Tag Archives: Students

Episode 59: The Best Teachers Listen with Zeb Welborn

The best teachers listen.  Vic Braden is one of the most famous tennis coaches of all-time.  When I interviewed Vic, he said the most important element to being a great coach was listening.  Learn how to be an amazing teacher.

The Best Teachers Listen Zeb Welborn

Zeb Welborn

My first job straight out of college was that of a high school history teacher.  As a teacher, I was so concerned with presenting the material that I never actually took the time to listen to my students to help them learn and grow.  It was not until I became a tutor did I really harness my listening skills to accommodate the needs of my students.  The best teachers are those who listen first and guide students to invest in their own learning.

My first week as a teacher brought about my first test to my students.  I was excited.  I prepared all the material I had taught them and I was eager to see how they did on the test.  They bombed it.  At first, my instinct was to blame my students, saying they didn’t try enough and that they should have studied harder, but in retrospect, I did not listen to them and I did not teach at their level so they could perform well on the test.  It was a valuable learning experience for me because I began to learn how to listen to my students first, teach second and assess their learning when all was said and done.

As a tutor, I worked with Nick who struggled in school.  He perceived himself as lazy, even though he was not and in order to get him to work with me I used my listening skills to help inspire him.  I asked him questions about the things he enjoyed and I tried to incorporate those into my lessons as much as possible.  Slowly, Nick began performing better and through continual listening and readjustment, Nick began to perform better in school.  Listening drastically helped my tutoring ability.

Vic Braden is probably the most famous tennis coach of all-time.  He’s met presidents, instructed the worlds best tennis players and is revered by everyone who has any knowledge of the history of the game.  In talking with Vic on the Defining Success Podcast, I learned quickly that the skill he thought was the most important to his coaching career was listening.  He listened first and came up with action plans second.  If the greatest tennis coach of all time thinks listening is important to coaching, don’t you think it should be important to you as well? Sales is something that is outside of my comfort zone, but every time I make a sales presentation, I learn so much just by listening.  I’ve also learned that many of the mistakes I’ve made come from not listening well enough.  Each time, the potential buyer explains their needs and it was up to me, as a salesman, to listen, pick up on those needs and then use my product as an opportunity to solve their problems.  But, sometimes, I focused more on what my product offered and the values it could bring in a general sense . . . rather than solve their specific problem. The listening skills I learned as an educator and a tutor has helped me in uncountable ways throughout my life.  I’ve learned to become a better teacher and can sell my services much better once I truly listened to what my potential customers were saying rather than what I thought they wanted from me.  The best teachers listen, truly understand and then offer their assistance as a peer.  The next time you find yourself wanting to educate someone on a topic of interest, ask them questions, listen to their responses and respond as if you were them.

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Episode 39: Liberating Genius | Angela Maiers from AngelaMaiers.com

Angela Maiers has a lot of experience teaching students and educators on how to build systems and environments that promote learning and education.  She has many educational goals, but one of her favorite is liberating genius.  Listen to Episode 39 of the Defining Success Podcast to learn how Angela Maiers is helping to liberate the genius of others.

Angela Maiers Liberating Genius Defining Success Podcast Zeb Welborn

Angela Maiers

Angela Maiers is a teacher, educator, author and consultant.  She has spent the past 22 years working diligently to help learners of all ages succeed by recognizing their powers as readers, writers and global communicators.  Whether she’s addressing an auditorium full of educators or sitting on the floor helping first graders find their way through the pages of a good book, Angela’s message is the same – literacy changes lives.

Angela got in education because she knew she was destined to be an educator.  She was on the path to become a doctor and was working four different jobs, all of which had to do with children and someone asked her why she didn’t choose education. Angela realized that education was her calling and took up the cause.

She has always been passionate about learning, how the brain works and how to promote learning.  It compelled her to never look back and pursue how to help others learns.

