Tagged: motivation


Personal PD; Phase 1 – Research Checklist

  1. Decide upon a topic to research.
  2. Document 4 -6 research resources using a variety of mediums.
  3. Use the Phase 1 Research Guide to assist in your research and writing.
  4. Visit with your Instructional/Tech Coach for support.
  5. Share your research findings in the space below. This will be shared with your building principal upon completion of this project and will be used during Phases 2, 3, and 4.
  6. Upon completion of steps 1 -5, you will move to Phase 2 – Integration.

Summarize your research findings below.

1. Growth Mindset, and “Culture and Climate.”

2. Here are several things I am looking at and using:

  • “Art Education.” Art Education, vol. 70, no. 5, ser. 2017, 9ADAD. 2017. https://www.arteducators.org/research/art-education-journal
  • Smith, Mike. “Jostens Renaissance Education.” Jostens Renaissance Education, Jostens’ Inc., 2017, www.jostensrenaissance.com.
  • Ragan, Trevor. Trainugly.com, Train Ugly LLC, 2017, trainugly.com.
  • Hetland, Lois. Studio Thinking: the Real Benefits of Visual Arts Education. Teachers College, Columbia University, 2009.
  • Maiers, Angela. Classroom Habitudes: Teaching Habits and Attitudes for 21st Century Learning. Solution Tree Press, 2012.
  • Rosenberg, Marshall B. Nonviolent Communication: a Language of Life ; Empathy, Collaboration, Authenticity, Freedom. PuddleDancer Press, 2015.
  • Seligman, Martin P. Learned Optimism. 2nd ed., Vintage Books, 1998.\
  • Dweck, Carol S. Mindset: Changing the Way You Think to Fulfill Your Potential. Little Brown Book Company, 2012.

3. Last year our MS PLC talked about using growth mindset. For years I’ve believed that standards and test data are ineffective and often inaccurate if students are unmotivated to learn. I’ve heard teachers complain at PD about wanting AEA presenters to help them find ways to “reach” and motivate students. I’ve read books on developing essential questions. I took license renewal classes on character ed and helping students with anxiety and depression.

So this year, my personal PD will be addressing two things. To work with the district’s goals for PBIS, I’d like to find ways that I can positively influence our school’s “culture and climate.” We need a culture that values and promotes curiosity and personal growth and learning. We need a climate that is positive, safe and encouraging. Not that it’s “bad” or terribly inhospitable (so far as I can tell), but it’s also not intentional. Any school can always do better. The other thing I want to work on is to continue to develop and improve the ways that I address, teach, apply and use growth mindset in my classrooms. Ideally I can not only help students and improve my own teaching, but demonstrate to others the value of these concepts and consider adopting them as well.

I don’t know if I’ve hit all 14 points on the “Phase 1 Research Guide,” I apologize if my writing was too organic. I’ll re-do it if I’m required to follow a specific format.

4. With all due respect to the TLC, and I really like and respect Betsy, but-

5. I am going to be using a section of my personal blog as a repository of my findings and reflections on my personal PD this year. https://tedmallory.wordpress.com/tag/teaching,
… but (as of 8/31) I will come back and type something here after reviewing more of the videos on the two websites and scanning through &/or reading some of the books I’ve listed above.

WATCH THIS SPACE for #5. Also, will Ted ever use the Phase 1 Research Guide? Will he get in trouble for the snarky meme he inserted for #4?

But seriously, I fully intend to study how to teach and use growth mindset, I genuinely want to help our district with their PBIS because I think it can have a positive effect on our community and students’ sense of belonging and identity- I just don’t want to see it stall out in the behavioralist stages of teaching and repeating procedures. And even if the only way I can do it is via the yearbook and cheer squad, I want to work on improving our culture and climate. I want to see us become a community of life-long learners, among other things. Got any ideas for me? I’m open to “crowd-sourcing” from other educators- why should I limit myself to books and websites? Leave your comments below or share your books & websites (resources) with me. Thanks.

Positive Teachers Matter


LOVE! This quote from German philosopher, poet & playwright Wolfgang Goethe-

“Instruction does much, but encouragement does everything.” It doesn’t mean to lie to kids and artificially inflate their egos, it means that teachers and coaches need to be cheerleaders, we need to encourage kids- encourage them to try, encourage them to work, and yes, encourage them when they succeed, but also to encourage them to pick themselves up, dust them selves off, and keep trying and working when they fail.

Of course American poet Maya Angelou said it another way when she wrote “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Or, to be more trite, “They won’t care what you know, till they know that you care.” Or to use some teacher-jargon, “You can’t get to Bloom, till you take care of Maslow.”

#AffectiveDomainMatters #MotivationMatters #Inspire

Mindset Mondays

ORANGE BRAINI haven’t blogged in quite a while and it seems like the last few times were either politics or poetry.

This year for professional development, our school is doing something called “Personalized PD.” Essentially we’ll be getting licence renewal credit for doing something I’ve been doing for years anyway; doing personal reading or research and implementing what we learn in our classrooms. Any professional educator worth their salt ought to be doing this at least casually if not deliberately and formally anyway.

Sometimes it’s a website, blogger or twitter. Sometimes it’s a professional journal or association resource. Sometimes it’s your own personal learning network (PLN). But anyone who’s serious about helping their students learn and grow is also constantly striving to learn and grow themselves.

