I like the way you work at that and not let anything distract you!”  
  2. “This is too hard!”  You can help them realize that doing “hard stuff”  is like an obstacle course – or like trying to beat a video game.  There are things that may slow us down or get in our way and we need to figure out how to get around those obstacles..  It may be difficult, but it’s not impossible.climbingwallAsk, “What is something else you did that was hard and finished it?  What worked?”  They may not remember or respond, but you’ve planted the seed.
  3. “There’s too much to do!”  Say, “Let’s break this down!”  Help kids work at a challenge by looking for a small, doable piece they can succeed at.  Success breeds success.  Ask, “What is the first step or first level you think you can do?”  It’s best if they decide, so be patient and try to let it come from them.
  4. “I’m not good at this.”  We need help kids understand what happens on the road to success.  For example, before they begin ask, “Are you ready for mistakes?  They happen and we learn from them.”   Tell kids a recent mistake or setback you experienced,  how it felt and then what you learned from it in order to keep going.  Never waste a mistake – help kids realize what they have learned from a mistake.
  5. “I don’t remember what to do.”   Don’t jump in too quickly – increase their “think time”.  Delay giving them hints or information until you are certain that they have exhausted their resources.  The message you want to deliver is, “I know you are capable“.
  6. Praise the HOW, not just the result.  We’ve all heard, “Win or lose, it’s how you play the game that matters”.  But most kids don’t hear enough about the HOWs, so why should they matter?  Emphasize the “HOWs”.   For example, “I can see that  you keep trying. That’s awesome!”   You are teaching them a huge HOW –  STICKING TO IT   When kids realize that the HOWs matter,  they are better prepared to take on difficult tasks, rather than avoid them.

Strengthen your child’s feeling of “I can!” 

Which reminder will be on your fridge?

 ~ Angelo Truglio

Educators At A Crossroad

What a fantastic summer!  I’ve been reading recommended books that I have found to be inspiring and I attended EdCamp Leadership, a unique full-day education “unconference,” where those who attend create the agenda of what will be discussed.  The sessions and people were all positive and upbeat and it seemed that all the educators left energized ready to put new information into practice… yet there was still more summer ahead!

EdCampBlogPic

I was invited to observe a Summer Resiliency Program, a middle school camp offered by the Smithtown School District in Long Island, where the day began with mindfulness and meditation – a very effective way to create focus, teamwork and collaboration.   Participating in Twitter Education chat groups such as #edchat, #NYEdcht, #whatisschool, #nt2t has provided the opportunity to exchange comments and ideas with teachers throughout the U.S. and globally.  Throughout the month I’ve had phone or face-to-face dialogues with educators or administrators, still the a great way to connect and collaborate!

The discussion has been about changes in education necessary for children to be productive and successful in an undefined future:

  • teacher and student mindset
  • self-regulation
  • gradual release of ownership
  • resilience
  • supportive parents and supporting parents
  • eliminating the use of rewards in the classroom.

There are many passionate educators spending time this summer preparing for the upcoming school year; working on how they will engage their students and create rewarding learning experiences. They are collaborating in order to improve their skills and knowledge base.  These teachers are models for their students. They demonstrate that learning does not stop over the summer – learning happens anytime, anywhere – not just in school.

I am reassured and energized because I’m learning there is a way for education to move forward in a positive direction.   It can happen, and we can’t wait for the next state regulation to be put into place or for the next national “no child shall or race to wherever” initiative. Education can move forward in a positive direction without edicts because of the passion, learning and open dialogues occurring among dedicated educators and administrators.  As teachers shift their approach and develop or polish fundamental teaching practices, combined with the available technology, positive outcomes will result.  Isn’t this what we want for students?

Educators are at a crossroad.  They can choose to think, “this too shall pass” or they can become part of a “Great Conversation”, as described by author Jamie Vollmer in his book I recently read, Schools Cannot Do It Alone.  They can be part of expanding discussion among educators, administrators and parents who will do what it takes to get students fired up about learning, rather than making them think, “How many days until the next school break?”

Who’s in? I am!

I will share what I’ve learned from my past teaching and current coaching experiences. I have a personal stake, my grandchildren, ages 4 and 2.  I see how excited they are to learn and want to show me what they have learned. Their learning energy is endless and their “I can” mindset is developing. These traits however are as precious as they are.  They can be affected positively or negatively by the manner in which they are nurtured and by the learning experiences they are exposed to.   I know what I want to see happen.  How will you contribute to the effort?

Still learning,

Angelo Truglio, Instructional Strategies Coach