I was granted the amazing opportunity to attend and present at the Texas Council for Social Studies Conference in Corpus Christi (a full reflection post will be coming soon). While there, one of the sessions I attended was hosted by Eva Mozes Kor.
I cannot even begin to describe the wisdom, patience, and grace of this amazing woman. She and her twin sister lost their entire family at Auschwitz and had to endure terrible conditions and medical testing at the hands of the Nazis and Dr. Mengele. She has spent an amazing amount of her time, energy, and effort on building a Candles Holocaust Museum in Terre Haute, Indiana as well as traveling to educate others of the Holocaust and really to educate the world on grace and forgiveness.
She was witty, kind, motivating, and inspiring.
In her presentation today, she told her story and then told us some life lessons she has learned.
Lesson 1: Never give up on your dreams.
“Growing up is very hard. Even if you live in the U.S. Even if you have wealthy parents. Even if your parents buy you designer jeans with holes in them. ”
She continued on talking about how life is hard because you have to find your place. Where do you fit in this big world? What are you meant to accomplish? If you give up, you’ll never find your place.
“If you keep trying, it is absolutely amazing what your mind can come up with.”
Lesson #2 and #3 coming next post!
Are you being the best YOU that you can be?
Shifting Culture: a reflection on being an instructional coach and week 1 of the #IMMOOC
How do you create an innovative environment in your school? As an Instructional Coach, this is something I think about often. How can I help teachers try new things, reflect on their teaching, experience new professional learning, and grow in their craft??
Everyday is an opportunity to get better. Don’t waste it! And of course, a favorite quote from George Couros, Chapter 1 of The Innovator’s Mindset:
Change is difficult and sometimes when we are looking for change, we expect it to happen all at once. But in reality, change comes in small opportunities. The important thing in shifting culture it to take advantage of those small opportunities.
In Instructional Coaching, those small opportunities come by finding a few educators who are willing try new things, to reflect, and to grow. The energy of success and excitement from those few educators will spread around the school. An excellent example is #ObserveMe!
Change is a great thing if you look at it as an opportunity. Take a moment and think…what transformational things you have seen around you? Those started out as a change. How can you embrace those? How can you use what you teach to enable the students to be ready for the real world? Many teachers are already working with students in transformational ways. I see teachers working hard everyday to individualize instruction for each student, getting to know each student, finding their strengths and thus preparing them for success!
Everyone has their strengths. How can you find small opportunities and use your strengths to make great change? To innovate in education? Start small…you might surprise yourself! Shift the Culture of your department, your school, your community!