Monday, October 19, 2015

Backing Up

We talk a lot in education about moving forward - bouncing forward - being resilient and learning from our mistakes/errors.
At the same time we also talk about Understanding by Design (which allows us to start with the end in mind and work backwards in our planning and preparation to get to that end).

I'll be honest, in my experience - it's a lot easier to keep looking forward. We've heard that message longer and perhaps that's the difficult part (the reteaching and re-framing until it's more habitual and less effort?). Is it going to take longer to embrace and embed (become natural) over time.....?

Have you ever noticed....
that no matter how many times you see the same sign (billboard/poster/framed picture of sayings) - you keep reading it?

I even find myself half way through saying - "dang it! you clever marketing company you!"
Why else do you think we hang sayings around our house - we WILL read them - and eventually they become part of our thinking, our natural thought process, and an overflow into our lives.....

So why then is backing up so difficult?

I've attempted reversing a trailer big and small - and well, every time it results in what happens in this video below. It's a lot less stressful than with a boat on a trailer (for the husband especially :)
We played a little game yesterday - who can back up into a 'parking spot' between two of us (no, not trying to cull the herd - we were moving pretty slow). No surprise - only one heiled as victor:
My embarrassing attempt: 30 seconds never seeemed so long
The pro: - he makes it look so easy!

So what makes this manuever so darn difficult?
A few things -

  • lack of practice: how often do I need to back up a trailer/attachment of any kind to my moving vehicle?
  • lack of understanding of the mechanics - which way to turn the wheel and how to keep the trailer straight - not over correcting etc etc

Why we need help? - curious why cars all seem to have a back up camera ?
On the evening of October 19, 2002, pediatrician Greg Gulbransen walked out his front door to move the family's sport-utility vehicle into the driveway. Unbeknownst to him, his 2-year-old son Cameron followed. Gulbransen was backing up when he felt a small bump, discovering only after it was too late that he'd accidentally run over and killed the boy.According to the federal agency, the U.S. needs such a rule to curb the accidents, which result in 15,000 injuries a year and 210 deaths. Of those, 31 percent involve children under the age of 5.
The regulation sets a 2018 deadline for rearview monitoring technology to be standard on passenger vehicles sold or leased in the United States. In most vehicles, the technology will consist of a back-up camera.
SO what we see as technology of convenience, was designed as a life saving feature. 
In our educational vehicles
what device do we have to mimick back up camera's?
(not just for after the fact - but for before we make our first move!)
In the art and science of teaching - we plan, prepare, gather resources (all for the upcoming lessons and tasks). How often do we simply take a look back?
  • Don't you have to look back (reflect) on students skill gaps to really prepare for the lesson - if you're truly differentiating?
  • Don't you have to return to your office and provide feedback on your walkthrough - reflecting on how your observation combined with dialogue can offer redirection for future learning? 
  • Don't you look back on your lesson and wonder why students were engaged? Why some groups finished way before time was up?

I would love to hear your thoughts and practical reflection tools you use as teachers, learners and administrators.

One resource here:

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