Author Archives: www.ClimateGaGa.org

How I Found Teaching

Dear Reader,

A colleague and I have started a new blog on teaching and learning: A psychologist and educators’ collection of stories on 60 years of practice with children, teachers, administrators, and parents. Principles of brain research and cognitive psychology underlie implications for practice.

Check out my first post on the site which describes how humility and a little sweat helped me find my call to teach: https://teachingandlearning.live/2016/09/10/finding-my-calling-to-teach/

Peace,

Steve

 

New York: Dissident Group of Regents Offers Alternative Vision of Teacher Evaluation

Diane Ravitch's blog

Faced with the highly unpopular law on teacher evaluations rushed through the Legislature by Governor Cuomo with minimal consideration or debate, seven members of the 17-member New York State Board of Regents issued a vigorous dissent. The law requires that 50% of teacher evaluations be based on test scores, a number that is not supported by research or experience. Unlike the Governor and the Legislature, these seven members of the Regents have demonstrated respect for research and concern for the consequences of this hastily-passed law on teachers, children, principals, schools, and communities. They are courageous, they are wise, and they are visionaries. They have shown the leadership that our society so desperately needs. All New Yorkers are in their debt.

I place these wise leaders on the blog honor roll.

The dissident Regents issued the following statement:

Position Paper Amendments
to Current APPR Proposed Regulations

BY SIGNATORIES BELOW JUNE 2…

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The Year the Dam of Denial Breaks – Ready for the Flood?

This is a must read for everyone.

Paul Gilding

This is the year the “dam of denial” will break and the momentum for climate action will become an unstoppable flood. It will be messy, confusing and endlessly debated but with historical hindsight, 2015 will be the year. The year the world turned, primarily because the market woke up to the economic threat posed by climate change and the economic opportunity in the inevitable decline of fossil fuels. That shift will in turn unlock government policy and public opinion because the previous resistance to action argued on economic grounds, will reverse to favour action on economic grounds.

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4 animations that show what’s really going on with our climate

ideas.ted.com

QWA-category-ClimateCrisis

Trying to understand what’s actually going on in the world’s climate seems like it might be truly impossible. For one thing, there are so many different factors at work. Everything from how light travels through the atmosphere to how the winds move the ocean around to how rain hits the ground has an effect on what actually happens on Earth both now and in the future. That also means there’s absolutely no use in looking at each piece individually … to understand what’s really going on, the climate jigsaw puzzle needs to be complete.

That, says climate scientist Gavin Schmidt, is where climate modeling comes in. The discipline synthesizes data from multiple sources, including satellites, weather stations, even from people camping in the Arctic and submitting measurements of the ice they see around them. Climate modeling, Schmidt says, gives us our best chance of understanding the bigger picture of the world around us…

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John Kotter’s Eight Steps of Change Work in Education AND Climate Change

Can the climate change fight be won? And if so, what climate leadership steps must we take to grow an army of supporters willing to take action? To access necessary resources and create a strategic plan that offers hope and solutions to a complex problem? To change things for the better? It is not easy, but there are proven models for change. My favorite is Dr. John Kotter’s Eight Steps of Change. I’ve successfully used Kotter’s model in implementing educational change, and it certainly can work for fighting climate change.

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Step 1: Increase Urgency. People have to feel the urgency, and, in the case of climate change, dread the outcomes if things stay status quo. Are people worried about climate change and willing to take action, or are they too complacent or frightened to act? How do we increase urgency without overwhelming people?

Step 2: Build the Guiding Team. Change requires teamwork. Do you have a team to work with? 350.org? Sierra Club? Climate Reality Project? A local support network? The notion of Spiderman or Superwoman saving the world is a fairy tale. Fighting climate change and the fossil fuel industry requires teamwork, sweat, grit and hard work.

Step 3: Get the Vision Right. Sustained efforts require a destination. A benchmark, capstone, endpoint, something understood by all. What is the vision for fighting climate change? A 2-degree Celsius warmer world? 1.5-degree Celsius? We need to know where we want to be so we know when we’ve gotten there. Stephen Covey captures this concept beautifully in Habit 2: Begin with the end in mind.

Step 4: Communicate for Buy-In. Clear, concise, heart-felt communications are essential. Confusion is the enemy. The fossil fuel industry and climate deniers know this all too well–which is why they sow seeds of doubt in various media. We must be impeccable and impassioned with our words if we hope to have others join us to fight climate change.

Step 5: Empower Action. Obstacles interrupt change through distraction, disorientation, and frustration. Leadership requires being aware of potential barriers and planning accordingly. We cannot afford to lose team members or momentum due to poor logistical planning.

Step 6: Create Short-Term Wins. There’s nothing like success to motivate and uplift. Climate change leaders look for the “low-hanging fruit” and celebrate all successes in the march towards climate restoration. Celebration is essential to sustaining the change effort.

Step 7: Don’t Let Up. Fatigue, frustration, fear, or losing the sense of urgency are hazards in any major change effort. Great leaders know this and fight doubly hard when things get difficult. I used to tell my cross-country ski team that races are won on the uphills and in the last kilometer. The same rule applies for major change efforts.

Step 8: Make Change Stick. When we inevitably win this climate change battle (and we will win), we need to be certain our efforts “stick.” Policies, protocols, culture, habits . . . all need to be put in place that ensure we never, ever place Earth in a tenuous position again.

Fighting climate change will require a global commitment led by millions of leaders at the international, national, state, regional, and local levels. Climate leaders who understand and use effective change models can ease the struggle.

5-Minute Climate Change Mitigation Action Item for the Week:

Winter is approaching and with the falling leaves come falling temperatures. This year, reduce your fuel consumption and carbon footprint by lowering your nighttime temperature to 58 degrees Fahrenheit and daytime temps to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. 58 degrees Fahrenheit sounds chilly, but trust me, a few extra blankets makes all the difference. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, turning your thermostat down 10 degrees Fahrenheit for eight hours will save 10-15% on your heating bills.

The Powerful Message of Teacher Leadership: “Help Me, Help You”

The Powerful Message of Teacher Leadership: “Help Me, Help You”.

In the spirit of teacher leadership.  Now’s the time.

Upcoming Climate Reality Sessions This Week

Hi Folks,

Please join me to learn about our changing climate and what we can do to help future generations and planet Earth cope with these changes.  Climate Reality Sessions last 60-75 minutes max.  On Tuesday, I’m at the Adirondack Folk School at 6:30PM. Thursday at Up Yonda Farm in Bolton Landing at 1:00PM, and Saturday at the ADK Loj in Lake Placid at 8:00PM.  See below for more details.

Peace,

Stephen

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