Saturday, June 3, 2017

I Am So Tired Of No

No. You can't talk in the computer lab while you're working on your research project.

No. We've never done it that way before so you can't - stop asking.

No. It's a science fair, you can't build an iOS app instead.

No. The assignment was due yesterday so you can't turn it in today

No. You can't code right now, we're doing this math worksheet website.

No. You can't take your class outside for that lesson, it needs to happen in the classroom.

No. You can't change the art project, this is how it's supposed to look. 

No. We can't keep the Chromebooks on your desk during the day, they need to stay in the locker when they're not being used.

No. Technology is only used during 'tech' time, we're doing social studies right now.

I. Am. So. Tired. Of. No.

As educators we need to be in the yes business, and not just with our students, with our teachers too!

Of course you can code the Sphero during math time, it's a great way to learn angles.

Why is everyone so quiet, you know I like conversation in class which tells me you're learning from each other.

This is the basic template for our project today and I really want you all to add your own flavor as you work.

When you're done reading that chapter go design and print something on the 3D printer, that would be awesome!

I love that idea, moving all of your desks outside for the day and having a robot challenge with your class sounds amazing!

You want to switch classes today with your partner teacher to get a different perspective from their class, go for it!

Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes - of course Kindergarten students can do all of those things, let me know how it goes!

How many dreams are crushed when educators say no? 

How many missed opportunities cruise on by when we say no.

How many students stop thinking, tinkering, wondering, planning, collaborating, scheming, dreaming - when we say no. 

How many teachers feel deflated when their Principal says they can't, won't, shouldn't, that would be too noisy, that's not part of the plan, way to big of a mess, uhhhhhh no.

What does it matter to you? What are you afraid of? Why are you so fixated on no. Why is that the default response? 

Education today is almost completely different from the experience we had as kids, yet I see so many educators following down the same path with their current students/teachers and we live in a completely different world. 

Who cares if kids talk while they're in the computer lab, it's called conversation. 

Why can't kids go ahead during a lesson, why do they have to wait for you or the entire class. is the best example of differentiation. The teacher doesn't need to know how to code for their students to learn, and the entire class can be on a different level, it should be like that for everything!

Why can't kids keep their Chromebook on their desk during the day, it's the most important tool in the classroom and the more visible it is the more they're going to use it. My wife and I got a crockpot for our wedding and we used in once in five years. It was kept in a cupboard and I always forgot it was there. So I put it on the counter in our kitchen last winter and we used it fifteen times! The more visible the tools are the more possibility they're going to be used by kids.

Why do you tell kids 'shhhhhh' when they're walking in line, they have the right to talk with each other. The more you tell them to be quiet the more stress and management you need to deal with, it's easier if you let them talk. Why also do we make kids walk in straight lines, can we just have them 'move' to their next location as a group, try it and see what happens, it's a much more natural way to travel.

There are way too many things that happen in schools and they don't happen anywhere else in the world. You have a creative idea at work that will save your company money or make them a lot of money - the answer is yes. You have an idea that is 'outside the box' - kids are told no because it wasn't the teachers idea or it's perceived to be more or too much work, or we just don't do it that way, or that's not how we do it. That needs to change. When we say yes, we're making the attempt to connect and differentiate for all of our students, not trying to make all of our students the same and just one way.

No more no - educators need to be in the yes business. Tell kids yes and see what happens. Give them a longer leash. Give them a chance. Believe in their ideas, even though it wasn't yours. Our kids and teachers deserve it!