Skip to main content

I am still Mike Mohammad a.k.a Mo Physics

I am still Mike Mohammad I am not a “yeah me” kind of person, but yesterday June 4th was an amazing day for me professionally. Two years ago on June 4th, I was in a medical coma (we’ll save that story for a future post.) I am proud of my work yesterday, I just wanted to take a moment to share it and celebrate myself (which I never do.)  If you don’t know me, I have been a secondary science educator for 20+ years and have taught 7 different science courses in my career. This year, though, I had been asked to make the transition to a Teaching and Learning Specialist. In this role, I work with teachers with EdTech tools and have a specialty in our district’s learning management system Canvas. I was one of the first teachers to pilot the system and have used it extensively in my classroom to help streamline workflows. Its use also helps in college readiness as most universities in our state, Wisconsin, use it as their learning management system. Ok, enough of that let’s talk about June 4th

Innovate, Lose, Grow


One of the great stories of Innovation shared in Innovator's Mindset is that of Blockbuster and Netflix. A part of the story that I’d like to reflect on is the failure of Netflix. Most of us didn’t know about it because we didn’t have a personal interest in Netflix, yet. The graph below is taken from a series that Derek Bennington did at Chief Innovator.  As you can see Netflix was not an instant success. They lost money for years before they began to grow.




In a meeting four years ago, our assistant superintendent for teaching and learning Dr. Dana Monogue began by drawing a curve on the board similar to this:
She noted that the gains in our district had flatlined. Yes we were one of the highest performing district in the state now, but we weren’t preparing learners for tomorrow.  She put forth the challenge that we needed to change our model before we lost touch with the workplace of tomorrow and saw negative gains.
She next drew a second curve that represented a shift in practice, an attempt to innovate.

As you can see by this graph and the Netflix graph, they begin with loses. That day Dr. Monogue told us something I had never heard an administrator say before.  She communicated that our test scores might go down at first, but that’s ok. She let us know that she believed that short term losses are what long term success is built upon. Innovation requires a commitment to your goal and sticking to it.
It is one of those moments that I cling to as an educator.  It told me that my administration trusted me to be an agent of change, my failures didn’t define me, and they knew learning was more than just a score.  They understood that to innovate one must lose before growing.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Twitter Cards for Blogger

So, I’ve been seeing people with beautiful Twitter Cards in my Twitter Stream. They make it clear that there is a web page to visit and give a quick preview of what would be found. Something like the one below: I’ve been wondering how to get one of the cards to appear when I tweet out a link to my latest blog post.  Since I use Blogger, there is not a simple button to click to turn this on.  I had to find a way to paste new code into the HTML code of my blog.  It took some searching from multiple sites to get a completely functional.   This site though was quite helpful.  But, I’d like to walk you through my process and hopefully it helps a few out. There are a few types of Twitter Cards.  Two that at most frequently see are the basic summary card and the summary card with large image.  Below you can see the layout of each, but realize that they both have the same content pieces. This is going to look like a lot more work than it will actually be

Pear Deck 101 + Q&A

  Last week, I presented as a part of Pear Deck’s Pear Fair 2020. My presentation was Pear Deck 101 for Google Slides. During the presentation, there was a live chat. Many people said it went too fast for a 101 Session. Luckily, it was recorded so it can be rewatched.  Also, many said that they wanted to know how to build a Pear Deck first. I structured the presentation to show what Pear Deck was before showing how to make one. Perhaps that wasn’t the best structure. But, I’m going to stick with my philosophy of showing what something is before showing how to make it. The presentation, which can be watched below, was structured in several different sections What is Pear Deck? Providing an overview of the experience from the Teacher and Student perspectives. How do you build a Pear Deck in Google Slides? How do you start a Pear Deck presentation? How do you end a Pear Deck presentation? Here is the Slideshow I shared during the session bit.ly/pearfair101 Time really flew in the sess

Using Infinite Campus to Give Grades Meaning

At Brookfield Central High School have just passed the three week grading period and are approaching the first parent teacher conferences of the year. My thoughts are turning to clarifying my grading practices to students and parents as more scores are being entered into the gradebook.  I have completely restructured the grade reporting in my online gradebook this year.  This was due to struggles I had last year in trying to implement what I believe to be best grading practices into my grade reporting.  Much of my grading philosophy has been informed by Robert Marzano and Marzano Research, specifically the wonderful book Classroom Assessment & Grading that Works .   Traditionally, as I prepare for teacher conferences, I use a student summary report I print from our online gradebook to guide the discussion with parents.  Our grading program in my district is Infinite Campus (IC).  I really like the software and find it extremely easy to use.  Below you’ll see a sample st