Category Archives: Leading a Learning Community

10 Easy Ways To Create an Amazing #SchoolCulture as a Principal This Year

Based on a comment I received on my post, “10 Easy Ways To Create an Amazing #ClassroomCulture“, I was asked to write a post about what a principal can do to promote school culture.  Thinking about my own past practice, but also by many that I have been inspired by, here are some simple ideas that could really set the tone for a year.

  1. Be outside and welcome people in the morning. One of the best ways to start the day as a principal is to be at the front of the school (or in a central place) to welcome students and staff every single morning (not just the first day).  Dave Pysyk, principal extraordinaire, was known for welcoming people every single morning at his school. It set an amazing tone for the day and was an immediate investment in people.
  2. Go into classrooms and hang out. One of the things that I truly believe in, is that principals should be in classrooms a lot more than they are currently.  Not just stopping by and saying hi (although this is hugely beneficial), but just spending time and hanging out, observing the environment.  The world is so mobile now, that we are not tethered to an office, so take your laptop, and answer your email or do your “paperwork” in a classroom. Your presence means a lot to the school community.
  3. Make a YouTube video to welcome people back. A great way to greet people back, is to make a quick message like this one from Travis McNaughton on YouTube.  People get to hear your voice and see your face, and sets a different tone than any letter home would.  Or you could be like Tony Sinanis, and create a school newsletter on YouTube with your students.  Awesome way to make connections before families start your school, and continue them after.
  4. Twitter videos to share awesome things happening in classrooms. One of my favourite options on Twitter is using video.  It is a great way to capture quick moments in the classroom and make great teaching and learning go viral in your own community, not just globally. There is no need to wait for the next staff meeting to share awesome ideas happening in your own school when you have access to technology like this.  Former principal Carolyn Cameron told me, that as a principal, you can become one of the best teachers, because you can always see great teachers. Make sure you share what you see with others constantly and consistently.
  5. Learn the names of all students. If a student is ever sent to the office, the worst way to start off a conversation is “what’s your name again?”  Spending time in areas where students convening, and making a huge effort to know the names of your students, makes a huge difference.  It is not easy, but it should be a goal for every principal.
  6. Make a spreadsheet with every staff member’s name and list their strength(s). People that are new to the principal position always ask, “What would you change first?” My answer is always, “nothing”.  The best thing you can do is learn the strength of every staff member in your community, write it down on a spreadsheet, and share that you see that in them.  This reminds principals that people are more likely to move forward when they feel valued.
  7. Fill the halls with pictures of kids that are there right now. Schools spend a lot of time honouring the past (graduation pictures, principal portraits, etc.), but not enough time honouring the present.  Going into schools often, I notice that the ones that really stick out to me, are the ones that have active pictures and media of kids plastered all over the school.  It is a great reminder for all of the students that you are there for them.
  8. Have lunch with students. I am all about having food together.  Having lunch with the principal is such a great way to get to know your students and connect with them.  Sometimes you might do it to find out what kids want from their school, but sometimes it is just about finding out about the kids.  Very simple, yet very powerful.
  9. Call families of colleagues to thank them (Thanks Jimmy Casas). I remember when Jimmy Casas told me about the time he spent calling the parents of his staff, to tell them how awesome their children were. No matter how old we get, we are always somebody’s kid, and parents never get tired of hearing about the accomplishments of those that they have raised.
  10. Treat the school like family. Schools can be tough places to be.  There are lots of emotional ups and downs, and people have shed many tears being a part of a school community.  This is why people need to feel that you will push them, but always have their back.  When schools become like family, what the community can do is absolutely amazing.

One of the elements that is not on the list is to simply be available.  Don’t be the principal that needs an “appointment” to connect with others.  You have the mobility to move around the school in ways that many staff can not, and it is important that you are visible. Amber Teamann is very transparent principal, exhibiting her continuous learning in her role, modelling her willingness to grow for her school community. Patrick Larkin had his desk in the hallway of the high school in which he served as a principal, and it was an awesome reminder of who he was there for. Principals like Sanee Bell, seem to go out of their way to make kids feel like part of their community.

To be a principal is a true blessing. My best advice is to enjoy every minute you can openly, as you see that your joy will become infectious with others.

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Redefine the Role

pleasurePeople often say to me, “I don’t want to be a principal…The things you have to do are just not for me.”

