The world is full of great ideas.
That’s because there are dreamers and optimists and geniuses of all stripes on this globe who have been kind enough to share their thoughts with us.
The best ideas get shared – they always have been, whether it took lifetimes for them to move across time and space to new eyes and ears or blast across the internet in a flash, just waiting for the right search to pull them up or the right people to shareshareshare them over social media.
What I have learned about many great ideas though is that they are left open for us to study and toy with and adapt to our own purposes rather that simply adopt. I certainly have read and welcomed in so many great ideas about teaching, but I have worked to make them fit my style and my personality and my students and our environment — and it is a process that continues to evolve as I’m exposed to more great ideas over time.
So I kind of laughed when I saw this tweet this morning about my blog post from yesterday:
Stealing @CBethM‘s#nerdlution goal because I know I can succeed. 😉 Is that bad? Implications for Ss…?
— Shawna Coppola (@ShawnaCoppola) January 4, 2015
Do I own that goal? Heck, I looked at what I had down and thought, I swiped and adopted a half-dozen other people’s ideas for mine. Why couldn’t she? Why would that be bad?
But it’s the “implications for Ss…?” part that has my brain buzzing.
I just read Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon recently and I couldn’t help but think about it as I read her comment. He says that we have a tendency to collect ideas and save them and share them and make them into something that is our own — but we only really do this with the ideas that mean something to us.
That seems relevant here — that we want our students to find personal purpose and meaning in what we teach so that they collect those ideas and save them and share them and make them into something that is their own.
I suspect that Shawna can swipe my #nerdlution goals, but what they will look like in practice will look different — just the same as I’m sure that my Bullet Journal will look different from other people’s and my time on the treadmill will look different from other people (like my friend and former student Whitney who responded to my treadmill pic with one of her own…with a whole lot more time and miles on it than mine).
This is the best kind of differentiation. It’s what we do in Real Life all the time, but students do not often get the opportunity to do this for themselves at school. I let my students choose their own independent reading material. I have let them choose which Shakespearean play they would like to study. I have given them freedom to choose topics for their writing assignments. I have been thinking about doing more, but I think I need to explore some more Great Ideas on the subject before I feel comfortable adding more.
Thanks, Shawna, for the opportunity to think about this. I’m sure I’m not done pondering the subject, but my fifteen minutes are way past up and I have other things that need to be accomplished today – or so my planner says. :) I hope that if you do steal my goals, that you share with me how it goes and what they look like in the end. I hope we both are challenged and successful and feel like we have made them our own.