December

The year’s ending and the closer we get to Christmas, the more work we have to do and the less energy we have left. At least, that’s the case for me.

So get your panettone ready, set the Christmas shopping list aside for a second, and read through the last newsletter you’ll get this year.

 

Quote of the day

I usually round off my newsletters with an inspiring quote, something to get you thinking after you go back to your daily activities. But this time, I wanted a quote to be the inspiration behind the topic we’ll be discussing today. And it’s a quote by none other than Grace Hopper. Don’t know who she is? Let me give you a very short intro on this personal hero of mine. Hopper was a computer science pioneer, a WW2 rear admiral, and the longest serving officer in the Navy. In a world dominated by men, she earned a doctorate in Maths and worked alongside the smartest programmers. Against all her critics, “Amazing Grace”, as she was called, developed a programming language using English, something unthinkable at that time. What does this mean in layman’s terms? She basically lay the foundation for the user-friendly personal computers we use today. Talk about an inspiration.

Now, what did she say, exactly?

 

“Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, ‘We’ve always done it this way.’ I try to fight that. That’s why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise.”

 

“We’ve always done it this way”. Comfort zones are safe, predictable, reassuring. But they can also be restricting and hold us back from the best version of ourselves. Such a short quote, but it speaks volumes. We have a profession that is a breeding ground for innovation and creativity and we would not be honoring it if we always did it the same way.

 

Video of the week

Can you forget how to ride a bike? That’s what Destin Sandlin tried to figure out when he was challenged by some friends.
By now you must be thinking I lost it or something, but I promise I haven’t. Bear with me for a second.

What Destin’s experiment shows is that we look at the world not as it is, but as we are. That something as simple as learning how to ride a bike can be as challenging as walking the high wire (or cooking, in my case).

So where am I trying to get to? Ends and beginnings are moments of reflection, of setting intentions, of resolutions. And as this year draws to an end, I’m challenging you. I’m challenging you to get out of your teaching comfort zone, to try out new things, explore new techniques, give technology a shot, and learn how to ride your educational backwards bike.

I truly enjoyed writing these newsletters this year and I really hope they were as inspirational and thought-provoking as they were meant to be.

See you next year! Happy holidays!

PS: Do you want to do a last random act of kindness before the year ends? You can forward a friend/colleague this email and they can sign up here so they get it in their inboxes. You’ll make my day!