change the lens
change the STORY
The FORCE Society
‘in the know’ Series
August 27, 2014
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"I come to you humbly not to tell you
what to do on your journey but to share
with you what I have learned on mine”
cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo by Thompson Rivers University:
Our stories shape
who we are
Stories about ourselves
are we telling?
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why we are here.
We are hardwired to
-- Brene Brown
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“We don’t know who we can be…
until we know what we can do”
The Stories of
The Story of
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Is our children’s work at school both a reflection of
who THEY are and what WE want them to do?
Exploring who they are…
creating their stories
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From Vancouver Sun
d e f i c i t s
It is not always about overcoming a perceived
It is often about embracing a lesser-known
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Each child has a gift... We
need to see and nurture these
gifts so they emerge and
flourish throughout an
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-- Lorna Williams
Our students’ strengths are not
carrots to be dangled to get them to
comply… they are valuable resources
to be tapped and embedded in their
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Where STRENGTHS are embraced
A School Built on Strengths
What we see…
Depends on what we look for.
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CC Image from Joe Athialy https://flic.kr/p/87N9p5
“To shift a cycle from
decline to success,
leaders must restore
--Rosabeth Moss Kanter
Back up to where
and get em on a
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Make it worth the effort.
Narrow the gap.
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Rethink how we honour
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Change the streak.
Change the story.
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changing the stories
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Embrace the TEAM.
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Changing the stories
“With a piece of chalk” http://youtu.be/mBZAFJ-Q6Mw
Connect With Me
winning and losing streaks and how to shift the streak.
not so much about beating others but streaks of successes, failures.
“learned helplessness,” repeated failures teach people not even to try.
Low confidence suppresses creativity and risk taking… and can create anxiety
If we can create small success, we can snap the streak.
Success breeds confidence, confidence breed success
Not too low, not too high. Find the sweet spot of confidence.
We know students who are on losing streaks… how do we get them on a winning streak
Start them off with a real success and build from there.
Suz – pitch where they can hit it and challenge from there.
If we see streaks of setbacks with no success… need to break this. Success in another area?
I suck at math –Gabby – grade 6 – struggled with anxiety.
Would not even try… crumpled up papers, arms crossed.
Differentiated. Worked with younger students teaching math.
Changed the way I taught and assessed. I backed up to where she was. I avoided numbers, x’s and checks – just feedback.
she was teaching the grade 5’s… had the confidence, enjoyed math.
We changed the streak… and changed the story.
As humans, before we act – have a choice – is this worth the effort?
Likelihood of success determines amount of effort people put in
If the gap between the goal and what we think we can accomplish is too large, we often move on.
Brakes in my car… look this up… not worth it.
Replace toilets… I can do that.
Meet kids where they are and help them build small successes so they can see that it IS worth their effort.
With effort, they can SEE and FEEL success.
Not about being a cheerleader. Authentic success.
There is a ton of focus on grit – the stick to itness to overcome hurdles and obstacles.
Concerns with this. All we have to do is work harder?
While I think determination and struggle are so important in education – it is difficult to stick with anything or bounce back without confidence.
Start with what they know… build confidence from there. Embrace struggle. Build resilience.
Not about telling kids they are great. We need REAL successes.
Growth mindset. – Carol Dweck – intelligence can be developed with effort. Nothing is fixed when we are born
Helps to create a story and Identity as LEARNERS.
Education is not a zero sum game.
If we believe that all children can learn, all children have strengths…
how do things like Awards fit into this model? What stories do traditional awards create?
How many students have skills and strengths that do not go honoured? Do not get acknowledged?
honour - automatically go to awards that often happen at the end of the year?
Just because I say we shouldn’t have awards does not mean all kids should get some prize in education.
Rethink honour, go deeper than awards – honour our kids by embracing and showcasing their strengths
Lets work to make it less of a game for our students. Honour who they are… honour what they do. More often and for more students.
Do our assessment practices in school build confidence?
Would we mark and grade at home with our kids like we do at school?
DO we encourage a growth mindset?
Get em on a winning streak of small successes…
start with their strengths, build confidence, then challenge and embrace the struggle and growth.
Confidence + strengths + interests of our students… we get more engagement.
How we teach and the conditions we create are what makes the difference.
Tap into strengths and interestsof teachers and students
Slow down – take the time
Go through each off the ideas
CHOICES - Canoe building, CSI, Glee club, flag football, stop motion video, readers theatre, lego architects, bird watching
A quote from a parent… I know on Wednesdays I don’t have to ask “what did you do in school?... They just tell me”
What is our first contact with parents?How do our parents feel when they see the school’s number come up or when the teacher or principal approaches them?
How does the teacher or principal feel when a parent approaches?
Are we sharing the positives? Take the time. Make the effort.
Build the relationship.
Are we embracing the strengths and expertise of our students’ team?
Strength of student? Family? Extended family? ALL staff?
Met Dom in my visit to the school when he was in grade 4
Asked for him to be in my grade 5/6 class. Was stubborn, withdrawn, reluctant learner
met with my principal – what is he good at? Didn’t know – all I knew was that he would not do any work. FIND OUT
Met with Dom one recess. Lived with his grandma (mom was too young when she had him), took a bus 2 hours each day
Loved music – both loved Johnny Cash
Was a drumming leader in his community… BOOM.
Set up our FNSW to work with him at recesses.
Asked if he would play in front of class – declined but then talked into it. Sang and drummed, beads of sweat… huge roar of applause.
Other joined in... Played in in front of our class each Monday. Played in front of our school for every event.
Formed a group – Sacred Connection. Part of the Pre-Olympic performance. Drummer with all the adults in a Pow-Wow we had at our school.
Friendships grew… he did the learning tasks in class!
last day of school… he missed the bus. We found him in the class crying. Huge hug. Did not want the year to end.
Now 16, Dom spoke at the local Erase Bullying and I spoke to Surrey Supt Jordan Tinney – Dom was the highlight.
Dome continues to lead. Sings and Drums for Kent school events.
We all have a story of someone like Dom.
How do we do this more often?
strength’s are acknowledge… they rise up.
When we bring in the strengths we can change the stories of our students.
We know some students are better are at school than others… but do we have processes in school that ignore some strengths and highlight others…
Strength-based nursing – McGill University