Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Teaching Tip #139



Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #139
The Immigrant Edge – This one should get Trump’s blood boiling
Brian Buffini, an incredible successful Irish immigrant, was featured on the Entreleadership podcast.  In the interview, he shared the seven traits that make immigrants – often – so much more successful than Americans residents.
How can we teach these in our classes?
Trait #7 – Remember where you come from

For teachers, I think of it this way, remember what it was like to be 16 again.  Go back and break out your yearbook - or for Heidi’s sake, break out that old prom photo - and for ten minutes, put yourself in those 17 year old shoes of yours again. Write about what you were thinking and feeling and looking forward to then.  Write about what you thought of your teachers and coaches when you were 17.  Then realize that’s most likely how your students and even your children are viewing you right now.  Have a little sympathy and understanding for them and what it’s like to be 17 again.  That doesn’t mean you have to agree with what you used to think (hopefully, we’ve grown up a lot since then), but it can allow you to have some empathy.  Learning starts with empathy.  Culture starts with empathy.  What can’t you accomplish if you have those two things in your classroom?


Monday, March 27, 2017

Teaching Tip #138



Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #138
The Immigrant Edge – This one should get Trump’s blood boiling
Brian Buffini, an incredible successful Irish immigrant, was featured on the Entreleadership podcast.  In the interview, he shared the seven traits that make immigrants – often – so much more successful than Americans residents.
How can we teach these in our classes?
Trait #6 – Willingness to delay gratification.


Results don’t happen immediately.  It takes time.  Think of Gladwell’s 10,000 hour rule.  It takes time to master a concept or idea.  Unfortunately, we live in a society where students read things shared by adults - yes, adults - that totally runs counter to this.  Just the other day a former student, now an adult with a family, shared a video that claimed to purportedly: “Watch this congressman disprove global warming in five minutes.”


Really?  Who is stupid enough to think you can disprove a large concept like global warming and climate change in a five minute video that never even cited any real scientific data?


Students (and adults) are losing the ability to delay gratification because our world is all about instant gratification.


Don’t believe me?  Look at the tizzy everyone (teachers and students alike) were thrown into yesterday when the wifi was knocked out by the power outage.  We lost our ability to instantly connect and get information.

Brene Brown has a great point about delayed gratification in her TED Talk on vulnerability: when she looks back on her life, she realizes all the times that really made her who she really is were times of difficult struggle and pain.  Yet, as educators and parents and adults, how often do we experience struggle and pain?  How often do we allow our students (and our own children) to struggle and experience pain?  What rewarding experiences are we robbing them of?

Friday, March 24, 2017

Teaching Tip #137



Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #137
The Immigrant Edge – This one should get Trump’s blood boiling
Brian Buffini, an incredible successful Irish immigrant, was featured on the Entreleadership podcast.  In the interview, he shared the seven traits that make immigrants – often – so much more successful than Americans residents.
How can we teach these in our classes?
Trait #5 – Have the boldness to invest

If we don’t invest in ourselves as teachers, what are we doing here?  Next year marks my 20th year teaching.  But because I invest in myself through constantly reading and writing and taking classes and learning from my mistakes and successes, I have never taught the same year twice.  And I’ll be vastly better in 2018 than I was way back in 1998 when I began here.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Teaching Tip #136


Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #136
The Immigrant Edge – This one should get Trump’s blood boiling
Brian Buffini, an incredible successful Irish immigrant, was featured on the Entreleadership podcast.  In the interview, he shared the seven traits that make immigrants – often – so much more successful than Americans residents.
How can we teach these in our classes?
Trait #4 – Develop a spirit of gratitude
How can’t we be grateful?  Every year I write my seniors personal letters for graduation.  I tell them three things – what I will always remember about them; advice I have for them; and their linchpin ability.  I am always humbled when I get their thanks you’s.  I feel like I have to write them a thank you for their thank you’s.  That’s gratitude.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Teaching Tip #135



Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #135
The Immigrant Edge – This one should get Trump’s blood boiling
Brian Buffini, an incredible successful Irish immigrant, was featured on the Entreleadership podcast.  In the interview, he shared the seven traits that make immigrants – often – so much more successful than Americans residents.
How can we teach these in our classes?
Trait #3 – Willingness to out work others
Often times, Buffini states, this is the #1 way immigrants succeed.  They are simply willing to outwork American citizens.  This may entail 12 hour days or getting two jobs.  Our ancestors did it.  But somehow the spirit of having a strong work ethic has become something of anathema.  I think of the book The 4 Hour Work Week.  The message seems to be work less, not more.  How about if we teach (and model) this attitude instead: work harder AND smarter?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Teaching Tip #134


Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #134
The Immigrant Edge – This one should get Trump’s blood boiling
Brian Buffini, an incredible successful Irish immigrant, was featured on the Entreleadership podcast.  In the interview, he shared the seven traits that make immigrants – often – so much more successful than Americans residents.
How can we teach these in our classes?
Trait #2 – Do what (ever) it takes
Successful immigrants don’t come here with trust funds set up or legacy spots at Ivy League colleges reserved for them.  Unfortunately, many immigrants (and American citizens as well) milk the system so they have to do as little as it takes to get by, but anyone who has achieved any kind of success knows that they need to develop the trait of sacrifice and willing to do what it takes to get ahead.
I try to teach this in class by asking students to share their study and work habits.  I try to show students the importance of getting their 10,000 hours in (thanks Mr. Gladwell).  I also try to use examples of work ethic I see in others (such as the incredible willingness to do whatever it takes of James Dyson and Gary Paulson).

Monday, March 20, 2017

Teaching Tip #133


Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #133
The Immigrant Edge – This one should get Trump’s blood boiling
Brian Buffini, an incredible successful Irish immigrant, was featured on the Entreleadership podcast.  In the interview, he shared the seven traits that make immigrants – often – so much more successful than Americans residents.
How can we teach these in our classes?
Trait #1 – An openness to learn
Regardless if you are new to this country or your family sailed here on the Mayflower, this is a trait that will never fail to serve you.
Buffini notes that successful immigrants come to America often not knowing the language or the culture.  The first thing that will allow them to thrive is their ability to learn how to adapt and eek out a living.
How can we rekindle our students’ willingness to learn?  I see an incredible desire in my elementary school aged kids to learn.  They learn non-stop.  And it just isn’t in school either.  My son is constantly learning new words and ideas thanks to his iPad and his beloved Youtube Kids app. But something seems to happen to our students once they get into their teen years, where many cease being open to learning . . . if they don’t become openly hostile to it.
That must change.  There is not a single career field today that doesn’t call for their workers to be constantly learning.