My response immediately is, “You don’t have to do what the principal does now…you have the ability to create something new.”

I was reminded of this when I had a conversation with a good friend of mine going into a central office position.  Knowing that he is extremely driven by “what is best for kids”, I know the transition can be tough moving to a place where kids are not around all of the time. My advice was, “go to schools more often and spend more time with students.”

Redefine the role.

One of our biggest dilemmas in moving education forward is that we are creatures of experience. We often teach the way we taught, or recreate what our colleagues do.  Bruce Dixon said to a group that I was in once, “There is no other profession in the world that you watch someone do your job for 16 years before you go do it.”  This really shifted my thinking.

It is awesome to be inspired by the ideas of others, but you are not tied to them. No matter what you role is. focus on what is best for kids, and then decide how you get there. Don’t focus solely on what others do or have done.

It is your legacy, not theirs.

 

10 Easy Ways To Create an Amazing #ClassroomCulture This Year

Simple things can make a significant difference in our classroom environments, yet we should be intentional about them.  Every year we should strive to make it the best year students have, and if we all did this, school would only progressively get better for our students.

Below are some really simple ideas that can help shape an amazing year for your students.

  1. Greet kids at the door. – There is a massive difference between walking into a room and being welcomed than seeing a teacher sitting at their desk prepping for the day.  This sets the tone for the entire day and reminds kids that we are privileged to have them show up each and every day.
  2. Play music to liven up the day. – This might be something that I am a little biased on, but the environment of a room that I walk into that has lively music playing, as opposed to one that is quiet reminds me of warming up for a game as an athlete.  Music can often bring a smile to people entering the room and is just an awesome way to start the day.
  3. Go out of your way to make your first interactions positive. – At some point, kids make mistakes. As a principal, I would go out of my way to connect with kids, before they were sent my way.  A student that knows they are valued will make the tough conversations a lot easier later on. This time spent is an investment in the child, not an expenditure.
  4. Call parents early…Make sure they know you care about their kid. – I learned this awesome tip from a former secretary at my school.  It is an awesome call (and far too often surprising) when parents hear from their child’s teacher and the conversation is ONLY a positive one.  This is a definite investment in an emotional bank account, and lets parents know that you genuinely care about their child.
  5. Have ideas what you are going to do, but always tailor it to the students in front of you. – Be flexible.  What you did last year might not work this year because these are different kids.  Don’t over-plan; ask questions and learn about your students.
  6. Design the classroom with your students. – We spend so much time decorating the classroom before students show up, and then we call it “our room”.  Something as simple as decorating the classroom together, not only gives students ownership of the space, but it also helps to show that you care about their opinions (while also saving you a ton of time!).
  7. Find out the passions of each student and tap into them. – One of the best way to work with people is by finding out what they love and tapping into it.  The teachers that spent time finding out my passions, made me feel like they had a genuine interest in who I was and what I loved.
  8. Find out their dreams, and try to help them move closer to those goals. – We spend a lot of time thinking about where we want students to be, and not enough time asking where they want to go.  Success is deeply personal and if we know students’ goals and dreams for both in and out of the classroom, and help them work towards achieving them, our impact will last long after their time under our care.
  9. Have them ask questions every single day, and help them find those answers. – As stated in “The Innovator’s Mindset“, if a child leaves schools less curious than when they started, we have failed them.  Let’s ensure that we encourage our students, through different endeavours, find the answers to the questions they pose and are curious about, not just what we are expected to teach.
  10. Love them.- This might sound a little lame, but teaching is a tough job. So is being a kid.  There are so many things that kids deal with while growing up, that they just need to know that someone cares about them.  Go out of your way to show that enthusiasm for them as people, not just who they are as students.

I would love to know the “little things” that you do in your classrooms to make a big impact. No matter when you are starting your year, I hope it is a great one!

#ClassroomCulture

Learning is the Job

I encourage people to challenge me in my workshops, and share their frustrations and hurdles that they have to jump to get to the next level.

This one amazing lady shared this with me.

She said, “You know every time I learn something new in my work as a teacher, all of a sudden there is something else new. I get so frustrated because I feel I am always starting over again.”

First thing I said to her, was that I loved her for being so honest. A lot of people feel this, but not all people were open enough to say it.  After that, I told her that I wanted her to think about something.

