Many of my goals for 2008 involve slack:

  1. Give a little slack - In 2008 I will try to be more understanding when some teachers are hesitant to embrace the new. Yes, quite often newer actually is better - but even I find myself frequently waxing nostalgic about the good ol' days - days when some things were definitely simpler.

    Clarifying note: In referencing Bud the Teacher here, I am definitely NOT suggesting that he is hesitant to embrace the new. I consider Bud to be an excellent educator in his own right, consistently scaling the cutting edge - and often even defining it. Nevertheless, I have sensed from Bud - and from several other ed-tech pioneers - an occasional longing for the way. things. were.

  2. Cut a little slack - In 2008 I will make a greater effort to be less quick in lashing out with harsh judgment when a fellow member of The Cause appears to fumble. Just as some have been brisk in recently calling Ian Jukes to the carpet for his recent bumble, I have been similarly guilty on other occasions - not in correcting Ian (the Godfather) Jukes, but in feeling the need to correct others in their attempts. I feel horrible about some of the recent lashings I've attempted to administer. In striving to give a little unsolicited advice, I've failed at following my own code of generating constructive feedback - possibly creating in others a false impression about my true intents and purposes.

    Therefore, in giving feedback during 2008, I will do my best to give 5 pieces of positive feedback before ever lashing out with 1 piece of negative feedback. This 5:1 positive to negative feedback ratio has worked extremely well for me in the classroom - why shouldn't it also be applied here?

    Clarifying note: The students of Students 2.0 are fantastic. The example they have set for their peers truly is inspiring and I honestly hope that other students will follow their lead in droves.

  3. Not let slack - Those same students of Student 2.0 and all of the other "students" with which I work (both young and old) deserve my best in helping them to move forward in their learning. In 2008 I will do my best to reach out, in new and varying ways, attempting to learn as I teach and teach as I learn.
2007 has been a banner year for me and I owe many of you for that. Thanks for the conversations. May your 2008 be even better.

Image Sources - Me and *SMILING PUG*

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