Alignment – Or, Do We Walk Our Talk?

Earlier in my career as an educator, I coached my high school’s fastpitch softball team. Then, as now, I believed the best way to make my team successful was to coach them in the skills and knowledge they needed to excel and then I let them go out and play. I was often asked (by parents, never the players) why I didn’t call pitches for my catchers. The answer was simple: It wouldn’t be in alignment with what I believed made my players the most successful.
Fast forward a couple of decades: I was invited to attend the SXSWEdu in Austin, TX and am lucky enough to see Will Richardson speak. What he said really stuck with me – so much so that I had to get it all out in a mind map to feel like I was truly understanding.

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What is Personalized Learning?

personalized learning definition

That’s the best definition of personalized learning I’ve seen or heard. It rings true with everything I believe education should be. The problem with “personalized learning” is that there are many, many definitions and competing interests for the term. For the purposes of this site:

  • It’s not computer software delivering yet another assessment.
  • It’s not an algorithm deciding what comes next for a student learning to read.
  • It’s not students making all the decisions about content and direction.
  • It’s not a strategy to employ for special projects.

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Living Life Like a Border Collie

Several years ago, I went through turbulence in my personal life unlike any I had ever faced. The details aren’t all that important but the lessons learned are something I cherish. Truly, I am grateful for the experience. One of these lessons has been rolling around in my consciousness as a blog post for a while now – and as the school year draws to a close and the snow (yes, snow on May 18 in Denver) continues to fall, it seems today is the day to turn the rumblings in my thoughts to words on a screen.

border collie coming out of agility tunnelA little background: I absolutely adore border collies. My facebook page is often littered with border collie videos, border collie cartoons, and pictures of my own border collie, Darwin. I’m a little weird about it and I’m okay with that.

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