Thursday, November 13, 2014

5 Things Teachers Can Learn From The CMA's!

1. When the bell rings...GO! (Hook em or lose em.)
My buddy texted me 10 minutes into the CMA’s, upset and asking what he missed. The opening bit and performance is ALWAYS solid, year in year out!! Carrie and Brad kill it when they come out and start the show. It’s called “THE HOOK”, we all know it. We’ve all been hooked. If we don’t hook ‘em we lose ‘em! If we GO from the start with GOOD STUFF, they’ll be ready for the start. If not, the first 5 minutes of class becomes irrelevant and they know it. Would your students be upset about missing the first 5% of your class?

2. Include your audience
The best laughs in the show (audience moving / making noise = absorption) come from the interaction between the PEOPLE on stage and the people in the audience. When our students are moving and responding, they are absorbing. The show is not for those on stage, it’s for the audience. Do you put your students in the show as much as possible?

3. Showcase the new, but respect history.
I love when they (and they do it at least twice every show) put a “newbie” with a “legend” for performances. They know that everyone loves “new”, but they also understand that today wouldn’t be here without those who built it. I so often see either one way or the other in classrooms. The non-adopters saying “why change it if it worked?” and the early adopters saying “this is going to change education.” Certain things just flat out work and will always work, but there are ways to make other things better through experimenting. QUALITY is about BALANCE. Does your classroom have a balance of trying the new and respecting the old tried and true?

4. Things will bomb, but if you don't give 'em hell, everything will bomb.
This year’s CMA’s were incredible. However, bell to bell, it had some lulls and boring parts. They didn’t try to make them boring, they just didn’t nail it like the planners thought they would. So what!! If we plan / teach in fear of something not working, we’ll never know if it WILL WORK. We owe it to our kids to bring them our best, even if we have doubts. Sometimes our best isn’t incredible, we need to accept that and keep bringin’ it!! Do you scratch an exciting plan just because it “may not work”?

5. Appreciate & promote your colleagues...they rock too!
Closing with a bang at #5, my favorite part of the CMA’s is the camaraderie between the artists. Say what you will about Taylor Swift, but seeing her (and many others now) belt out and dance to songs being performed while in her seat is cool. They all legitimately cheer for each other and are happy for each other when they win. They team up on stage, even though they are competing on iTunes. As teachers, we often protect ourselves and compete. Teaching is not an individual sport! We need to get off our “Teacher Island” and connect to, share with, and cheer for each other. Teaching is a challenge, it’s easier when we’re all in this together. Does your career involve ACTIVE sharing and cheering for your colleagues?

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