Here’s a link to an interesting article in the Bangor Daily News:
Moving Beyond ‘Blame The Teacher’
Much as I enjoyed the article, I also ended up frustrated because–try as I might–I could not post a comment! Reading the comments already there made me want to add:
One caution is that we not move from blaming the teachers to blaming the parents. To do so would be to miss the point of the article. You can bet that the schools cited here did far more than is reported in this article. Ultimately, the ENTIRE system was affected. The article perhaps didn’t go quite far enough in describing this. One sentence that needs changing:
“In education as in industry, progress toward quality will require collaboration among administrators, teachers and their unions, the parents and the students themselves.”
Of course Demings wasn’t the only “guru” promoting this thinking, but there was a simple elegance to his approach. The approach forced us to stop finding people to blame and look at the systems those people are working under. Very often those systems punish the very behavior and outcomes being sought and reward the undesired ones.
I was a practicing systems organization development consultant during those years and can attest to the success of the approach. Organizations with red bottom lines were in crisis and desperate for a fix. Those who saw beyond blaming often achieved incredible turnarounds. The need to make a profit can be incredibly motivating.
We might start wondering when we face a similar crisis and the need to teach and develop our kids becomes similarly motivating.
We’re getting close… and it looks like we’re going to have a good sized class! But there’s still room and time to sign up for the media relations class at SeDoMoCha next Tuesday:
No News is NOT Good News
Media Relations for Nonprofessionals
You may be making news, but is it news if nobody knows about it? This class will explore the basics of “getting the word out” through approaches that work for small businesses and non-profit organizations. Participants will learn the hows and whys of getting a story in print or on television, and take home samples of formats as well as a number of tips for maximizing their business or organization’s exposure in the press.
Class will be held on Tuesday, September 20th from 6:30 to8:30 pm at SeDoMoCha in Dover Foxcroft. As a service to businesses and non-profits in the area, class fee is only $10!
For more information or to register, call PVAEC at 564-6525… if space permits, you may be able to sign up the night of class.
Some years ago before the 9-1-1 emergency system was commonplace, I was involved in a situation that created some momentary anxiety and actual panic. One of the participants was scurrying around carrying a portable phone and screaming, “What’s the number for nine-one-one? What’s the number for nine-one-one?!” It took a few minutes to convince him that you dialed 9-1-1 to reach nine-one-one.
Because the incident turned out to be less than critical his question became a source of humor and he took a fair amount of ribbing for quite some time. “Did you ever get the number for nine-one-one?”
Some years later those same numbers became important for a different reason and, of course, many people called nine-one-one on nine eleven. And now, ten years later the country pauses to honor and reflect on that event.
There are lots of numbers involved–including the number of lives lost, the number of emergency personnel who responded, etc. As I think about those numbers one number stands out. Continue reading What’s the number for 9/11?
I like that we celebrate Labor Day by not working.
My morning email included yet another email diatribe from an acquaintance who is clearly addicted to forwarding email. Dealing with his email isn’t really much work–I will usually give it a five second scan and hit the delete button. Since I’m not working today (mostly) I gave it ten seconds. This one was a real rant and rave about the Social Security “problem” and politicians in general, closing with:
YEAH, OK, SO WHEN DO WE GET P—— ENOUGH TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT ALL THIS CRAP?
95% of people won’t have the guts to forward this. I’m one of the 5%, I Just did.
He added the red for emphasis, I deleted the expletive. Perhaps because it’s a relatively leisurely day, I found myself a bit amused by the message. Permit me to paraphrase his words into the message I heard:
“I am so mad over all this crap I’m doing something about it–I’m clicking forward and sending this email to a bunch of people who probably don’t want it. It took a lot of courage for me to do this.”
I’m quite sure the world is a better place now–thanks to his courage and willingness to take on this huge task. Call me a coward. I didn’t forward his email.
While I am a firm believer that there are times when “the work is the reward,” consideration should be given to what that work accomplishes. I know quite a few people who are (by their own admission) extremely busy. I occasionally want to ask, “What are you accomplishing?” On the occasions when I have, the reply is most often a blank stare.
I do ask myself that question fairly often–because it’s very easy to kid yourself into thinking you’re working really hard when all you’re actually doing is being busy.
Don’t confuse activity with accomplishment.
I’ve tried to “embed” a short TED presentation for you to consider… it’s only about three and half minutes long.
Many of us have heard that it takes thirty days to form a new habit. This is not about that. Well, not exactly.
What I love about this presentation is the simple elegance. We don’t need to do extreme makeovers in order to change. We just need to commit to trying something for thirty days. I found, for example, the presenter’s example of committing to take one photo every day for thirty days interesting, because I often find myself “whining” (to myself anyway) that I’m not using my camera more. Should I commit to taking one photo everyday for the next thirty?