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The First Step Is Failure

Joanne Jacobs, edu­ca­tor, blog­ger and author of Our School: The Inspir­ing Sto­ry of Two Teach­ers, One Big Idea and the Char­ter School That Beat the Odds, par­tic­i­pates today in our Author Speaks Series with an excel­lent arti­cle on how “Schools won’t improve until admin­is­tra­tors and teach­ers can admit the prob­lems, ana­lyze what’s going wrong and try new strate­gies. Stu­dents won’t improve if they think they’re “spe­cial” just the way they are.” Enjoy, and feel free to add your com­ment to engage in a stim­u­lat­ing con­ver­sa­tion.Our School: Joanne Jacobs

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The First Step Is Fail­ure
By Joanne Jacobs

When self-esteem became an edu­ca­tion watch­word in 1986, I thought it was a harm­less fad. I was wrong: It wasn’t harm­less. Many teach­ers were per­suad­ed that stu­dents should be pumped up with praise, regard­less of their per­for­mance. Schools low­ered expec­ta­tions so stu­dents couldn’t fail. Every­one got an “I Am Spe­cial” stick­er. Till the stan­dards and account­abil­i­ty move­ment kicked in, stu­dents often were judged by how they felt about learn­ing not by whether they’d actu­al­ly learned some­thing.

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Top Ten Tips for Women Who Lead Men

Thinking menEllen recent­ly wrote a nice post titled Top Ten Tips for Men Who Lead Women, and asked for vol­un­teers to offer a com­ple­men­tary per­spec­tive. I hope you enjoy!

  1. We men know we are hard to lead, and that can be stress­ful for you and for us. You should know that stress affects short term mem­o­ry, so it is impor­tant to be able to man­age stress well, with med­i­ta­tion or oth­er meth­ods. Check here your lev­el of stress to see how much this point applies to you. Please remem­ber, laugh­ing is good for your brain.
  2. Don’t think too much-we don’t. If we do, we try to find ways to self-talk us out of that uncom­fort­able state.
  3. Please remem­ber our hum­ble ori­gins. We are tool-using ani­mals, which is why we like play­ing with all kinds of toys, from a car to that black­ber­ry.
  4. When we are stub­born, you are enti­tled to remind us that even apes can learn-if you help us see the point. Show us that change is pos­si­ble at any age. Believe it or not, we can lis­ten.
  5. Espe­cial­ly if we can find com­mon ground: what about chat­ting about sports psy­chol­o­gy?.
  6. Please moti­vate us to lis­ten and be open mind­ed to learn with wise words. If that doesn’t work, please per­se­vere with nice words. Please don’t ever say that we are worse than pink dol­phins-if we feel attacked, we’ll just dis­en­gage.
  7. Some­times we don’t coop­er­ate enough?. Please give us time for our brains to ful­ly evolve, we have been try­ing for a while!
  8. You can help us grow. For the next lead­er­ship work­shop, buy us copies of the Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain book. You may think we don’t need this… but at our core we real­ly want to get bet­ter at Grat­i­tude and Altru­ism. We want to be able to play with the ulti­mate toy: our genes!
  9. If that book is sold out, we could also ben­e­fit from read­ing Damasio’s Descartes Error and dis­cov­er how emo­tions are impor­tant for good deci­sion-mak­ing. Or help us improve our abil­i­ty to read emo­tion­al mes­sages. As long as we believe we can some­how ben­e­fit from it, we’ll try!
  10. If you lead some­one with Bill Gates-like Frontal Lobes, con­grat­u­late him for his brain. If you don’t, encour­age him to fol­low track. Please be patient

Now, any tak­ers for Top Ten Tips for Women Who Lead Women or Men Who Lead Men?

Blog Carnivals

Here you have some week­ly blog post col­lec­tions, around the fol­low­ing top­ics

Blog­ging Boomers

Grand Rounds

Brain Blog­ging

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