Latest Posts

  • Prioritizing things

    I loved blogging each night for those hundreds of nights. I want to get back to it but I also have been making sure to decompress at night, be present for family, reflect, and give my brain a break. So until I can work it into my workday, itll have to wait. Each day, I have been juggling all these new activities and creating the content for my students to experience. It is all that I can do to keep the class progressing. Waking up at 3/4/5am to prep for the day is taking all of my excess capacity.

    So the blog is a backburner to prevent burnout. So much else is also backburnered – too much it feels like to me, but I can only do what I can. It’s literally going to take me ten years of steady work to make this class. But all signs are positive, and I have to hope it is worth it someday.

  • Looking at goals with students

    I stumbled into something a while back – students are uncomfortable with expressing high goals or ambitions for themselves. At least in a large group setting, this isn’t even a little surprising.

    I cannot do more than I can do; I can’t coach all of my students individually. But I can reframe those ambitions and goals though. What I discovered is I can share my goals for them and they can ‘try them on’ in a less scary way.

    Here is the second draft of ‘Mr. Johnson’s Goals for us”

    • Find out what you will be happy to create.
    • Learn important tools and skills to make your creations even better.
    • Do some projects or activities that let you practice what you’ve learned.
    • Believe in yourself and be proud of the amazing things you can create.
    • Develop a creative mindset and stay focused on tasks
    • To learn how to be a better creator and to learn from our mistakes.
    • To help you be more creative
    • To improve a project more and more
    • Apply creativity in real-life situations and inventions.
    • See that you can make a collection of projects you think are awesome.

    …I’m sure that I am reinventing a wheel here, but here it is!

  • Coming back fresh

    I had a streak of about 240 blog posts in a row before this past break. I imagined I could be like Seth Godin and make a streak that is many thousands long. A break at least once a year might be in order:

    All my work after the end of the school year made some huge steps and many advancements… but as the ideas came together and all these ideas found their places… it got harder and harder to make any progress. I was often getting confused, overwhelmed, and frustrated. I could make a to-do list but not check anything off those lists.

    Mental work like this is different than physical work. Thinking about my other projects has given me a reset and I can get going again.

    It’s almost as if I need to forget so many of the connections and possibilities that were so thrilling to make. I have to shift away from my idealism and vision for the future, back into the time-constrained mode of ‘what is doable now.’ Working today, I realized just how big of a bite I’ve taken this year. I guess it’s time to get back to work.

  • Projects to make an awesome classroom

    Here I shared all the work that went into making what will someday be the ‘world’s coolest classroom. It is still a work in progress!

  • Edtech isn’t going to fix education

    I waited and got my hopes up high that technology was going to start to transforming education. That didnt happen. Things are changing but we are still waiting for the ground-level transformation that is needed.

  • Learning by creating

    We need to be giving kids more opportunities to create. Just straight up create. We can list all the reasons it is difficult or expensive… but confining students to paper, glue and tape for years just doesnt cut it. I made this video to flesh this idea out.

All posts and other helpful links.

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If you read this far, thank you. I’d honestly love to hear your thoughts – directly or through social media.

Have a great day!

~Peter, Innovative Arts teacher & Puzzle Shift Create creator


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