Week 4 Response to John Hutchinson’s Post

Click here to view Hutch’s Original Post

I tried to have fun this week and tie some different media into my recap of each chapter.

Chapter 9:

(“Miss Claire Remembers” by Enya)

At one point this song came on my iPod while I was reading this chapter.  Simplistic as it is, it was an auditory metaphor for the less of “Lighting a Spark”.  The repetitive pattern of the lower melody represents the way things are.  The higher notes that seem to be more random represent the spark of possibility.  If the author’s story of the bicycle flat tire were in a short film I could see this playing.  As she looks solemnly at the tire, the useless 10$ bill, the expression on the clerks face that seems to give every visual queue that they are thinking “please leave” – all this is the lower melody.  Then, like magic, when she asks for the quarters instead of change everything changes, the happy notes come in and the world is full of possibility.  As the men give her directions the song is reaching it’s peak and end scene…
Events like this are exactly why I often have to read things twice…

Chapter 10:

(Panic Attack Scene from the Movie: Airplane)

If I had to sum up the idea “Being the Board” in my own words three words it would be “Suck it Up”.  Sometimes we need to give ourselves that proverbial slap in the face.  All kidding aside I struggled with this chapter when considering persons battling depression, or those living in oppressive conditions and wondered how these people might transform the unwanted experience into one in which they cared to live. I think overcoming obstacles makes us all stronger, how can we expect to move forward if we’re dwelling on the past?  In a professional development context this idea is very powerful but what about those that have little to no hope of getting out of their unwanted experience?

Chapter 11:

Chapter 11 offered some answers to unanswered questions left by chapter 10.  To me this chapter above all else seems to be about inspiring hope.  If one leads their life being hopeful and positive it may inspire others.  I think it takes more then just leading by example.  If someone presents themselves as hopeless, not in the judgmental sense – someone who is not inspired and has no interest to change that, do we just accept that this is the way it is and it is not wrong?  It would seem to me that hope would be a fundamental human desire.  This is another chapter where I understand the overarching message but wonder about how these principles can be applied on a daily basis.

Chapter 12:

(Benjamin Zander conducted Beethoven’s 5th)

In this chapter all the anecdotes related to the symphonies and classical music really made sense.  The Symphony is possibly the best metaphor for the “WE” story.  Actually, the relationship between conductor / symphony is a great metaphor the message of the entire book.  I think this is obvious and clear from many of the stories in the book, but watching this clip now after reading the book really helped tie all the lessons together.

My Response to John

I also appreciate the analogies are played out in this book again and again so we can link our feelings and emotions to our learning. As my final comment on this book, I believe the incorporation of the music linking with your video plus how you hear the ups and downs. Great job thinking artistically.
Your comment of “overcoming obstacles makes us all stronger, how can we expect to move forward if we’re dwelling on the past?” and the fact of not working about the future is not only supported by the Art of Possibility, but it is also taught biblically in the book of Matthew.
If one leads their life being hopeful and positive it may inspire others.” This is why I can hold a smile no matter what, because I know I need to influence others and keep the hard stuff in until I can suck it up. “Suck it up” is a hard one to take, but in retrospect I have noticed leaping great hurdles once I have finally been able to move on.

Week 4 – Response to Jessica Kellogg’s Post

Click here to view Jessica’s original post.

I know that I have said this a million times, along with others in this class, but I can’t help feeling it again. Chapter 9 starts out with lighting a spark and all I can think about is being a Christian. Being an example to others and sparking that light in them with everything that we do. We are called to be generous, like the 50 cents story. I really do enjoy this book but also find it funny that it portrays a lot of the same characteristics that we should be living already. I wonder how many people read this book and never make that connection. I have found that lighting this spark in my students, or letting them light a spark in my life makes all of the difference between an average class and breaking through to some real connections being made.
In chapter 10 the author talks about being the board. But what it really sounds like is learning how to forgive and have grace. In the example of the driver, the druken driver will get consequences according to the law, but as the victim, getting upset and blaming them completely also hurts yourself. If you dwell on it then you lose control of your own emotions, reactions, and mind. It is better to forgive and learn how to move forward with accepting the here and now, as mentioned in an earlier chapter. I think that this is a good idea for teachers. There are many times where a student has known exactly what buttons to push in order to get me to my limit. While what they are doing is wrong, if I react in pointing fingers and blaming them for the situation, I am only giving them what they want, a reaction. It is better for me to remember that they are students and in this preconceived notion, sometimes the teacher is the enemy and their teenage emotions get the best of them. One thing that I am not sure the author makes extremely clear is that this does not mean that they are not to receive consequences; it is more a conscious choice on how to react and deal with emotions. This also goes in line with Rule number 6, don’t take yourself so seriously. As a teacher I can’t get so worked up if a kid doesn’t listen to me, I can’t freak out. Or according to the bible, don’t throw your pearls before swine. If they aren’t in a place to receive instruction then I am just wasting energy and emotions freaking out about it.
This story of the teacher shaving her head in order to help the girl with cancer reminded me of Adam Sandler peeing his pants to make the elementary school student feel ok in Billy Madison. Changing the framework takes courage and belief that you are doing it in order to better the mindset of others and change their framework as well. I really like that one of the steps for this is to figure out what is on track and what is off track. Too often people have great dreams and then they don’t focus on them when they start executing them. At my school district this happens often and there comes a point where people stop believing in the ideas even if they are good because they never get completed. A vision with specific goals is so important to this cause.
Chapter 12 really brings together a lot of different aspects of this book. The biggest thing is to overcome the fear that is constructed in our minds so that we can tell the WE story together. Teaching in a school that is very racially diverse I deal with this issue often. I can’t count how many times I have had to mediate issues that have to do with different races. The fact that the issues have nothing to do with specific people never seems to dawn on them until after a fight or argument has broken out. The examples that the author gives about the marriage and the job raise are perfect examples of how to change into a WE story. This is a technique I often have to use with my students especially when it comes to their grades or lack of homework. I have to remind them that I want them to pass as well and together we can come up with goals for US to get them to pass. I want them to know that it is a team effort. This is definitely not one of the easiest stories or conversations to have, so it is important to not spiral downward. 
My Response

