Move Your Bus!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

     It is time to keep the bus moving in the Move Your Bus book study in the #D100bloggerPD series.  Thanks for getting the bus moving in the previous posts.  If you have not read any of them, please click on the ThingLink above to catch up.  The first one on Literacy Loving Gals will help you get caught up on Ron Clarks ideas about runners, joggers, walkers, riders and drivers.  

     We all, as humans, have ideas.  That's what makes us so great.  The wonderful thing about having ideas is that we also have different ideas than others.  I have been riding the bus with my coworkers by reading their posts, and I have to say that I am not in full agreement with some of Ron Clark's ideas.  I agree with many of them fundamentally, but not always the inferences he makes when people demonstrate behaviors that contradict his beliefs.  If you want to hear more about that, invite me to Starbucks an order me a latte.  I have a latte that I could say.

     Moving forward to my part of the study!

Chapter 18: Exude a Sense of Urgency

     If anyone has ever heard me talk about the need for urgency during F&P testing windows, they know that I agree with this statement 100%.  Wasting instructional time is NOT an option.  We need to be urgent in our instruction when the kids are sitting in front of us.  Time is precious.  Use it well.

     But...  Saying that runners who are more urgent in their approach, even if only a few seconds quicker than joggers or walkers, show more respect, a stronger work ethic, and a desire to contribute more, just implies that runners are better.  But, we all ride this metaphoric bus together, and no one wants to be surrounded by Runners who only care about urgency and not about their fellow riders.  Also, urgency is not always more important than quality.  It depends on the task at hand.  But, I do believe that urgency is important.  I also believe in being humble, if at all possible.  

    He talks about how at restaurant, he gets frustrated when he is super hungry and the waiter takes his order and stops at another table before submitting the order to ask if someone needs something, or to clear dishes.  He says, "Honestly, you are going to get your food at about the same time regardless, but that slight shift in the waiter's priorities can be annoying to no end."  My response to that?  Perhaps you should make your own dinner.  The waiter may be showing efficiency when another server is sick, or empathy for the needs of other customers.  If you can't enjoy the dining experience, dine at home.  Just my opinion.

     I am a "Runner" in Ron Clark's terms.  But, I don't call myself one, and I certainly don't only coach "Runners".  We all add value. Like my daughter's school bus puzzle, we are all a part of that bus puzzle, for better or worse.  :)  The riders need to stop just riding, the walkers could start jogging with some coaching, the joggers could start to run, but all runners jog at least a little sometimes.  Well, maybe not my marathon running husband, but that is another story all together.  


    Ron Clark goes on to say that people who show urgency show it in how they walk, and he judges people on that.  Guess what, I am a shuffling Runner. Literally, I shuffle my feet.  I have been teased for it.  Oops.

     Clark gives the example that his assistant is urgent because he asked him to rent a U-Haul and he had it done before the meeting was even over, because he reserved it on his phone during the meeting. That is a task that ALLOWS for quick and urgent action.  I have seen some teachers apply the same type of decision making to instructional planning, and it hasn't gone so well.  Urgency at the cost of not unpacking standards, or not seeing the bigger plan, can go badly.   Sometimes, the quick decision needs to be deciding the next step we take next, not getting it all DONE fast. 

     I do have to say I like the idea of generating a list of tasks that need to be accomplished, and then starting the next meeting with checking items off the list that are complete.  He says:
A Rider thinks the list is not reasonable and will make excuses why the tasks couldn't be done.
A Walker will finish a part of the list so that they don't get in trouble.
A Jogger feels very content when the list is complete.
A Runner wants to get the list finished quickly so that more can be done.
This Runner wants to get things done well, not quickly, but prefers for it to be done in a timely manner. 

Chapter 19: Find Solutions

     This chapter I can buy into.

     "No excuses, only solutions."  I really do try to think this way.  Sometimes it is hard to do, because obstacles are so easy to see.  But, if we are optimistic in our approach, then we see solutions so much easier. Plus, why collaborate with people if you think the task can never be done anyway? Believe in the power of you.  Find solutions to your problems.  

     We also just introduced the 5 Mindsets for Learning (Mraz and Hertz) at Hiawatha.  They are optimism, persistence, flexibility, resilience, and empathy.  When Ron Clark talks about how frustrating it is when someone on a team says they will do something, but sends an email and doesn't get a response so they stop, I agree with him.  It's frustrating, and then it is impossible to be urgent like his last chapter suggests.  We, as teachers, also needs to use those mindsets in order to be successful as a team.

     He ends the chapter saying the if you are known for offering up solutions and finding ways to get something done, then you add more value to your team.  You may, in fact become an MVP in your supervisor's eyes.  He continues to say that initiative will be recognized and rewarded.  In most cases, I do agree with this.  However, the boss is not always looking in your direction, and so we can't make their response our only motivation for thinking that way.  In my opinion, the most successful teachers are the ones who offer solutions and find ways to get this done, because it is the right thing to do for the STUDENTS in front of us.  It's great when our boss sees it, but it's even better when are students benefit from our ability to find solutions.

     The bus is going to keep moving on Friday, with Kayla Kaczmarek at Miss Kaczmarek's Classroom.  See you on bus!

1 comment:

  1. I love your honesty and couldn't agree more with your input (per usual). Thanks, Leah! I have big shoes to fill for Friday's post :)