Monday, February 2, 2015

Rules of Improvisation and Education

After reading Amy Poehler's book and gaining some incredible insights, I decided to move on to Tina Fey's book, Bossypants.  I loved the book and discovered that I am more like Tina than Amy.  She used a coupe of words in her book that I thought I had made up.  Imagine my disappointment.

Anywho, Tina talks about her roots in improv in the book.  She has an aside titled "The Rules of Improvisation That Will Change Your Life and Reduce Belly Fat*  *improv will not reduce belly fat".  My session at this year's TCEA conference is "Get Organized. Go Paperless. Lose 20 pounds*   *weight loss results may vary".  I SWEAR I haven't read this book before!

Back to the rules of improv, it occurred to me that the rules of improv and the rules of education are very similar...

Rule 1 - Always agree and say YES - this doesn't mean that you have to agree with everything but you have to "respect what your partner has created".  In education, your partner could be your teaching partner, your principal or your district.  You may disagree because you don't think it sounds like a good idea.  Give it a shot anyway.  You may disagree on principle, give it a shot anyway.  Sometimes you have to respect that other people know more than you and have a different perspective on the problem.

Rule 2 - Not only say yes but say YES, AND - here's where you contribute.  You've said YES, you're being a team player but now you add your thoughts, perspectives and ideas.

Rule 3 - MAKE STATEMENTS - I can't put it any better than Tina "Whatever the problem, be part of the solution.  Don't just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles."

Rule 4 - THERE ARE NO MISTAKES, only opportunities - we talk a lot about our kids needing to learn to fail.  But what about us? How often have you put yourself out there? Offer up your solution.  Take a risk.  Try something new.  It might now work but you probably wouldn't die either.  And you'll have learned something that will make you better.


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