With the exception of the #DBC50Summer: Discovering my #EDUpassions post, I have not blogged in nearly a week. There’s a perfectly good reason for this…
Book 18 in the Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc line up is The Writing on the Classroom Wall by Steve Wyborney. In this book, Steve challenges us to literally put our thoughts and passions, what we deeply believe, on our walls (yes, our physical wall space in our classroom/office/hall/etc) and share with anyone and everyone what those beliefs are… yeah, that’s some kind of scary, I’ve got to admit! And yes… I was stalling.
I was so hesitant about this book. I have carried it around in my book bag all week! I spent the majority of the week in western North Carolina working with a group of phenomenal educators from across the state, facilitating workshops in an NCCAT session called Teaching Generation Z: Active and Digital Learning. I went to my room early each night while others stayed up playing games (I love to play games!) so I could read. I would open it, read a few pages, then realize I didn’t have the slightest clue as to what I’d just read. Finally, I realized that I needed some “book reading prep” time, and I realized I needed to decipher my own passions before I could really delve into this book. So last night, after an inspiring NCTIES Board Meeting I sequestered myself in my room and used the brackets approach from Launch to nail down my educational passions. I was satisfied with the Final Four, and still feel as though they are indicative of my strongest beliefs in education.
So tonight… I knew I had to read what Steve had to say. No more avoiding it. I’ve got to be honest here…it was insanely challenging to read the entire thing. Now don’t go thinking it wasn’t a “good book” because it was! It just pushed my thinking in ways I wasn’t ready for tonight. I mean, I had even prepared for reading this particular book in advance with my in-depth research to discover my own passions! That wasn’t enough. Steve brought his A-Game in this book!
First of all, this guy has a way with words. He is truly a wordsmith, an artist really… the way he writes makes you slow down and appreciate what he’s trying to say. He’s very metaphorical, so prepare to buckle down and focus while reading this one. It’s so worth it! Lord help us when he started talking about reflective writing. Specifically he states
Reflective writing is a powerful process that provides opportunities to personally, deeply wrestle with thoughts and ideas that are struggling to become more fully formed. -Steve Wyborney
In that very moment, I desperately needed a Madea “hallelujer” gif to adequately express my agreement. Blogging my reflections on each of the DBC books with a plan for implementing has allowed me to go deeper with the book than I imagined I could. Steve also mentions (Big Idea 20 – the book is set up by sharing the big ideas that he placed on the walls of his classroom, the discussion he had with his students, and how the idea grew) the idea of designing a path for others to follow your learning after you discover something new. Knowing, when I started blogging, that these would be publicly available, it made me pay more attention to what and how I was learning. Steve says, “I am determined to find my learning by giving it away…it is often in the sharing of my journey that I learn the most.” Yes, yes, and yes!
In fact… there are so many quotes throughout this book that are tweetable nuggets of knowledge that I just started creating some simple quote graphics on Canva. Check out a few of them below.
— Alicia Ray (@iluveducating) July 20, 2018
— Alicia Ray (@iluveducating) July 20, 2018
Powerful quotes all throughout #TWOTCW by @SteveWyborney – inspired and excited to write tonight’s #DBC50Summer blog post in a bit! Prepared to face the impossible to find out if it’s actually possible. ☠️5⃣0⃣☀️🏴☠️ #tlap #LeadLAP pic.twitter.com/O4OWAWECxy
— Alicia Ray (@iluveducating) July 21, 2018
This book is really geared toward any educator who wants to dive deeper into their educational beliefs. If you want to really think through your WHY, this book will certainly bring that out. It was challenging to read, not because of the quality of the writing (that was phenomenal), but because of the gravity of the message. It really stretches your thinking and makes you examine your own “Big Ideas” about education, and how you can share it with your learners.
I’m going to do something I rarely do. I am going to take the book at “face value” with my implementation plan. Steve challenges readers at the end of the book to post at least one Big Idea on their wall through these steps. This is my takeaway. This is how I will implement The Writing on the Classroom Wall... exactly in the way Steve suggests at the end of the book. Here are HIS steps for implementing TWOTCW! Grab a copy of the book for yourself and join me!
- Select an important idea.
- Post it on your classroom wall.
- Explain to your learners what the Big Idea means to you.
- Be prepared to let the idea impact you personally! (whew)
- Seek opportunities to feature the idea.
- Grow your set of Big Ideas.
- Share your Big Ideas.
Check back in the fall for a follow-up about how this adventure goes. I’m a bit scared to dive into this one, but knowing that it will benefit my students AND me makes it worth it. My takeaway from Teach Like A Pirate was a quote from Dave Burgess who said, “It’s not supposed to be easy; it’s supposed to be worth it!” This implementation will not be easy for me. It seems so simple, but until you’ve read this book you can’t know how personal and powerful this “seemingly simple” action will be. I do trust that it will be worth it, though. So I’m going to do it.
To follow along with the community, use the hashtag #TWOTCW and visit Steve’s website. His website is full of excellent activities for math, too! Here is a book trailer for The Writing on the Classroom Wall. I also highly encourage you to use the space on Flipgrid to reflect and share your response to TWOTCW with the world. As always, the password is DBCSummer. If no one has responded yet, take a risk and be the first! This digital space is meant to serve as a global book study for those with an affinity for any DBC book. Andrea Paulakovich had this incredible idea & I recommend following her (she’s amazing) and her #DBC50Summer journey!
Next up on #DBC50Summer is the first “sequel” book. The authors of Book 6, 50 Things You Can Do With Google Classroom, Alice Keeler and Dr. Libbi Miller are back with 50 Things to Go Further With Google Classroom! Grab yours and prepare to see the practical, student-centered applications of Google Classroom! So excited to share Book 19 with you soon!
Edited April 5, 2019 to add post to implementation! See how I implemented The Writing on the Classroom Wall here!