Author Archive: tilisa.thibodeaux1@gmail.com

100 Miles

Titus Norwood and myself


Let me start by telling a story. I have never been a runner. Pushing myself to do anything physical in my teenage years was like asking me to pull weeds – just something I was not drawn to by any means. I had no desire to be physically fit, but I still wanted to look decent. I joined track and gymnastics in high school, hoping this would spawn a “new” me. I took the lazy way out and did not give my best effort. As a result, I broke both of my ankles and it set me back even more. Now I could resort back to my Subway and pizza-eating habits I so craved. In college, I tried out for cheerleading and a girl fell directly on my neck, knocking me to the floor. I could barely walk for a week after that and I gave up on try-outs. Throughout this journey, my only “WHY” was that I was trying to look good, not feel good. I was trying to keep up with others as opposed to set goals for myself. All the wrong reasons helped me to stay in the wrong place. Eventually, I had two babies after graduating college and fell backwards even more down the slippery slope. I knew that I was going to be forced to look at why I was doing what I was doing, although I really did not want to. To preface all of this, how was I going to try this when I could barely even keep up with my two kids at such a young age. What I learned is that one step at a time is all I need to see at the moment. Small goals, small steps would eventually lead to consistency. I would get used to this and start liking the results, or so I told myself. So, round and round and round the track I would go, very slowly. I was not worried about those folks that ran faster than me or the kids at the track that could run up and down the bleachers and not break a sweat. I decided one day that I would set a goal for myself, a distance goal. Starting at 165 pounds (baby weight), it was very difficult. For a month, I could barely get around the track 4 times. Then by the second month, I was doing additional exercises with the 4 laps. By the third month, I was running more than walking and doing additional exercises. By the fourth month, I was doing two miles and additional exercises. By the fifth month, I was running 3-4 miles and started to venture away from the track and into running the great outdoors. All the while I was focused on distance. When I stepped on the weight scale, I watched the numbers slowly fall and even recorded it. One day, after about 5 months, I reached a goal weight that I had not seen in a long time. It was because I had shifted my FOCUS, my WHY. My WHY morphed from wanting to “keep up with the Jones’ ” to “I want to eat clean and instill a life change for myself and my family.” As a result, I was able to run 5 miles without stopping and consistently lost weight until I reached my goal weight. I even promised myself that I would be sure and run a 5k this year. Everything shifted when I spoke to myself in terms of goals and how they would impact me. I had set my sights on what I really wanted to do and weight loss became a by-product of that. It was when I shifted my focus from what I wanted to unearthing my WHY is when I started meeting my goals, and this transformation happened. I am now at the point that when I go out for a run, I am exercising mental fitness as a way of allowing me “think time” and clarity to what I am doing in all aspects of my life. While my WHY may shift in this way, I am grateful for discovering this so early on so that I could build and grow my WHY into other WHY’s. This is true because before I realized what I was doing, I ran over 100 miles in 5 months and found a partner along the way. This journey into physical fitness led me on a journal into mental fitness and I was able to run farther and exercise mental fitness at the same time.

Behavior, Failing Forward, COVA, Growth Mindset

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The Myth of Average

I am reading Todd Rose’s book, The End of Average, where he posits that when we develop assumptions or generate conclusions based on what is considered average, and that all outside assumptions and conditions are variants of the average, we are ruling out everything individual or different. The average boils down to ONE measurement, not a range of measurements. In study after study, Rose explains that when we compare anything to the average, it is an inaccurate and false comparison. Individuality is ignored and left only to be acknowledged as an understatement. Folks have focused so much on the average that individuality became less and less important. Remember when teachers, myself included, in the classroom would say they were “color blind” for cultural inclusion and that everyone was important? Perceived by some, this idea meant that the students were “melted” together and no individuality existed. We were blind to see anything other than that. However, someone made the statement that if you are blind, you do not even notice or recognize differences in your classroom. If you are blind, you are basing this blindness off of some average that exists in your mind in which you have to compartmentalize differences because they are anything but average. This begs the question: when did average become the new norm? If we are blind to our students individual differences, are we also blind to their learning differences?

Thib Talks, Pedagogy

Passion or Pity?