“What would you say if a grade 2 student said, ‘you want me to learn all this grade 2 stuff just after I learned all of that grade 1 stuff last year?!?!?’  Would you let them off the hook?”

Her and I (and others) both laughed, yet she totally got the point.  A student moving from grade 2 to grade 3 is often excited, yet a teacher making the same transition does not always share the same enthusiasm.

What was amazing was that she openly acknowledged that the thing holding her back was her thinking. A beautiful first step to growth in my humble opinion.

If we think about, learning is the job. How can you effectively teach, if you can’t effectively learn? Yes we will always be inundated with information, and there will always be something new to learn, but let’s expect the same growth from our students that we would from ourselves.

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7 Important Questions Before Implementing Digital Portfolios

Image from Bill Ferriter at: http://teacherleaders.typepad.com/the_tempered_radical/2012/12/what-are-you-doing-to-make-sure-your-students-are-well-googled-1.html

Image from Bill Ferriter (@plugusin)

Digital portfolios are something that are really starting to take off in schools.  There are different software programs that will make “portfolios” easy to share, yet do we truly embrace the power that a digital portfolio can bring into our schools?  Since it is “digital”, we need to go beyond a portfolio that only represents one year of learning, but can show the progression over time.

Here are some questions for you to consider as you look into the process.

  1. Is this a learning portfolio, showcase portfolio, or combination of both? – Does this show the student’s progression over time (learning), or just the best stuff (showcase).  There are huge benefits to both for learning and opportunities over time.  A combination of both in my opinion is best.
  2. Who owns the learning? – Is this a portfolio that only shows “school” work, or does the student have the opportunity to display what they are passionate about, or is it simply for items to be displayed based on what the teacher wants?  Is it a combination of both?  If the student feels no ownership over the process and product, the results will not be as powerful as if they do.
  3. How will it be exported after the process? – For starters, see the question above.  Secondly, if there is no plan to ensure that students have the opportunity to put all of this learning into their own space eventually, you are missing another opportunity that digital provides.
  4. How will you make the audience eventually go global? – A lot of parents and educators are worried about the work of a student getting “out there” (for various reasons), but if the portfolio is only available upon request, we are taking a very “paper” mentality, to a “digital” platform.  This does not meant the whole world has to see everything from the beginning, or the student needs to share it with the world if they do not want to, but the progression plan to share it with the world should be there.  Will the audience  be limited long term?
  5. What brings people to the portfolio? – Is there any mechanism that brings people to the portfolio other than telling people to come? Simple things like email help to build an audience.  Is the portfolio more likely to be seen and more valuable to the learning if it goes to people, other than people coming to the portfolio?
  6. What impact will this have on the learner’s digital footprint?Will Richardson suggests that by the time kids graduate grade 12, you should be able to google them and find good stuff about them (see image at the top of the post). Does the portfolio help in this endeavour when every student we work with now will be googled for jobs, university, or a myriad of other things.
  7. What about next year and other classes? – This is a HUGE question.  If the portfolio only lasts for one year, then you are missing a great opportunity. What professional learning is in place for teachers to support a connection of learning over time for the students?  What will the students work look like over time and how will they be able to google or search for their own learning?  If the plan is not in place to grow this over time, we lose so much from the process.

If these questions aren’t considered, I am wondering if we are just doing a digital version of “school”, or rethinking the opportunities digital now provides for learning in school?  This is more than just thinking about the software, but thinking about the potential of what this process can bring to our students and ourselves.

Grades Do Not Tell the Story of a Child

One of the amazing things about my job, is the ability to learn from so many amazing individuals. Donna DeSiato is one of those leaders.  The vision for education, as well as the moves they are making to make that a reality, show the importance of leadership and bringing people together.  The “system” is always made up of individuals, and those individuals coming together can make a significant difference.

Some of the nuggets that I gleaned from her that day (paraphrased):

“If we(educators) only focus on standards and tests, why would our parents focus on anything else?”

“We have to give permission to go beyond the test.”

“We must provide permission, support, and protection.  Permission is the opportunity to try new things that we aren’t sure work yet. Support is ensuring the professional learning is in place to help educators get to the next level. Protection is ensuring that if things don’t work out the way things were planned, that are teachers know they are safe.”

As I did not get these quotes exactly the way Donna said them, hopefully I got the general meaning behind what she was saying.  Inspiring words from a superintendent.