Angela’s background was in linguistics, reading and writing and social media was just an extension of that to her.  She began blog writing to explore her own writing and eventually began using her blog for educational purposes.  She encountered a very passionate online writing community and social media and Twitter have always help her to increase her literacy.

Social media has revolutionized communication and it’s fascinating to see how our world has changed.  One thing that Angela suggests is that, for educators, we constantly promote the tools when we should be promoting the people.  Social media allows for conversation and discussion on a wide variety of topics and creates new ideas for people moving forward.

By communicating with others on social media tools, you not only get to learn from passionate, highly-qualified educators, but you get to learn with them and that process is a “game-changing” process.  When you talk about learning it doesn’t matter how you do it, but once you’re in the communities you don’t really talk about the tools, you talk about the community.

Angela Maiers Teaching Students Liberating Genius Defining Success Podcast with Zeb Welborn

Angela Maiers

Angela Maier’s passion and her main goal in life is liberating genius.  It doesn’t matter what room she is in or who she is speaking in front of, Angela works hard to unleash the potential of not just the individuals in the room, but in the room as a whole.  Your job is not just to unleash the genius of the individual but to unlock the genius that exists collectively in the room.

Right now we see individuals that are doing amazing things, but are we liberating genius in our collective intelligence, which is the wisdom of the community. The only way you can leverage the collective community is to have someone who can lead the community and we are just on the edge of unleashing this potential.

Several years ago, Angela wrote a book on how to create an innovative, passion-based culture, where she used models like Google, FedEx and 3M, companies that have created a culture of innovation.  Many of these companies give their employees the opportunity to work on something they were passionate about for 20% of the time they were at work.

Angela applied this system in the classroom and first began teaching students about passion and learning about a cause, project or subject.  Once students began to connect with other communities to focus on learning a topic, she then introduced ways to create collective action in order to make changes for the better.  These changes were usually associated with empathy and compassion for the cause.

One question they would ask is “What breaks your heart about that?”  And then they would take collective action to fix the problem and change the world. As a result, Angela started a non-profit called Choose to Matter to help change the world.  She would then help students use social media to connect with organizations that could help them accomplish their goals.

Twitter is Angela’s favorite tool to get more of the information she needs and she also is able to use it to connect with other people.  Twitter has so many different functions for Angela.  It’s her news source.  Her way to see what’s going on in her industry.  Her way to connect with experts, family and friends. And her way to engage others more authentically in her cause.

When kids want to learn something, kids are not necessarily learning in the classroom anymore.  They are taking their learning online.  One great example of this is NASA, who has created a tool kit which students can go on to learn and get information from NASA on a wide range of topics.  Schools that don’t take advantage of these resources than they will become obsolete.

Right now, Angela Maiers is working on a new partnership to provide students with access to real-time information and mentors which will help to inspire the young generations to pursue their dreams.  Angela has just solidified a partnership with what she calls living legends to help mentor young students who have made the decision to matter.  It’s an exclusive network of four and five-star generals and medal of honor winners and they want to be able to pass their experience and expertise onto the next generation.

Last year, Angela Maiers wrote a book called Habitudes and wanted to share and show that these habitudes matter.  There are classrooms all over the country are adopting these habitudes.  And this is a common language of habitudes.

Angela feels like every day is a wow day. Being passionate as a learner and having platforms to share her learning out loud has attracted amazing individuals into her room. She’s learning from educators, students, and leaders and every single day is an exciting adventure.

There hasn’t been one day since Angela started working on the web that she hasn’t had a wow moment.  For Angela, a wow moment means worthy of the world and it’s when you encounter something that makes you stop and take notice.  That is something worth sharing with the world.

One thing that Angela would like to instill upon our listeners is that there is genius everywhere.  Every person has some form of genius and as individuals we need to recognize what genius each person possesses and incorporate that into our network and our room to make our communities smarter and better at solving our problems.