I also took away the part about grace and forgiveness, it also reminded me not to take anything personally. I do not usually take myself too seriously, but others see that as that I am not serious. That is a fine line in my work place, especially with my boss who critiques every word that comes out of my mouth no matter who is watching. I would love to gift him the Art of Possibilities! 

I really appreciate the many analogies in this book as it also helps me understand the concepts. With this book I changed my cold call requests for teachers from do you want to make a video to I have a few examples of how others have contributed and was wondering if you would like to join us in showcasing your students. This seems to make it a WE thing, like you stated with your students. It helps with the difficult conversations as you also mentioned.



Week 3 Response to Drew Fulton’s Post

Click here to view Drew’s Original Post

Wk3: Art of Possibility Part 2

My favorite part of this week’s reading from The Art of Possibility was the 8th practice, “Giving Way to Passion.”  My life is dominated by my passions and I strive to follow those passions.  It is my passion for photography and the natural world that has led me to where I am today and it is my passion for education that has brought me to the EMDT program at Full Sail.  As I mentioned in one of my commenting posts last week, it isn’t the easiest path and often there is no path, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  For me, it is the passion that I have for my work that allows me to push the boundaries with visual storytelling.
It is also the passion (some might call it obsession) that enables me to get through the really tough times when things don’t go well, projects fall through, and money is tight.  It is the passion that gets me out of bed each morning excited about the opportunities that are out there.  There is a constant battle between the fear (as mentioned last week) and my passion.  Most day’s passion the passion wins but it is a daily challenge.  I must say, the good days are worth fighting through the bad days though…  Let go of your fear and give way to your passion!

I also took away the part about passion. Even with all of the threats of losing my job in the past few years, I sty because of passion. It’s hard times right now and everyone is looking to save a buck, but there is nowhere I would rather be than in the school. There is nothing else besides photography and video that I would rather be doing. I could freelance, but I have passion for capturing student success stories through imagery. I do not see any place that can offer that same feeling of gratification compared to where I am at right now. I feel your passion for photography, just a different subject. Of course I fulfill my passion for family and infant photography as my on the side hobby, but the passion is making a difference in student’s lives. I’m very happy we all get to read this book together.

