Hello My Tweeps..Be a Follower

Catchy titles do it every time. I must admit, when Twitter first came out I was very skeptical. I did not think it would last. Well, I am here to say that I was wrong and I am a convert. I rely on Twitter for everything from breaking news, to weather situations, to educational resources, to help with my fantasy football team. I am connected with the best and the brightest and have easy access to these resources. It is the best priced professional development I could ever find.

All social media can be not-so-good in large doses (I have yet to find value in Snapchat), so I caution any new Twitter users to explore in small doses at first. Be a follower first, tweet or retweet once you get comfortable. Here is a link to a great resource from Sewickley Academy for parents who are new Twitter users.  All things are good in moderation, or at least most things are. Take a small bite and try it out. Twitter can be an excellent resource.

I have challenged our teachers to get on Twitter and connect with great educational resources. This year I will be attending my first Edcamp. This is a powerful learning community of educators who collaborate and organize local unconferences. Yes, I said unconference. Edcamp gatherings are free and are comprised of educators who share their expertise, often locally, with other educators in a format that gives the attendees what they want in regards to sessions. I will be attending my first Edcamp in March at Stone Ridge. Click here to read more about Edcamp. I will report back on my experience.

I share this example as something I was exposed to on Twitter. I continue to learn a great deal from this tool and use it as a resource every day. While I am not an advocate of posting every coming and going of my life in a tweet, I do believe it is a tool that gives us access to great ideas and information. I have evolved from just a follower of folks to sharing resources and my own thoughts at times. I am a consumer and producer. Check us out @TheWoodsAcademy and @josephpowers73 to see what we are consuming and producing. 


We are putting the finishing touches on one of our annual publications at The Woods Academy. WoodsNews will be out shortly and there is a great section that highlights The Woods by the numbers. Some truly amazing data that illustrates the wonderful school, families, students and teachers we have at The Woods. Measuring outcomes is important and we can show some great outcomes. Look for the publication in your mail and online.

One of the great topics in education these days is about Grit. Who has it? Who doesn’t? How do we teach it? Some will even ask, “Why is it important?” The last one is a silly question in my opinion. How gritty are you? Take the survey and you can measure it yourself. In full disclosure, I took the test and scored a 4. This puts me on the grittier side (a 5 is extremely gritty). When I share this with my wife she will tell me this only proves that I am stubborn. Finally, I have some evidence to frame my stubbornness in a positive light. Joking aside, grit is so important these days.

Setbacks are part of all of our lives and how we choose to respond is key. Helping our kids (and ourselves) develop that grit is so important. Angela Lee Duckworth has a short TED Talk below on the topic. She references one of my favorite authors, Carol Dweck, in her talk as well. I love Angela’s opening line where she talks about leaving a “very demanding job in management consulting for another demanding job, teaching.”

So, take the quiz. Share it with your kids or students. Click the link above, then report back.

And, consider reading one of these two books below. They are on the top of my reading list:

Falling Down and Getting Right Back Up

Last weekend I watched the Indianapolis Colts vs. Kansas City Chiefs game. What a great game! The Chiefs were hot and came out of the gates with full force, scoring at will. Andrew Luck did not help much with 3 interceptions. The game looked out of hand early, but Luck and the Colts did not give up. 28 points down is almost impossible to overcome, or is it? Mr. Deyell would be happy to point out his very own Buffalo Bills, led by Frank Reich, have the greatest comeback in NFL history.

One quick image stood out to me while watching the game. It was a quick shot of Andrew Luck on the sidelines with his helmet on and mouth piece in. It was after his third interception and he was waiting to get back on the field. The look in his eyes said, “I want the ball.” He could not wait to get back in the game, even after his failures. Most of us, myself included would have felt more than deflated being down by 4 touchdowns and having thrown 3 interceptions. If Luck was down (no pun intended) than he certainly was not showing it. There was something about the look in his eyes that told me he believed in himself and his team. That is a growth mindset.

The Will to Win!

The Will to Win!

Falling down and getting right back up is not easy, but Andrew Luck gives us a great example of how-to-do-it. Jim Valvano so eloquently delivered the line, “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up,” as he spoke about his battle with cancer at the 1993 Espy Awards. Andrew Luck showed us last weekend what it looks like to brush off failure and work towards success. Not an easy thing to do, but something to aspire to. Luck is a Stanford Alum and Carol Dweck is the world renowned psychologist and author of Mindset. She is also a Stanford professor. I wonder if Luck took her course? I bet he did.