The Struggle is Real

A typical moment in my professional life:

I’m at my desk deep in thought — maybe it’s a budget issue, perhaps a community concern, or maybe an organizational dilemma that needs a creative solution. I’m stuck.

It can feel like my brain’s gears are seized or conversely like my wheels are spinning in mud — it’s an immovable tension of struggling to find a solution.

Neuroscientists have learned that the act of struggling is actually an important part of the learning process. Struggling with a problem results in increased neural connections being formed in your brain. The act of struggling forces your brain to develop new networks — bridging the old to the new.

Does Technology Inhibit Positive Classroom Relationships?

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you will recall that I’m a big fan of taking risks to make things better in our classrooms and schools. How better to show my belief in this statement than me writing about technology in our schools. It’s hard to find a more polarizing issue in the world of public education.

So, let me put it right out front — I believe in the power of technology to make a difference in student learning. Full stop.

I view technology as that tool that makes curriculum accessible to more children in more ways than if we didn’t have it available. Some examples that come to mind include:

  • e-resources that can be adapted to varying reading levels making curricular content more accessible;
  • reading intervention software that helps build neural pathways to strengthen the reading centers in the brain;
  • math programs that provide just the right amount of practice to master basic skills before moving to the next topic

Believing in Santa

In this season of celebration for the many cultures and religions in our community and around the world, a common focus is the importance of kindness and generosity. With this in mind, I want to share with you a story that I came across the other day of ‘Believing in Santa’ which captures this same importance.

Enjoy!

A Son Asks His Dad if There is a Santa Claus

Son: Dad, I think I’m old enough to know now. Is there a Santa Claus?

Not being the world’s fastest thinker, I stalled for time

Dad: OK, I agree that you’re old enough. But, before I tell you, I have a question for you. You see, the truth is a dangerous gift. Once you know something, you can’t un-know it. Once you know the truth about Santa Claus, you will never again understand and relate to him as you do now. So my question to you is: Are you sure you want to know?

Son: Yes, I want to know

Dad: OK, I’ll tell you. Yes, there IS a Santa Claus.

Son: Really?

Dad: Yes, really, but he’s not an old man with a beard and a red suit. That’s just what we tell kids. You see, kids are too young to understand the true nature of Santa Claus, so we explain it to them in a way they can understand. The truth about Santa Claus is that he’s not a person at all — he’s an idea. Think of all those presents Santa gave you over the years. I actually bought those for you. I watched you open them. Did it bother me that you didn’t thank me? Of course not. In fact, it gave me great pleasure. You see, Santa Claus is THE IDEA OF GIVING FOR THE SAKE OF GIVING, without thought of thanks or acknowledgement.

When I saw that person hurt themselves on the sidewalk last week I called for help. The person didn’t know who called the ambulance. I was being Santa Claus when I did that.

Son: Oh, I get it.

Dad: So, now that you know, you’re part of it. You have the responsibility to be Santa Claus from now on. And being Santa means spreading the spirit of giving without the need for thanks, and looking for opportunities to help.

Anonymous – Adapted from an internet posting

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season filled with the spirit of kindness and giving in how ever that looks for you and your family,

Dave