According to Angela, if you have a discussion with 5 year olds and ask them if they think they are geniuses and have something to offer to the world, every student raises their hand.  Every year past the age of five, the percentage drops dramatically.  Every Google employee believes that they are essential because they have used the skill set of their employees and they celebrate those successes.  In order to make change, it’s a culture-shift, not a mind-shift.

There are strides and major efforts made to change the dynamics of the current classroom. The idea of being child-centered and the idea that every student needs to learn everything at the same rate are two completely different narratives.  Angela thinks we need to shift the conversation and right now the conversation is around standards and directives and it’s changing.

Angela gave a TED Talk back in 2011 on You Matter.  And when everyone realizes that they matter, the world changes.

You Matter Choose to Matter TED Talk Angela Maiers Defining Success Podcast Zeb Welborn Liberating Genius

Angela Maiers

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • If you went into every interaction and discussion as if you had the potential to change the world how would you act?
  • Have you had a WOW (Worthy of the World Moment) lately?  If so, share it with us.

Links to Great Stuff:

  • AngelaMaiers.com – “My life path has always been about teaching and communication. My twenty years as an educator and my passionate pursuit of literacy and learning, gave me the healthy dose of courage and skills that have led me through a wonderful variety of experiences, including classroom and University teaching, instructional coaching, research, writing, publishing, corporate training, and starting my own business.”
  • Google – “Since the beginning, we’ve focused on providing the best user experience possible. Whether we’re designing a new Internet browser or a new tweak to the look of the homepage, we take great care to ensure that they will ultimately serve you, rather than our own internal goal or bottom line.”
  • FedEx – “FedEx Corporation provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $44 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 300,000 team members to remain “absolutely, positively” focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities.”
  • 3M – “3M is a global innovation company that never stops inventing. Over the years, our innovations have improved daily life for hundreds of millions of people all over the world. We have made driving at night easier, made buildings safer, and made consumer electronics lighter, less energy-intensive and less harmful to the environment. We even helped put a man on the moon. Every day at 3M, one idea always leads to the next, igniting momentum to make progress possible around the world.”
  • TED Talks – “TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences — the TED Conference and TEDGlobal — TED includes the award-winning TED Talks video site, the Open Translation Project and TED Conversations, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.”
  • NASA – “NASA’s vision: To reach for new heights and reveal the unknown so that what we do and learn will benefit all humankind.”

Success Quotes:

  • “Good is the enemy of great.” – Jim Collins
  • “When you know that what you are doing is what you were meant to do, not what you like to do.”
  • “Passion and purpose leads you to significance.”
  • “The greatest fear we have is the fear of insignificance.”
  • “Success is the intersection of passion and purpose.”
  • “This is the most extraordinary time in human history to be alive.”
  • “I am fearless and I am courageous and I am more passionate than I’ve ever been.”
  • “I have a network that will not let me fail and I have never felt that in the 25 years of teaching.”
  • “The smartest person in the room, is the room.”
  • “If you keep putting people first, there is no difference between online and offline interactions.”
  • “The people who have always led us offline and online have always been readers and writers.”
  • “The extensions of social media was never a technology thing to me, it was just a natural progression of reading, writing and literacy.”

Special Requests:

Please sign up for the Defining Success Podcast Newsletter for information on upcoming interviews, reminders of previous interviews and updates on the guests we’ve had on the show and Welborn Media.

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Episode #6: Blog Writing to Learn | Erin Klein from Kleinspiration

Erin Klein discusses how she uses blog writing to make her a better educator, to continue her learning, to share her learning with others and to communicate with other leading educators and education professionals. Pay attention to how Erin has used her blog to make positive change in her community and her classroom.

Thank you for visiting the Defining Success Podcast.  Please download, subscribe and rate our podcast on iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/defining-success-podcast/id619459909 Thanks for listening!

Erin Klein from Kleinspiration

Erin Klein from Kleinspiration

Recap:

Erin Klein has been a classroom teacher and has developed her own blog which has been successful in its own right.

