Imagine teachers walking into a faculty meeting or professional development workshop and instead of being told all they need to change or learn, they are given an opportunity to recognize a time they were successful, hear others’ successes, and deconstruct the elements toward that success. This change in tactic gets their attention.
We could change the narrative about schools if we could capture those fun, positive, surprising, inspirational moments that happen every day — sometimes so briefly that we hardly register it before we move on to the next task.
What if we could freeze frame those moments so they stay in our minds? What if we could share them– for the joy of sharing as well as the possibility of new insights from someone else’s perspectives?
Lately I’ve been imagining how we could be ready to record these amazing moments when they happen so we could learn not just from our own narrative but from everyone seeing it firsthand for themselves.
We usually focus on the gaps and problems in our practice. We neglect the learning that can come from analyzing success. An efficient constructive protocol to learn collaboratively from our positive experiences, see Success Analysis from School Reform Initiative.
Another advantage to using this approach to improving practice–studies showed that when we remember pleasant experiences, we get the same release of endorphins that flowed during the experience. So we gain strength to keep going from a physical release of chemicals as well as a cognitive release of explicit knowledge.
We have used this protocol with students to help them think about times they were successful in learning, or even test taking, task completion, etc.