From the time I was a youth, I believed that there was a special approach, or prescriptive formula, or only one way to do things. I believed that the right way was always going to be more difficult because it took energy, time, blood, sweat, and maybe even tears. For so many years, I believed I never had what it took to do something the “right” way as perceived by others. But, one day, I asked myself, what really is the right way anyway?  The answer is, there really is no right way to do anything unless it is something that follows a script. The right way goes back to what you believe and why you believe the way you do. I used to think that my own energy level would help me sort of “pass” through the more difficult times when I felt nervous or uninspired. However, I learned that there is a very distinct difference between energy and charisma. Energy is motivating but charisma actually inspires (Sinek, 2009). I am in the process of finding the balance between both characteristics. When working with my digital learning and leading students, energy motivates them in the first course or two, but my charisma will hopefully inspire them to build their own meaningful connections and map their learning journey throughout the program. When it comes down to it, I might be motivated to come to work for a paycheck and therefore, I have to allow energy depart from my body but that is not the same thing. What inspires me to go to work is the ability to help and inspire others to be change agents and discover learning in new ways that is ultimately for themselves. I have learned that learning is an emotional process and must appeal to the heart. The head won’t go where the heart hasn’t been (Harapnuik, 2015). For this reason, I encourage students to find their why that will set the stage for what they are truly passionate about. Passion cannot be bought, measured, or obtained, it must be something that occurs within our heart. This leads me to Angela Duckworth’s video on GRIT: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, as she describes the very core of where humans develop passion for life and its circumstances.

 

Thib Talks, Behavior, Growth Mindset

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#Future Learning

World class education for everyone is a prerequisite for prosperity.

Sal Khan – In personalized learning, we can use what’s already there but change the methodology.
Content should be reflected in the energy and voice in deliverer, we shouldn’t have to have a rap song to get excited about it.

What do we need to do differently?

We need a win in the education industry – but how do we keep this sense of urgency? Little successes kill urgency!
We need to arm our children with armor against doctrine.

Professional Learning, Thib Talks

Disrupting Education

“What is disruptive? Moving from consumption to creation….this is where the magic happens. When students create and tackle real things, they get engaged. Kids are hungry to create. They are looking for new ways to do it….stay up all night to write songs. They need access and the environment. We need to build more tools and let go of constraints to let them create.”There is a lot of fear in doing something new. Involve them in the process. Pair their talents to the talents of their teachers – using their expertise.

Help students solve real-world problems….match resources to problems that exist in their neighborhoods.
Kids are hackers now…they can build websites! Pair those skills to real-world problems. Ask a crowd what’s wrong? They will tell you.

Be ready to adapt. Be ready for disruption. Build that shared experience with students.
Amazing possibilities when you work with students to solve real-world problems, try something new, experiment wherever you’re at. Use crowds of individuals to solve problems.
Take a step forward. Don’t live by someone else’s vision for how the system is supposed to work. Challenge the system and try new things and we will all learn together as part of that experience.

Thib Talks, Disruptive Innovation, COVA

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Focus on the behavior now and the outcome will follow.

Influencer
Grenny, Patterson, Maxfield, McMillan, and Switzler (2013) advocate to focus on changing goals, behaviors, or processes; do not focus on the results. You might be asking yourself….what does this mean? Well, let me share an example. When I was in high school, I threw the discus. I was coached on technique and not on distance. There was a technique called the ‘South African’ which required a 360 degree bodily movement. With that technique, I came up with a rhyme, ‘rip the hip’ and ‘follow through.’ This meant that my hip would come through first as I spun through the technique. My body would follow the move instead of hinder or control it. After focusing on technique and less on distance, one day I threw the farthest distance I had ever thrown! This just reiterates for me that the outcome is a end result of the behavior, goal, or process.

Student-Centered Learning, Professional Learning, Behavior

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Do you live in an Innovation Culture?

Innovation Culture

Image from Metabiz.com


Innovation Culture

“The innovation immune system is how an organisation deals with new ideas and can include strategies that kill innovation.” – Graham Brown Martin

When you are in the position to implement change, are you working with an infected culture of innovation? When disruptive innovations are first introduced, they can easily be considered a “disease.” How can you influence others and attract others that believe like you do? Consider these questions and others that can impact your ability to be an education change catalyst. Take a quick gander into the ideas and thinking of Graham Brown-Martin as he discusses an aspect of business that nobody really sees until AFTER they are infected.

 

Professional Learning, Thib Talks, Pedagogy, Disruptive Innovation, Growth Mindset

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