Norris Faculty and Staff Bulletin

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February 12, 2016

Thinking Topic...

Most of you have heard me say, "I'm not a "yes" person". What I mean by that is...when I ask questions, or ask for feedback, or ask for ideas, or ask for opinions, I am not looking for someone to automatically agree with me or to tell me what they think I want to hear. Does that make sense? The "why" behind that is this...if we are only saying yes without truly believing in the yes, then we are not challenging each other and we are not growing each other.

Take a look at a portion of an article I read this week. In the spirit of pure vulnerability, let me know if you can agree to work on one of these. I am committing to work on the second bullet point.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Confirmation bias is hard to spot, especially in yourself, but here are five ways to help minimize this cognitive distortion.

· Remove your ego. At its root, confirmation bias is an ego disease. We hate to be wrong, and we're desperate for others to validate our position. Seek the truth over being right.

· Seek disagreement. Foster an environment where it is not only okay to disagree, but encouraged. Ask friends, family members, and co-workers the question, "Why am I wrong?" At meetings, require everyone to play devil's advocate.

· Ask better questions. One of the most worthless questions to ask a friend or co-worker is "How do you think I did?" because you'll never get any constructive feedback. A much better question is, "What could I have done differently to make it better?"

· Keep information channels open. Constantly seek alternative views and opinions in print, on TV and in person. That might mean visiting websites, reading newspapers and watching shows that you've previously avoided. Remember, seek the truth, not evidence that you're right.

· Google better. Don't search what you want to prove, because with over 3 billion web pages, you're bound to find one that agrees with you. Instead, use open-ended searches that aren't biased.

Source: Five Tips to Avoid Confirmation Bias by Robert Pagliarini

Feedback from thinking...

Here are some thoughts from your teammates about last week's thinking topic...

(used with permission)

From Tu......(and please read his last sentence...twice...)

Explaining the WHY is like students showing their work, it should be second nature. The added WHY opens the channels for understanding, not necessarily agreement. It does, however, create an atmosphere of dialogue and interaction which is the core of human beings. To understand, we need the WHY. We need the WHY, to understand. A world that understands is a world less ignorant.

From Emily......

Earlier today I was giving direction to one of my students and it occurred to me that he needed to know why I was telling him what I was telling him. Once I explained it, and the reasoning behind it, I saw a light bulb go on in his head and I knew he completely understood. I think we can so easily get inside our heads and get “stuck” in our ways and thought processes, and we forget that everyone else around us thinks completely different than we do. We make assumptions, and things get lost in translation. It is a perfectly normal human thing to do, but it makes life easier if we are aware of it. It is so important to clarify why you’re doing what you’re doing or what you are thinking.

It opens the lines of communication between us as teammates, teachers, parents, and students.

From Rhonda....

This is one of the quotes that I often remind myself of. Good ideas are nothing without execution of a plan. Most ideas require change and usually work (good work). Often times, people are resistant to change because it requires effort. Therefore, with an unclear picture of what the end result might look like, it is difficult for some people to see value in the work. Effort without results is just effort. The best way to “MAKE IDEAS HAPPEN” is to make sure everyone involved understands the plan.

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News from Natalie

Please watch the classroom video sent to you earlier this week. It goes hand in hand with what Ashelyn has been talking to us about! Students thinking at a higher level CAN happen. She is excited to see your responses on this one!

Newsworthy Knights...

Mrs. Corrigan

For always being willing to help others and for going above and beyond. Also, for bringing smiles to everyone's faces!

Student and Parent Empowerment Program

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Birthdays Coming This Week...

No Birthdays

Here is the Parent Newsletter for this week: