Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Taking Action to DESIGN Your Future

This week I have been flooded with information about taking action now in order to DESIGN your future. I read about a new generation called Gen C - where C stands for connectedness.

This video talks about the Class of 2015.

As a leader of educators, I know that I must embrace technology and social learning if I want teachers to do the same. The Gen C group is not defined by age but by behavior.

Another blog that I read this week was Are You Collecting a Pile of Underpants?
Steve Kamb talks about three phases that we all move through to be successful.

* Phase 1 - we read and learn all we can about how to do something (collecting underpants)

* Phase 3 - what we hope to accomplish after we build our pile

* Phase 2 - Dominated by Successful People - requires that we take action on Phase 1 information -  many of us get stuck in phase 1 hoping for phase 3.

As an educator how many underpants are you collecting?
Are you collecting information about differentiation, cooperative learning, building a PLN, technology integration, engagement, classroom management, ...?

As I read this article I thought about my own collection of underpants:

* sharing information with a wider audience vs just consuming information

* creating an online PLC for the teachers in the Texas Panhandle

* taking an art/woodworking/pottery/photography class

* learning to rock climb

* Calling Habitat for Humanity and helping build homes in the community

I also realized that I have many things that I have taken quick action on:

* 72 Pencils - Chop Sticks (my version)

* Penny Soccer Board - My son Blake and I built this after he saw something similar on StumbleUpon.

* Building my personal PLN - I started following Wesley Fryer @wfryer after hearing him speak in 2009 and then I started following Kevin Honeycutt @kevinhoneycutt in 2011. I have since added many people to my network.

* Buying recommended books and reading them quickly so that I can put the information into action.

* Weight Training - I started in June of 2010 with an 80 # back squat. On my 40th birthday in March, I did a 185# back squat. PRs in weight training only happen with consistent action.

* Instructional Coaching - The first time I went to a school district as an instructional coach, I knew very little about coaching. Now I can look back over the last two years and see how much I have grown because I was willing to jump in, take action, and learn through trial and error.

I received an email today from Karla Reiss where she shared an excerpt from her new book, Be a Changemaster; 12 Coaching Strategies for Leading Professional and Personal Change.

Even though I have not read this book, I am intrigued to learn more about it. She states, "Action is how we Maintain Momentum; consistent and persistent steps one takes that make progress toward the desired goals; daily action, weekly, monthly. As long as there is action, there is progress. Until there is action, it is just talk. All too often we focus on planning for the change, anticipating what we will do in the future, or even the near future. We talk about the changes we want and too often we spend too much time and energy talking about all the reasons why it is too hard. While it is perfectly okay to plan for change, we must move to action and Maintain Momentum. I don't mean occasional little bitty actions. I mean regular, intentional action on a daily basis."

So my challenge for myself is to take action on my collection of underpants each day. I don't have to do something perfect, I just have to start and be consistent in my efforts. The choices that I make today, DESIGN my tomorrow.

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