Now that it’s becoming “institutionalized,” that is to say now that the educational-industrial-complex is finally catching on to personalized pd and to “professional learning circles (PLCs),” I worry that it will no longer be as organic and subversive as it once was. Time will tell, but in theory at least, it’s an excellent idea.

One component of our school’s Professional PD is that we need to share what we learn and implement with other educators. So, rather than create an entirely new blog, I am going to post about what I research and apply here on my existing blog under the tag “teaching” and with the spiffy “faculty lounge” banner graphic.

I may not be a professional education consultant, a TED Talks speaker, award winning administrator or YouTube or podcast host, but I am a 24 year veteran of both parochial and public schools, so I hope that my ideas and insights will be useful to whomever stumbles across them and to my colleagues at Boyer Valley and Woodbine schools.

DISCLAIMER/TRIGGER WARNING- What I write here are all my own opinions and do not represent Boyer Valley Community Schools, their Board or Administration- although

1) I will do my best to remain as positive and professional as I can at all times because

a) I like my job and want to keep it and

b) it’s the right thing to do anyway.

2) They really ought to be their ideas because it’s not like I’m a blither idiot, I try to be informed and it’s not like I haven’t got years of experience and any district ought to trust and empower their educators (whew- sorry, just putting that out there even though I recognize that it was both cynical and unprofessional, but admit it, it was at least kinda funny, right?) and

3) I forgot 3… oh yeah- any blogger ought to be able to feel comfortable being as genuine and authentic as possible without having to fear recrimination for their candor, right? Be that as it may, my goal is to share ideas, not spew opinions or vent frustrations so even if I try to use humor (or sarcasm) on future posts, please know that it’s intended to help communicate not to ruminate.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on with it.

The PLC I am a part of (not to be confused with a PLN) has as a goal to increase motivation among our students. Last year we discussed using “Growth Mindset” ideas, but for whatever reason, we didn’t get all that far. That doesn’t mean that I have to give up on that concept myself in my own classroom.

One of my plans is to dedicate a portion of each Monday to addressing issues of learning attitudes. In my eighth grade Civics classes I plan on using videos from Trevor Ragan at trainugly.com. In my middle school Art classes especially, I will be working through the Studio Habits of Mind (SHoM) developed at Harvard. I will touch on these in my high school Art classes as well although in Commercial Art and Web Design , I intend to emphasize the steps in the design process more.

Later in the year, I may switch Art classes to videos from a YouTube channel called ‘The Art Assignment’ which will essentially be cycling through the studio habits in different ways. I may move Web Design to either Trevor Ragan, Simon Sinek or Steven Covey or some combination of all three.

As a Cheer coach, I’ve used John Wooden’s ‘Pyramid of Success’ for many years, but have let it go for a few years now, so I think I should bring it back.

All of these programs are intended to help develop learner’s own intrinsic motivations to desire to learn and challenge themselves rather than relaying on extrinsic motivators like grades, privileges, rewards, punishments, detentions, candy, etc. etc.

The thick, pseudo-intellectual explanation for this is that I see myself as aligning with cognitivists and existentialists in psychology rather than the behavioralists. The snarky way to say that is that I want students to be thinkers and learners rather than treating them like animals or machines.

Let’s be blunt. The trend in legislatures and state departments of education in recent years has been to focus on testing, data, and standards. But if students don’t respect the test, the results will always be skewed and therefore inaccurate. What’s more, the best tests, the best data, and the best designed standards in the world won’t mean jack if students are either unwilling or unable to learn.

Because of this, we need to direct our energy into inspiring and encouraging students to actually WANT to become life-long-learners.

Here are two trite cliche’s which I consider personal mantras and which I share as often as I can:

  • We can’t teach them Bloom till we take care of Maslow
  • If you WANT to learn, NO ONE can stop you;
    But if you DON’T want to learn, NO ONE can help you


Doing what you love & not understanding why no one else loves it as much as you do.

This morning, finishing the district newsletter gave me a feeling of efficacy. I may not be one of the greatest graphic designers in the United States, but I bet I’m one of the best ones in at least four counties. Of course, that’s not saying much. I’m not swear I’m not trying to be conceited, I just enjoy working on layouts and I feel like after three decades of doing it, I know what I’m doing.

But then in the afternoon, I let myself get discouraged while trying to edit, revise, finish and submit yearbook pages. You’d think after advising for 20 years I’d have figured out how to hold students accountable for production work and deadlines.

Don’t get me wrong; this year I had some of the most competent & hard working staffers I’ve had in years. More pages are done and done well than ever before. Be that as it may, I can’t believe how many don’t have captions yet, how many are started but not finished, and how many have huge, childish point-sizes.

I feel guilty & inadequate for not teaching well enough, not reinforcing & coaching enough, and most of all not enforcing rigid enough consequences. Then I looked at next Fall’s roster and saw both how small it is and how many students are on it who have a history of behavior problems. Ugh.

How do you instill veterans with the ability to assess what needs to be accomplished & the initiative to act on it without having to be directed to? How do you instill rookies & underclassmen with enough sense of pride and responsibility that they follow through on their obligations and don’t just expect someone else to finish up after them?

Is the answer really as simple as clear & consistent expectations & severe & merciless consequences? Which is more important ultimately, process or product? Will they still catch your enthusiasm if you reprimand them for doing everything half-assed?