As our school book study of "Creating a Culture of Thinking" by Ron Ritchhart came to a close in June, I was reflecting on my big "take-aways." And what I decided was that I need to...
- add more collaborative learning into my small group instruction
- pay attention to the my language and ensure that it promotes thinking
- my time needs to reflect what I value
- analyze thinking routines to determine what I can utilize consistently in small groups
- use language that provides feedback rather than just praise
One story that Ron Ritchhart shared was about a professor that used big rocks, pebbles, and sand to demonstrate the usage of time and values. (Click here for a short video explaining this. Or click here for a short story about it.) Now, I have heard this story before. But sometimes when we hear things at different points in our lives, we have different reactions. This story really struck me at this point in my life.
And so I thought about it.
And thought about it.
Finally, I came with my "big rocks" or the things that I value the most and want to spend the majority of my time on. I tried to word things in a way that would reflect my personal and professional life.
Rock 1: Varied Experiences
One thing I focus on with my own children and in my life is trying out new things, going to new places, or traveling (even if it is just to a different road I have not been on in my town). These experiences can happen within the walls of our home or outside them. But I want the same for my students. It just looks a little different. These experiences come through books, experiments, or games. But for both my personal and professional life, I want to experience what is around me.
Rock 2: Love for Learning
This encompasses my hopes for my two girls, all my students I have taught and will teach, and myself. I want this to drive my instruction.
Rock 3: Professional Development
This may seem like an unusual rock. But when I blog, read blogs, attend workshops, and read...I am growing. And I want to keep growing throughout my career and life. The growth that I make in the professional sense, impacts me personally and vice versa. So this rock is important to me.
Rock 4: Mental Healthiness
Mental health can encompass a lot. I want to help others (including myself) to believe in themselves and to be kind. This is going to help their inward and outward health.
I want to be sure that I focus on these values as I schedule my time. Below is a link to a graphic that I will be using to help me display these "rocks."
Big Rock Graphic by Emily Marko
What are your big rocks?