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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Book Review: The Four O'Clock Faculty #4OCF

The Four O'Clock Faculty by Rich Czyz was a very inspirational book for me to read. Once I started reading this book I couldn't put it down. I think I finished it over a 10 day span and only reading on one third of those days. The book get's its name from a concept from a principal who told his staff that "we are a four o'clock faculty". Which at this administrator's school meant that staff was expected to stay an hour and forty-five minuets after school and part of that that time was expected to be used on self improvement. My school gets out at three pm so I am telling my self I am a "five o'clock faculty". 

Biggest Takeaways
  • I am in charge of my own learning. 
  • I want to model being a lifelong learner for my students. When I learn my students will benefit. 
  • This book provided a guide to professional learning for the 21st century world in which we live.
  • Be willing to fail. Not every idea is going to work. 

Ideas I want to try:
  • "#coffeeDU": This is where you schedule a time to meet and share an idea or you can just meet and collaborate with other educators. You host at a local coffee shop and have them sponsor the event. I am down for free coffee and learning. I either I want to host one or attend one. I was thinking this would be a good way to connect with other educators in the Nashville area. 
  • "Lunch and Learn": Once a week meet with colleagues at lunch time to learn from each other. Was thinking we could answer "Why do we" questions (Bellow are five that I came up with that I thought where relevant to my school), share interesting articles, discuss a new educational app, website, or instructional strategy, and maybe even try to tackle an issue we are having at the school. I think for now it will have to be BYOB-Bring Your Own Bag, but it would be fun to order food are go out to eat once and while. I think of all the ideas I am going to try to start with this one. This makes the most practical sense to me. 

  • "Fight Club":This idea sounds so cool to me. I was a big fan of the movie growing up but in the educational fight club you don't fight but debate an educational issue.The first rule of Fight Club "Is you do not talk about Fight Club", sort of. You do need to talk about Fight Club and promote the event, however, once the debate is over there is no holding grudges, no impromptu arguing in the teacher's lounge the next day. If it is your first time at Fight Club, you must fight (debate). Ideas that might be fun to debate; Homework: is it worth it? or standardized assessments. Our school has a boy's club and this might actually be a good thing to introduce to our students. I feel like some students don't know how to defend and communicate what they believe in. I think Fight Club would be a great skill for the students to learn communication skills, value different opinions, how to debate appropriately, and other twenty-first century skills. 
  • "Underground Newsletter": I was thinking this might be a fun way to promote professional development at my school. Share podcast, tweet of the month, recommend books, promote apps, tech advice, brain breaks, surveys, I don't know just some ideas. It could be a digital newsletter to. I was thinking there could be QR codes on there that links to more info. I was thinking I would post in the staff bathrooms and call the newsletter "PD in the Loo" (I think I heard of that title from the Google Tribe Podcast). 

Things I do right now that help
The book really promoted the use of twitter as a great way to get professional development. This is one tool that I am using right now already. I could be more involved with educational chats, however, it was because of the #tlap Chat (Teach Like A Pirate) that I even got this book.

Me opening book. Was cool to see a personalized note in the inside cover from the author. 
Another thing I do to help my professional development is this blog. I blog for myself. It is a way to reflect and look back on my own thinking. It also helps me connect with people all around the world and share my thinking with others and get feedback.

Favorite Quotes:
The book had a ton of great quotes here are a few of them:

  • "It's Better to be alone than in bad company." -George Washington
  • "Students need you to become a better learner in order to become better learners themselves." Rich Czyz
  • "We cannot solve out problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." -Albert Einstein 
  • "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You  can steer yourself any direction you choose." -Dr. Seuss
  • "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth" - Mike Tyson
  • "To help your colleagues learn, you must continue to learn"- Rich Czyz
  • "The Problem with quotes on the internet is that they are often not true." -Abraham Lincoln (Not Verified)

Next Book:
Teach Like a Pirate, By Dave Burgess. I have read this already but I felt like I skimmed through it and want to give it another read.

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