Friday, July 17, 2015

Classroom Habitudes : A Book Study & Blog Hop

Last year, I participated in a book study & blog hop for the book The Book Whisperer and I loved it.  I do a lot of reading, and the book study allowed me to really examine the book, analyze and understand it.  The blog hop portion allowed me to share what I had learned with everyone, and hopefully impact a few classroom at the same time.

This summer, I am super excited to participate in a book study & blog hop once again!  The book is titled Classroom Habitudes by Angela Maiers and it's super good (so far, I'm only up to chapter 2!)

For the next four weeks, we will bring to you our thoughts and ideas on this book.  So let's get to it, shall we?

Am I limiting my students learning by trying to educate them?

Maiers explains how all students are capable of genius, and how our classrooms might be suppressing their genius.  Our excellent students are often the ones that do exactly as their told, that ask the teacher how they want it done. Is this genius? No. Is getting a 90% on a math test genius? Or how about the student who always wins the science fair?

In fact, no. That's not genius.  A genius is someone who uses his/her insights, realizes there's a problem and finds the not-so-obvious solution to that problem. You know what they've used? Habitudes. Their habits and their attitude

So when I'm educating my students, am I limiting their potential? Am I limiting their capacity for genius? I hope not. I had a good friend once send me a quote "Morality is doing what's right, no matter what you're told. Obedience is doing what you're told, no matter what's right." I think habitudes play right into morality, and in the end, I don't want my students to simply obey, I want them to grow.  To become the best they can be.

What about me? Am I ready to do this?

In the book, Maiers has a handy Habitudes Self Assessment that allows you to determine how you use the habitudes, how you incorporate them in your life and will also highlight areas where you can improve.

When I took the test, I scored a 69, which was on the low scale of Excellent (69-100). It states that I'm well on my way to becoming a transformative leader, but being so low on that scale, I am definitely taking a look at which areas I need improvement (such as being quick to adjust and adapt - I believe I'm flexible to a point, but I will moan and groan about it!)

Seriously though, adding something else to the teacher's plate?

Man, do I get you.  I really do!  As teachers, we seem to have our workload increasing and increasing and increasing but nothing is ever taken off of our shoulders, and now we're talking about adding habitudes to it as well?

But see, that's where magic happens.  Because habitudes are a part of everything.  And they're an integral part of students learning journey. If you take the time to teach habitudes, the rest comes easy.  Students are magically more engaged and the classroom atmosphere is perfect for learning.

So what are these habitudes?

Imagination, curiosity, self-awareness perseverance, courage, passion and adaptability are the 7 habitudes that are described in the book. As I'm reading that list, those are 7 wonderful habitudes that I am so excited about.

We've touched the first one so far, imagination, Imagination is so important! I look at my 15 month old son, and he can play with anything, anywhere. I definitely want to nourish his imagination and inspire him to always think about every unimaginable answer out there! I can definitely see how some students have this habitude down pat, and others might need a little prodding.

So far, this book is a must-read for all teachers.  Maiers does such an amazing job of describing and explaining the habitudes and HOW to incorporate them in your classroom.  She is thought-provoking, but gives you a real guide, or framework, for teaching and learning the habitudes.  I can't wait to keep on diving into this book!

Until next week!
*Click here to read Week 2 of the blog hop!*