What Students Really Need to Hear


It’s 4 a.m.  I’ve struggled for the last hour to go to sleep.  But, I can’t.  Yet again, I am tossing and turning, unable to shut down my brain.  Why?  Because I am stressed about my students.  Really stressed.  I’m so stressed that I can only think to write down what I really want to say — the real truth I’ve been needing to say — and vow to myself that I will let my students hear what I really think tomorrow.

This is what students really need to hear:

First, you need to know right now that I care about you. In fact, I care about you more than you may care about yourself.  And I care not just about your grades or your test scores, but about you as a person. And, because I care, I need to be honest with you. Do I have permission to be…

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The Power of ‘Third Places’


Creativity is unleashed not only through the mindset we engage…but the environments we create.

Creativity is not always an individual sport. It is often the result of collaborative clashes and conversational hit-and-runs. Our ongoing flow of ideas and creativity is often as much an accidental occurrence as it is from our focused efforts. Consider how many chance encounters and run-ins which have led to powerful conversations that spurred new ideas, new ways of thinking, and new ways of seeing and doing.

But for this to happen, we have to create and design an environment where these creative clashes and conversational hit-and-runs can occur. Settings that author Ray Oldenburg refer to as our ‘Third Places’.

In his work Imagine, Jonah Lehrer describes Oldenburg’s vision of these ‘third places’ as…”any interactive environment that is neither the home (first place) nor the office (the second place).” “The virtue of these…

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