Permission, Pull, or Push?

At Rover we have been pretty excited about trying some new strategies, integrating more technology and increasing our use of project based learning across content areas.  We have a passion for innovative teaching and learning.  Additionally, many teachers, along with myself, have been striving to do a better job of telling our story on social media, particularly Instagram.  

This morning as I was reflecting with my instructional coach on the strategies we have used to promote innovative teaching and learning, it struck me that the process could be described with 3P’s Permission, Pull, and Push.  Permission, teachers and students were given permission and the safe setting to try new things, even when they got a little messy, without a constant chiding about test scores.  As long as our focus continued to be teaching the standards, the experiences for students could look different than they had in the past.  Early adopters took this freedom and tried out things they may have been uncomfortable or fearful of in the past.  This culture of permission and safety must remain in place to support innovative teaching and learning.  

Pull, these early adopters began sharing their stories and successes with others on their teams, at staff meetings, and even through social media.  Celebrating successes and sharing struggles sparked an interest in those who had contemplated trying new things but were somewhat unsure.  The early adopters pulled their colleagues into the process and the innovative culture continued to grow.

Push, for some, it is easier to take risks when they have permission, others are doing it, and they are receiving some gentle encouragement from their school leader.  In some ways, these individuals have been the most fun to watch as their hesitation turns to excitement as they try new things.  With that, the culture of innovation now permeates every classroom.

Given we were heading out for Thanksgiving break at the end of the day today, my “thankful for” message was this, “I am thankful for having the opportunity to work with a school full of innovative teachers and learners.”  Happy Thanksgiving!

Feeling Blessed…

This week has been a very special week.  I feel very blessed to be able to watch those I have the privilege of calling sons and daughters accomplish so much.  To begin with, my oldest daughter has not only become an amazing woman, but she strives to be the very best mommy she can be.  Today was an extra special day, as her son celebrated his birthday.  I know there’s nothing she wouldn’t do for that little man.  My second oldest daughter is also striving to be a great mommy to her little girl.  Although life has not been easy for her, she still checks in with Cathy for advice and guidance as she travels on her journey of life.

The kiddos still at home I get to witness their day to day accomplishments.  On Sunday, my two oldest were both part of the worship service, my daughter singing with the band, and my son handling some of the pastor’s “props”.  Tonight, five out of my six youngest celebrated another successful year in AWANA.  The two youngest just finished up Cubbies and will join their brother in Sparks next year.  Isaac just finished his first year of TNT.

Tonight, however, is a very special night.  Tyler, our middle child, who still considers himself to be Momma’s baby, received his Timothy Award.  This means he completed four books in three years (a total of 432 verses memorized).  Our TNT program is only a three year program, as we move our sixth graders to Junior High/Middle School/Youth group, so the Timothy award takes extra work and effort, which Tyler has given.

I told him tonight that I couldn’t do what he did.  I don’t even remember completing a whole book in AWANA.  I am very proud of him.  Of course, there are a lot of things my children are doing that I could not do.  I couldn’t be a mommy like my two oldest.  I didn’t play an instrument and march in marching band like my teenagers.  Most of all, I couldn’t beat the odds in the way of all these children, including the two year old, have done.

I’m thankful for the time God has given me with these amazing people.  What a blessing it is to be a part of their lives.

My 48th Birthday Present

My “fun” gift to me this year is to both clean up and increase my social media and web presence.  This means, over the next couple of months, you may see some odd things posted by me, or from new sites, as I try to define what that looks like.  In some ways I consider this my social media adolescence, where I am taking the time to figure out who I am and who I want to be (online).  Thank you all for your patience and support!

Here is a link to my old blog, which I am planning to shut down once I figure out the best way to archive the content.  Feel free to provide me advice/coaching as I venture on this journey.  The old One at a Time blog

God bless you all!

Summer Reading List

Here are some books I hope to get read this summer. What are some of yours?

  • The Will to Lead, The Skill to Teach: Transforming Schools at Every Level by Anthony Muhammad
  • Transforming School Culture: How to Overcome Staff Division by Anthony Muhammad
  • Legendary Service: The Key is to C.A.R.E by Ken Blanchard
  • Accelerate: Building Strategic Agility for a Faster-Moving World by John Kotter
  • What Makes a Leader: Why Emotional Intelligence Matters by Daniel Goleman
  • Iscariot: A Novel of Judas by Tosca Lee
  • William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope by Ian Doescher
  • To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth about Moving Others by Daniel Pink
  • Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee

Of course there are more in the pile, but that is my starting goal. 


Musings of a Husband, father, educator and Christ follower