Erin has taught 1st grade, junior high school and now 2nd grade and she loves it.  She used a website for her classroom highlighting her students work and her website became so successful in her school that she got recognition by her district.  And then was asked to give presentations to other teachers and she began to blog as a resource sharing site to share her students work and share resources with other teachers.

As a teacher, Erin feels that the blog helps her become a better teacher and gives her an opportunity to share, get feedback, and offers an opportunity for self reflection.  She knows that maintaining her blog has helped her become a better teacher and by sharing she has helped other teachers become better.

A recent activity Erin Klein did in her classroom that she shared with others is  “If Our Characters Had Instagram,” where students are encouraged to act as if they were a character and then encouraged to think of what types of pictures they would take and share on Instagram which has taken off and teachers all over the world have been downloading her If Our Characters Had Instagram lesson plan.

Erin uses Twitter and Facebook to connect with educators.  She loves using Twitter more so than Facebook because, to her, Twitter is more of a professional outlet.  She loves the ability Twitter gives her to connect with different types of educators all over the globe.

Blog writing is important for Erin because she uses it to share resources and reflect on what she’s doing in the classroom and it also gives her a way to connect with the parents as to what’s going on in the classroom.

One thing Erin didn’t expect when she began blogging is the amount of businesses that would contact her asking her to use their product in her classroom.   Some products she’s recently used in her classroom is the Sifteo Cubes and the Sky Livescribe Interactive Pen, which she says her students love.

Erin would like to see a lot more student choice in the classroom, more teacher-driven content, more creativity, more student voice, more projects, more top-level blooms taxonomy, more mobile and technology apps (used less by particular district approved apps).  Ideally, she would like to put the curriculum in the students hands and having them create it and teach each other.  Putting teachers in a more facilitative role and putting the learning into students’ hands.

Learning is a priority to Erin as she’s always looking for opporunities to learn and grow.  She encourages teachers to ask administrators for things and don’t take no as a final answer.  If she feels something is in the best interest of her students then she wants to ask why and that new teachers are so often told no and that that kills the creative process.  Erin does recommend being professional, but still challenging administrators to accomplish goals that she feels would be in the best interest of her students.

Erin equates success and happiness to each other.  Monetary value doesn’t mean success.  Many people she knows who some people would deem successful are often very unhappy.  She thinks if people are happy doing something they love, regardless of money than they are successful.

Engaging Discussion Question(s):

  • Where do you see the future of education going?
  • Where would you like to see education going in the years to come?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • Kleinspiration – “Erin Klein the technology chairperson for the Michigan Reading Association, a national A Plus Workshop Presenter, SMART Technologies Exemplary Educator, Really Good Stuff Monthly Blogger, Edutopia Guest Blogger, Edudemic Guest Blogger and Magazine Contributor, National Writing Project member, and award-winning EduTech Blogger.Klein has most recently appeared in the Scholastic Instructor Magazine and co-authored Amazing Grades with experts from 13 countries around the world.”
  • If Our Characters Had Instagram – A lesson plan designed by Erin Klein which can be used in classrooms from Kindergarten to High School – If a character/historical figure had Instagram, what kinds of pictures would they take?
  • Sifteo Cubes – “Sifteo Cubes are a magical new interactive game system built on the timeless play patterns of legos, building blocks, and domino tiles.”
  • Sky Livescribe Interactive Pen – “Record everything you hear, say, write and draw. Wirelessly sync notes and audio to your personal Evernote® account where you can replay, organize, search and share your interactive notes any time and anywhere.”
  • The Tutoring Solution’s Share Your Passion Scholarship – The Share Your Passion Essay Contest is open to all High School students. For students to be eligible for one of their scholarships they had to write an essay from the prompt:  “What are you passionate about? Why are you passionate about it? How do you plan on using your passion to help others?”
  • Welborn Media
  • #EdChat – Join the Discussion on Twitter.

Success Quotes:

  • “Put the curriculum in the students hands and having them create it and teach each other.” – Erin Klein

Special Requets:

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