Friday, March 26, 2010


I first ran into the concept of Choice Theory a long time ago when my father gave me a book, Stations of the Mind, by William Glasser. In it, Glasser discusses the theory and one of the things that has stuck with me was that there is a gap between stimulus and response and we choose how we react to each and every stimuli.

Now, I understand that many stimuli will cause an almost instantaneous response - such as putting your hand on a hot stove and immediately pulling it away. The key word there is "almost." Physiologically, there is a split second (however long that may actually be) that it takes for the nerve impulse to travel from the hand to the brain and back to the muscles of the arm to move the hand off the stove.

Of course, most of the book was not about how we respond to such physical events, but how we choose to perceive stimuli outside of our physical body.

Anyway, this book led me down a journey to other Glasser books and many thoughts about making choices in how we perceive the things that happen around us every day. I was reminded of this as I read an article by Jon Gordon about the difference between "get to" and "have to."

Do we "have to go to work" or do we "get to go to work?" We can exchange "get to" for "have to" in a lot of situations and have a totally different outlook on things. It certainly makes for a much better day.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mr. President

Congratulations to Ken Griffith, the president-elect for the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Social Media in Education

How many of you blog, tweet, facebook, or use other forms of social media? An article in makes the case that schools need to be more proactive in helping students become responsible consumers of social media.

One of the interesting points the author made was that nearly half of all employers in a survey were researching the social networking sites of prospective employees. Makes sense then, that schools would help students become more responsible users, helping them put a positive message out and creating opportunities they might otherwise miss.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Benefits of Positive Thinking

Jon Gordon wrote of the benefits of being positive here. One of the things I like about this article is that he named studies that showed each benefit (although they are not cited, one could do a little searching to find them.) Positive people tend to live longer, outperform their negative peers, and have more friends. Sure seems like some pretty good benefits to me.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Inspire Your Students

Bob Sullo appeared at the Wyoming School Improvement Conference this week and presented eight keys to inspiring students. These eight keys included:
  1. Be enthusiastic
  2. Eliminate fear
  3. Minimize coercion
  4. Eliminate external rewards for learning - This was quite a conversation piece and not everyone agreed this was necessarily the right way to motivate students. Sullo maintains (and Alfie Kohn would agree) that external rewards focuses people on the reward and not on the learning itself. Interesting discussion.
  5. Build positive relationships - not only with the teacher, but with the subject itself.
  6. Create relevant lessons
  7. Create realistic expectations
  8. Create a need-satisfying classroom.