This morning as I headed toward my local freeway on my way to LAX I passed the scrolling message board of my local Continuation High School. Focused on closing the 30 mile gap between home and the airport, I almost missed the red letters rolling by in their series of preappointed dots that read “Whoever dares to teach must never cease to learn”. This is really the motivating force behind conferences such as the one being held by ASCD in San Francisco this week. The opening General Session by professor and author Chip Heath only served to underscore the aphorism on the marquee as he urged us to bring about the change we need by focusing on the bright spots in our classroom lives. Using the metaphor of a tiny rider on an elephant for the analytic and emotional parts of our brains, he encouraged the audience to implement change by providing direction for the rider; motivating the elephant and shaping the path the elephant and rider traveled down. It was an energizing moment for the attendees and myself as we walked out to find and expand upon our bright spots.
ASCD #1 Motivating the Elephant