Yet one thing Donna shared REALLY stuck with me.  It was regarding something that she says to parents during any showcase within her district’s work:

“We know that we have state standards and requirements that we are supposed to meet, but that is just one of the ways we show our learning.  Tonight, we show another aspect of our learning and I hope you can see the impact it has had on the learning of the students. Please enjoy.”

What I found fascinating about this approach, is that Donna is making the explicit connection with her community on the importance of learning in a many different forms and mediums.  She understands that there is a “box”, but that innovation is happening within these constraints, and it is important to highlight them.  As I have said before, grades do not tell the story of a child. Grades do not tell the story of a child.Are we explicit with those ways that we share these stories with our communities, as well as why they are so important?

 

 

Distracted From School or Learning?

In my last post, I shared an article regarding a Michigan High School that recently banned mobile devices from their classrooms. Here was one of my comments:

These articles used to really bother me, but what I have learned is that I never know the whole story. There is always more to any article or tweet you read online.  That being said, here is one part that bothered me:

The decision regarding the new cell phone policy was made after several discussions with the high school advisory committee, made up of teachers and support staff, and with the parent advisory committee, Bohl said.

Notice anything missing? Me too.

Spiri Howard, an amazing thinker who regularly comments on my blog as well as posts great stuff on her own, left this comment on my last post about her own son and his thoughts on school vs. learning:

How ironic that my son, Gabe (15), and I have been talking about this very school and article. Gabe’s view of school was shocking to me, he said…

“You know mom, school is just a place where teachers teach what they have to, you know, curriculum and test prep. When I want to learn something, something that’s important to me, I know where I can find it and who I can learn from. I build those relationships online, I can make them happen. Kids just go to the source. A lot of the time, well recently, my learning doesn’t come from a school, its not from a teacher or the relationship I have with my teachers. I just think teachers and admin. don’t understand that.”

He’s absolutely right. This generation of learners are an iPoding, texting, Googling, YouTubing and Facebooking. They live during a time of dramatic technological changes. For many of them, texting is the chosen method of communication and YouTube is the chosen method of online learning. Whether you feel this is good or this is bad, is irrelevant. This virtual presense will not go away. When we decide to ignore it, we are saying “think this way, learn this way …only”.

When I’m listening to a speaker, I begin to wonder about what they are saying. I’m questioning and thinking about ideas. Naturally, I want to explore those ideas and find answers to them, hence the use of tech.

What this high school wants from it’s learners, in my opinion, is for them not to wonder or think, but rather just decide between answers that they are given. This is dangerous. When we decide this for our learners, we need to realize we are killing off “possibilities”. This is how we become stagnant. We are killing off ALL possibilities but one (the “correct” answer). If we want learners to think critically and creatively, we need to realize that there isn’t one “right” answer. A good innovational thinker is always exploring the many other possibilities. So by asking students to make decisions and choosing the “right” answer rather than wonder and question the possibilities …we’re fitting students into the box of what we believe to be right or wrong. Where is the questioning, the thinking, the problem solving in that?

This is very powerful comment, but I will have to admit, not all students feel this way.

As I was working with some administrators recently, a former student that graduated recently from their schools really challenged the notion of devices in the classroom, as it often distracted from what was happening in the classroom.  It was an interesting conversation, and there are a lot of students that feel this way and are very anti-devices, but the question that I wonder if are they focusing on being good at school, or focusing on powerful learning? When people are so ingrained into any system, do they challenge it?

Kids become so conditioned to what school looks like, are they as open t challenging it? I believe in the power of student voice, but to also inform it along the process.  If they only know school can look one way, will they really challenge it?  Too often, when educators ask input from students about school, they often ask the ones who have really mastered the system, not necessarily the ones that hate it.

We need to ask questions explicitly “how they learn best”, and ensure that we differentiate that we are not only asking about school, but learning in any circumstance.  I have the feeling you will see more comments similar to the one Spiri’s son has, than what we might be hearing right now.  This is not on the students, but possibly on us for asking the wrong questions.

School vs Learning

10 Reasons to Try Genius Hour This School Year

My good friend AJ Juliani is about to start a Genius Hour Master Course.  His passion for this topic and his ability to share his enthusiasm has made a significant difference with so many educators.

As this is a paid course, you can sign up here, and he is also offering a 20% discount if you use the following code to sign up:

20GEORGE

Below is a blog that is reposted from his blog and is great for those schools already using Genius Hour, or those looking to dive in.  Check out his post below and you will see just a sample of what will be shared.


