I could take offense. David suggested we might need a regular housekeeper. He was smiling.

But he’s right. He works outside the home full time. I have flexible hours. And cleaning the house always seems to be last on my list or when company is coming. Instead, I write. Think. Work on block prints. Walk. Visit in the studio.

This morning I began writing a poem about forgetting, the prompt for my Wednesday writing group. I’d been thinking about it all week, and today the words pieced themselves together. The waiting, staring, dreaming, pausing–are all necessary for me. I am grateful to have the time.

But I did give the bathrooms a once over before I left the house.

Another Perspective on Focus

Ah ha! I knew it. There’s value in my distractibility.

Or at least there’s value for some. Check out Jonah Lehrer’s piece in The Wall Street Journal:

In recent years, however, scientists have begun to outline the surprising benefits of not paying attention. Sometimes, too much focus can backfire; all that caffeine gets in the way. For instance, researchers have found a surprising link between daydreaming and creativity—people who daydream more are also better at generating new ideas. Other studies have found that employees are more productive when they’re allowed to engage in “Internet leisure browsing……”

I’m not going to feel quite so guilty for daydreaming and surfing!

image credit

Resistance to Change


If part of your work means helping folks understand the shift in educational reform/revolution and the necessity for change, then this may help.

I stumbled across this e-book by Rick Maurer recently, and his suggestions for helping implement change seem simple yet profound.

He says there are three reasons why people don’t change.

  1. Level One: I don’t get it.
  2. Level Two: I don’t like it.
  3. Level Three: I don’t like you

These three levels, he says, are alive and either working for you or against you. To move things along, he says you should:

  1. Level One: Make your case.
  2. Level Two: Remove as much fear as you can and increase the excitement.
  3. Level Three: Rebuild damaged relationships and tend to neglected ones.

“Making a compelling case for change is the most important thing you can do–and the most neglected,” he says. “Avoid the trap of moving to HOW before WHY is answered.”

His e-book is here (about halfway down the page) and contains many specific suggestions (unfortunately he starts talking as soon as you hit the page, so turn down your speakers if you are in class!) The book (a PDF) addresses each level, so you’re not left with the “yeah, but how do it?” For example, he addresses how to “build institutional muscle.”

I’ve been saying personality plays a role in whether or not people seek change. And that may be. But we can’t change personalities, so these suggestions may help.

Making that list


I am not a big list maker. But on this first day of the new year, I think a list is in order.
Trying to define and re-define my job (instructional tech coordinator) at our 1:1 school this year has been challenging. However, having the time to read, research, play with new tools, and work with teachers has been a gift. I want to continue that.
And I now have some specific goals and a direction.


  • Meet with each department to discuss their concerns and see how I can help. Often those full faculty meetings don’t meet individual needs. I hope to develop an instructional tech committee with reps from each department. We’ll meet regularly to share successes (and failures). Having a spokesperson from each department spreads the wealth of knowledge and energy.
  • Finalize speaking date with Gardner Campbell. He has agreed to talk to our teachers about what’s happening in higher ed. (And what he is doing is thoughtful, powerful stuff. )
  • Organize a parent workshop to explain what we are doing in class as well as offer some hands-on opportunities to set up an RSS feed, etc. A Tech Fest kind of thing?
  • Get those fourth-graders to respond to their Voice Threads over here
  • Attend EduCon!


  • Organize a professional development opportunity for the faculty following Matt’s lead.
  • Set up some Skype calls with our foreign language teachers and teachers here.
  • Propose an elective class for our upper school students inspired by this
  • Register for this!

It’s a start.