Week 3 – Response to Jessica Kellogg’s Post

Week 3 Reading: Chapters 5 – 8
This week’s reading talked about leading from any chair. I really enjoyed this chapter because I think that as a teacher it is important to understand where a student is coming from also. It is vital that we get their feedback so that we can ensure that we are teaching and they are learning to their full potential. At the end of every quarter I give surveys about the class and I ask them anonymously to give as much specific feedback as possible. This takes some level of maturity because at the high school level I get things like: we want naptime, we should have no homework, school should be optional and what about smoke breaks? Once I get past that crap, I really get to hear what they like to see in the classroom, what helps them and what I can improve for their behalf.
Last year at the end of the year instead of reviewing all of the semester myself, the students each had to pick a chapter to teach. I got to sit back and as a “student” visualize what works in the classroom, what doesn’t keep my attention, and what new things to try. It was an awesome experience and every single group admitted that teaching was harder than they thought it would be. Some students were mad that they had to keep quieting down everyone; that was the funniest part of the experience.
The calculating self is my worst enemy. I definitely need to lighten up and I love the rule number 6. I think that it is very easy to be your own worst critic. I know that one of my biggest faults is being a perfectionist. I think that nothing humbles a person like being a teacher. I learn new things from my students all of the time and they call me out daily. It is the best remedy for the disease.  I love the story about June. As a Christian it makes me think about what my mom used to tell me about praying. Don’t pray to change that man, pray that our heart would change towards that man. We can’t change everything and everyone else around us, but we can change how we react, deal, and live with things around us.
I really like the author’s point of view about dealing with the here and now. I think that it is really important to acknowledge what is happening before you can deal with it. I think of my students that whine and complain about every little thing and then are incapable of completing anything. We are not promised tomorrow, so we need to live in the present and deal with it realistically. This includes bad things and mistakes. These shape us as much as anything else and we must accept them in order to learn from them.
I LOVE the two steps to giving way to passion. I think of two things when I think of living with passion. The first way is living for God. This is something that you have to let take hold of you and you have to be willing to be shaped into whatever He would use you for. The other thing I think about is singing. When I step on stage, the lights hit me, and the rhythm guitar starts, I have to give myself completely to the music and get out of my head. Some of my best performances were when I was signing with all of my heart, not all of the notes were perfect, but the passion came through in the music. It moved people. This is how we should live our lives with everything that we do. This is the reason that my husband opened his own store, passion. This is the reason that I teach, passion. Without passion in our lives and work it would be easy to get bogged down and get complacent.
I appreciate your analogy about giving into passion while singing. I do that too (not on stage though).  I can also see that teaching has to be a passion as well.  I mostly took away the part about passion and living in the now. I wish I could jump right into my dreams and let passion lead. I’m too scared I guess. It’s the financial stability of having a 40 hour job that keeps me in my office.
The idea about having students review the lessons is great. I’m sure it was very humbling. That was a very tricky way to get feedback. Congrats on being able to step away and let that happen.
I have been seeing a trend of how to think of things/people that I don’t necessarily like a different way. It is full of peaceful serenity. I wish I could share this book with everyone.

Week 4 – Leadership – Where Do I Publish

  Creative Cow

Plan A – I would like to publish to Creative Cow to show the collaboration happening in our county with our local community to help our local educational access channel to show that we are still surviving because of everyone’s efforts.

This is especially interesting since the conference is about collaboration. We have had help from the cable channels saving us $45,000 in costs to continue and upgrade the channel. Our administrators support the need as well as instructors and students. The channel is not exactly the perfect channel, yet with the videos we are creating, we will have a large collection with even more collaboration. Creative Cow would be the more popular place to publish.

Alliance for Community Media


ACM is the old school place to publish a paper, yet they are also focusing on collaboration this year,

I’d like to possibly submit an article to the Cow site



Week 4 Reading – The Art of Possibility 9-12

This is the largest hurdle for me, how to light a spark in others.  I have the administrators behind me to revive the educational access channel.  That was the part that I thought would be the most difficult, but unfortunately it is the instructors. I was surprised to see the remarks had to do with myself. After looking at how I act, I can see that I am nervous to ask for participation. I bet others see my reservation. If I ask how others will contribute with me with a twinkle in my eye, they could respond better to my enthusiasm. Once I create a video with the instructors, they do shine. I need to bring that shine out in the beginning conversation instead of at the end.
You lose your power when you blame others for not succeeding. Instead find a way to transform it to success. Make a difference and do not detach myself from the end result.
Show empathy to the teachers that fear the addition of one more thing to the classroom, but show them how it is a possibility. Make a list of things that add to and detract from the possibilities of success. Move people from the talk of why they cannot to how can we. Make it my vision, not incorrect or incorrect. Do not look at the movement as improvement, just a direction. Break down barriers and create possibilities. This will validate that the idea will make a difference.

Make LISD TV a story involving the entire LISD, not just LISD TV or myself. Make it a “we” story. Instead of the story benefiting LISD TV or myself connect it to all involved. Use the combining words of we, us, our when talking about the videos. Then remember this process will change and grow.

Week 3 – Leadership Post – Where Do I Present?


Alliance for Community Media’s 2012 ACM Annual Conference (PEG)
Theme Collaboration, July 31  – August 2, 2012
Chicago, Illinios

Plan A – I would like to present the collaboration happening in our county with our local community to help our local educational access channel to show that we are still surviving because of everyone’s efforts.

This is especially interesting since the conference is about collaboration. We have had help from the cable channels saving us $45,000 in costs to continue and upgrade the channel. Our administrators support the need as well as instructors and students. The channel is not exactly the perfect channel, yet with the videos we are creating, we will have a large collection with even more collaboration.
Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (Education)
The theme is multimedia, hypermedia and telecommunications/distance education. June 26 – 29, 2012
Denver Colorado
Ed-Media World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications
Plan B – To show educators another rewarding way to add multimedia into the classrooms. The best way to document student success in my mind is to actually show it through video.