Originally posted at ajjuliani.com.

If you haven’t heard of Genius Hour or 20% time in the classroom, the premise is simple: Give your students 20% of their class time (or an hour each week) to learn what they want. These projects allow students to choose the content and still acquire/master skills and hit academic starts.

I’ve written extensively about Genius Hour and 20% Time, but wanted to share a list of the 10 reasons you should consider Genius Hour in your classroom (for those of you on the fence) and why you will not regret making that choice!

Getting Started With Genius Hour via @ajjuliani

1. You will join a great community of learners

When I first did the Genius Hour project with my students I didn’t have a community of teachers or learners. Within months that changed as a number of great teachers before and after me started to share their stories online. The largest active group is the Genius Hour teachers (inspired by Daniel Pink) who have #geniushour chats, a big resource at GeniusHour.com, and a great Genius Hour wiki. Get involved and see what others have done!

2. You will allow students to go into depth with a topic that inspires them

One of the major issues we face in schools today is covering a wide breadth of information, instead of allowing students to get a real depth of knowledge. Students using Genius Hour and 20% time are able to delve into subject matter that means something to them, often times taking their free time at home to learn more. Isn’t this something we should be promoting at all levels?

3. There is so much positive peer pressure

When students in my school have their Shark Tank pitch day, they get to share with the entire class what they are working on. Publicly announcing what they are trying to accomplish makes the goal real. Students get to see what their peers are working on and want to make sure their project stands up to the rest of the class. Regardless of a grade being attached to the project, this makes for students going the extra mile.

4. It relieves students of the “game of school”

Too often our students complete assignments for the grade. They go through the motions to receive an external pat on the back (or bump on their transcript).  Genius Hour and 20% time take away the “game of school” and brings back the love of learning for learning’s sake.

5. It’s fun!

Randy Pausch famously said, “If you think you can’t learn and have fun at the same time. Then I don’t think you have a good understanding of either.”Without a doubt it is the best time of the week. Student feedback is not only positive, but also transparent. This work often carries back to their homes where parents/guardians share their passion for learning beyond the school walls.

Note: I am hosting a FREE Webinar next week, ¨Getting Started With Genius Hour: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Structuring Genius Hour (and my 5 Best Strategies for Engagement)¨Sign up here. 

6. Your class will be covering all types of common core standards

It doesn’t matter if you teach elementary, middle, or high school. The Genius hour and 20% time projects cover multiple common cores standards. We’ve had teachers propose this type of learning to their administration backed by awesome research. Remember, the community will help if you are fighting a battle to get Genius Hour or 20% time started at your school.

7. It’s differentiation at its best

Students are working at their level, and as teachers we should be helping to challenge each one of our learners at their best pace and ability. Because each project differs, students are not bogged down by following the same steps as their classmates. The entire class is learning, but it is truly differentiated.

8. You learn by what you do, not by what you hear

Experiential and challenge based learning puts the mastery back into the student’s hands. We provide guidance and pushes along the way, but they are the ones “doing” and “making”. Confucius put it perfectly: “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” Let your students make and they will understand and thank you for the opportunity.

9. It is a perfect way to model life-long learning

I did Genius Hour with my students and took it upon myself to learn how to code and make an app from scratch. I failed to make that app. But my experience learning how to program left me with a whole new perspective, and was a teachable moment about what we call failure. There is no real way to fail a project in which “learning” is the end-goal.

10. Your students will never forget what it felt like to create

Have you seen Caine’s arcade? It started out as a little idea and now Caine has inspired hundreds of other kids his age to create something unique. When you create a product, it becomes part of who you are, and there is a “care” involved that we just never see with multiple-choice tests. What would you want for your child?

This is the most important time to be in education. It is the most important time to care about education. It is the most important time to impact a different type of education.

Now, more than any other time in the past 100 years, education seems on the verge of a paradigm shift. You see, for the past century, most of the educational change has been doing old things in new ways. Today, we are beginning to see educators, educational institutions and educational companies do new things in new ways.

My challenge to you as a teacher is to allow your students the choice to learn what they want. That’s what Genius Hour and 20% time is all about, and that is why it is so successful.


Again, if you’re interested in this great opportunity, you can sign up for AJ’s course here.

