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March 5, 2021

Winter Break: Learning Resources That Won’t Feel Like Work

Just a few days ago, the doorbell rang. There stood my dad with his mixed look of insistence and pride. Stepping aside, he revealed the reason for his surprise visit. “You’re going to need this,” he said, showing me the snowblower. I looked past him to dry streets and blue skies thinking he might be over-planning. Not 18 hours later, the snow started to fall and I realized that once again he knew what I needed before I knew I needed it.

Although I’m not delivering snow removal equipment, I hope this finds you “before you knew you needed it” as you approach a much needed winter break. Without a doubt, you’ll need this time to take some deep breaths, to forget which day of the week it is, and to have at least one weekend without that Sunday night frenzy. Those “deep breaths” for me often create some space to do the slower thinking I never seem to be able to do while I’m seeing students every day. That’s what this blog is about: giving you a chance to dive into some professional learning. Whether it’s a shallow or a deep dive, hopefully you’ll find something here to help you think about one of the quandaries I always seem to be pursuing: how to make my students learners.

If you have one hour you can learn more about a growth mindset and the way it can help create new potential in your learners.

And watch these Tch videos to see some growth mindset in action:

Maybe you have 5 hours and can dive into how to build on a growth mindset by giving students the chance to inquire, to problem-solve, to create.

And watch these Tch videos to see inquiry in action:

If you have 10 hours and want to round out your learning experience with some extended reading and thinking about shifting learners to new directions, let these reads inspire you.

Regardless of how you find yourself thinking and learning this break, remember Parker J. Palmer’s adage that “we teach who we are” and when you give yourself a chance to learn and grow, you are teaching your students to do the same thing.

Of course, we always know that learning is more fun when we get to share it with others. So, I’m inviting you to use the comment section below to do just that: make the most out of this robust community of learners here at Teaching Channel. Please ask a question, share an “ah-ha” moment, or add a moment of affirmation to the discussion. Then look for a post-holiday blog with your compiled insights to help others discover “what they need before they knew they needed it.”


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