Autonomy, Mastery & Purpose

During lunch today, I started painting. About five kids stayed inside instead of going out for recess cause they wanted to paint, too. Those 20 minutes were the most chill moments with these kids ever. I learned a ton about them as we talked and worked. When the other kids came back from recess, you [...]

Self-directed Learning in Grade 4

My goal this year has been to give students as much of an active role in their own education as possible. For 2-4 periods each day, students have the freedom to learn based on their own curiosities, interests, and strengths. It's an interesting shift as an educator because I'm consistently battling with myself on how best [...]

Making Learning Optional Makes Learning Better (Google Innovation Academy – Part 3)

There's something that Erica Fox, Google's Director of People Development, said to us that keeps coming back to me. When talking about growing Googlers (aka professional development), she said, "At Google, nothing is mandatory." Wait, what?! Training sessions, even their awesome "noogler" on-boarding process - optional. They will nudge and prompt you to go to relevant [...]

How Might We Make School the Best Place to Learn? (Google Innovation Academy – Part 1)

I recently returned from Mountain View, California, where I was blessed to spend three mind-blowing days at Google's headquarters participating in the Google for Education Innovation Academy. These days were jam-packed with so many takeaways that I've struggled to put it all into words. There will be more blogging to come on various lessons learned but for today, [...]

Inspiring Innovation

Twenty-first century education involves questioning a lot of norms and reimagining many of our practices. Things don't have to exist as they always did. But how do we inspire change in an institution that can oftentimes be entrenched in its practices? How can we take a vision and make it become a reality? How do [...]

Making School Different

I have been reading, with great interest, a series of blog posts on the theme of making school different. Each post lists 5 things that we need to "stop pretending". Thanks to Heather Theijsmeijer, who challenged me today to add my own thoughts. My post risks offending some, though it is not my intent. I've [...]