 

“They have to be part of the solution”

As teachers go back into their classrooms preparing for the new school year, many educators spend an inordinate amount of time decorating their classroom.  The will use terms like “our classroom”, yet they will be the only ones who have had the options of what it looked like.  My first year of teaching a fourth grade class, I remember spending a ton of time making little basketballs and placing every student name on one of them outside of the classroom as a way to welcome them.  Imagine if you were a student in my class that year and you hated sports. You were probably thinking, “A year with this guy?!?!?”

I was reminded of this reading this post, “How Teachers Can See Students’ Identities As Learning Strengths“, and in particular, reading this passage about a teacher trying to better understand his own students:

For example, Sirrakos had spent a lot of time and his own money to decorate his science classroom with posters and quotes he hoped would inspire his science students. In a dialogue, one student told him that his class environment was boring. Sirrakos was confused and pointed out all the decorations on the walls meant to liven up the room. His students explained those images represented him, not them. Sirrakos was still confused, but he asked his students to help him fix the problem.

Students started bringing in their own posters, including things they made. The one rule was it had to be related to science in some way. Immediately students were more cheerful. “They have to be part of the solution,” Sirrakos said. “That’s where we talk about having these co-generative plans of action.” In this example, the solution didn’t require a big shift, it only required that Sirrakos recognize he wasn’t achieving the result he thought he was, and be open to students’ owning their classroom space.

Not only would this save you so much more time, but it is so much more meaningful to the students.  This is not simply about choosing what goes on the walls, but seeing the classroom as a reflection of themselves (the learners), not simply the teacher.

I wrote about this last year as well:

What if you wanted to learn the student’s names, you asked them to create their own art to display it on which represents something they love?

Instead of decorating the room with what you think should be on the walls, ask the students what they would like the room to look like, and plan how you could shape and decorate it, over time.

Instead of planning the entire day, why not create opportunities to talk to them and learn about them, and get a feel for what your year, or even the day could look like?

If I really think about how the year started for me as a teacher, it was more about the students to get to know me, than it was about me getting to know them.  There actually should be a balance.  Trust and respect are reciprocal feelings; they are not earned only from one direction.

These little things show students that they are an essential part of our community.  Their voice is needed to create community, ultimately showing them that they do not have to wait to make a difference; they can be leaders today, in our own classrooms.  Empowering them now, will lead them to be the world changers we hope them to be.

Leaders-Today

 

The Beautiful Discomfort of “New”

If you were a new teacher, administrator, or staff member in any field, and you were posed with a new challenge or problem, what would you do?

From my experience, people in newer positions are more likely to try to figure out a solution, or show a willingness to learn something new, as they are new to the organization, and want to show their willingness to grow.

Yet I specifically remember a conversation with an administrator saying that their staff would be reluctant to using something like Google Apps for Education, because there were so accustomed to what they were already using.  My response was that if the people that were reluctant were applying for a new job and the question was, “Are you willing to learn Google Apps for Education?”, their response would likely be, “Yes!”.  Not, “Yes.”, but “Yes!”

As we gain experience, we gain more knowledge, and sometimes our eagerness is tempered by what we know.  Yet, do we become too comfortable in some situations because they are our norm?  Do we become complacent because we are not as worried about disappointing those we are familiar with, as opposed to those that we are not?

Here is a microcosm of this scenario…I rarely answer email from my phone.  Why? Because I am a notorious “one-handed texter”.  My thumbs are large enough to easily reach across a screen, so I only need one.  This is not a problem for tweeting or texting, but for emails, it can take a lot longer.  Two thumbs are better than one :)

But right now, I am starting to explicitly try to answer some emails via my phone, learning to use two thumbs instead of one.  Right now, this method is slower for me, and it almost feels like my right thumb has a worn in point especially made for texting, while my left thumb is flat, and does not have the same ability.  To type with two thumbs on my phone, it feels uncomfortable, it takes longer, and is kind of annoying.  But for me to get to a space that is better, even for this simple process, I have to be comfortable with this discomfort. I have to be okay with going slow to eventually move fast.  Texting on my phone is something that has become new again, and something that I am willing to relearn.

The discomfort we have when we are “new” is something we need to learn to embrace and see it as leading to growth, not stagnation.  There is power in being willing to being new to a situation, feeling uncomfortable, and embracing struggle.  The trick sometimes is doing it to yourself, before someone comes along and does it for you.

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