Joy Kirr is a middle school teacher, author, and speaker. Her 7th grade ELA (English Language Arts) classes are working to improve their lives through student-directed learning - without marks throughout the year. This is a log of their learning experiences... Want to have her speak with your staff or facilitate a workshop? Here is Joy's PORTFOLIO.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Kids Deserve It!

I usually ask for teacher books as gifts or donations, but sometimes I WIN them before I can even ask for them! Hence the reason I was able to read Kids Deserve It: Pushing boundaries and challenging conventional thinking by Todd Nesloney and Adam Welcome before Christmas! David Karnoscak and I won our own copies at ICE17!   ;)

I was going to read one short chapter a day. Kind of like a devotional for a month. You know what happens when books have short chapters, though, right? Yup. I just kept reading. It was kind of like a James Patterson book with teacher ideas instead of mystery and suspense.

What I liked most about this book were the questions after each chapter. I'm a big question girl. One of the lessons I've learned from shifting the culture of my own classroom is to ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS. Let them percolate in your brain. The answers - or some semblance of an answer - will come.

Therefore, I share today my favorite questions from Kids Deserve It.

  • What's an idea you've wanted to try, but haven't?
  • How can we encourage more educators to connect outside their four walls?
  • What's the biggest fear holding you back from innovating?
  • What are some ways you've built deeper relationships and connected with kids?
  • Find one thing special about each child and celebrate them. (Not a question, I know!)
  • What needs to change in order for you to be a better leader?
  • When's the last time you chatted with a colleague about "wins" they've experienced lately?
  • How do you fight the feelings of doubt that creep up regarding your abilities?
  • How can we ensure we're making an impact that matters?
  • How can you turn negative comments you hear into positive messages?
  • What is your message?
  • What have you seen someone else do that you've been itching to you yourself? What's stopping you?
  • In what ways can you celebrate others more often?
  • How are you making school the best possible environment for kids?
  • When's the last time you built up someone you work with? Take time today.

I've tweeted them out, and I have a feeling I'll keep sharing them - to keep me and other educators push boundaries. Which questions make you think? Which questions will push you further? Which questions will you share with colleagues? Keep asking them. Our kids deserve it!
Feel free to share - it's encouraged!

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