Giving Up Control

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Why is this so hard for me? Every time I think of allowing students to do something that I normally control, I get a picture in my mind of utter chaos. I just finished reading The Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros.  I follow the ideas of John Spencer, A J Juliani, Brian Aspinall, Todd Nesloney, and others on Twitter that constantly challenge my need to control the environment and my students.  While participating in a live webinar by Angela Watson titled 5 Summer Secrets for a Stress-free Fall, I was once again confronted with this issue.  Here are the steps she mentions in her webinar:


stress free.004Number 5 was the kicker – OUCH! When she mentioned this step, I immediately thought of allowing students to change the batteries in their macbooks themselves. Our macbooks are over 5 years old, and the batteries no longer stay charged all day.  As a matter of fact, I change at least 15 batteries a day in the computer lab.  Now, it does not take long to change a battery, but I have to admit that the loss of time for a student to have to wait for me to stop what I am doing to change their battery can add up.  But more importantly, what message do I send them when I will not allow them to do this simple task themselves?  What do I think is going to happen if I turn this task over to their control? How many other simple tasks could I turn over to my students that would not only save me time, but send the message to them that THEY MATTER, I TRUST THEM, and WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER!  If I truly am going to empower my students to go above and beyond, I will have to move from expecting compliance to trusting them. This is what I want for my students…

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