Sunday Sources: January 31st, 2021

Teachers, get a lot of new tips and strategies sent our way. It’s hard to carve out the time to gain insights or sort our professional learning. I’m attempting to solve that problem by curating three sources, tips, or strategies every single week.

Preparing students for jobs that don’t exist

I came across this first tip from the 3 Caffeinated Coaches Podcast! They have a great wealth of information, and you should give them a listen.

While discussing lesson design, the hosts mentioned the ISTE article “Preparing Students for Jobs that don’t exist.” The article is littered with great statistics like, “65% of children entering grade school today will end up working in jobs that don’t even exist yet…”

An excellent thought exercise would be to think about the jobs around now but didn’t exist when you were your student’s age. There are so many new paths to success that haven’t always been around. Technology drives innovation at an almost hard to grasp speed.

Ultimately, the article cites that educators need to live at the intersections of our subject instead of our individual content silos. I enjoy this concept because It breaks down barriers that hold both teachers and students back. An educator that isn’t limited by their content area can draw connections to all topics and concepts from many angles, meeting the kids on their own paths.

Chase Jarvis: 12 Secrets for Unlocking your Creative Work

This tip comes from Chase Jarvis. He’s got absolutely zero connection to education as an institution. This tip ties back to us teachers getting out of our sometimes isolated content by going even further to step outside of our profession. Jarvis is a photographer with a well-known podcast. On the Chase Jarvis LIVE show, he interviews entrepreneurs and creators about their processes.

One might argue, “Why in the world would an educator be able to find value in that?” Well, teacher friends, we are creators. At the most basic levels, we create lesson plans based on content. Beyond that, we create moments. We cultivate learning in our classroom for students that didn’t ask to be there. We create a love for learning. 

John Spencer: How Action Research Sparks Innovation and Boosts Creativity in the Classroom

The final tip comes in from the great and powerful John Spencer. The former teacher and current professor is a prolific force in the space of educational strategies and connections. Most recently, I came across this article on Action Research.

The idea of action research tapped into the well of my brain as a new teacher. At the time of writing this, I’m about halfway through my second year of teaching. My classrooms are treated like a laboratory where I experiment with different deliveries, tools, or even types of content to see what brings the most value. In many situations, I made assumptions about which orange was providing the most juice after each squeeze.

Spencer lays out the steps for removing those assumptions by having concrete data to support the decisions you make in your classroom. He describes the phases as planning, action, analysis, and conclusion.

I was failing to meet the analysis step. Moving forward, I’ll confidently gather data about techniques and strategies I’m using google form feedback surveys.

If you’ve made it this far, do me a favor and reach out to me on Twitter to connect and let me know what you think.

Interested in reading more? Here are my last three bits of writing.

#07: How to Fix Frequent Mistakes in Student Writing

#06: A Teacher Combatting Imposter Syndrome

#05: One Word for 2021 #Explore

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