Friday, August 11, 2017

3 New Google Classroom Features to Start the School Year

With the new school year starting, many teachers are eager to use Google Classroom. Here are 3 new features to start the school year.

1 - Single View of Student Work

Students now have a page called "Your Work," which lists all assigned, missing, returned and graded work. This is a great tool to help students stay organized. How do students view this feature? 
  • Open up a class in Google Classroom
  • Click or tap on the "About" tab
  • Click or tap on "Your Work"

2 - Display Your Class Code in Full Screen
One of the first challenges with Google Classroom is getting students enrolled in your class. If you remember, they will need a class code to join (this is a one time thing!). Google Classroom now lets you display the code in fullscreen, which makes it much easier for students to see. This feature is only available for teachers! 

How do you do this? 
  • You will need to make sure that you are in the web-version of Google Classroom. 
  • Visit the Students Tab
  • On the left-side of your screen, you will see the class code. Choose the dropdown arrow next to your class code and select "Display Code." 


3 - New Organization Features!

Google realizes that organization is essential for teachers. Google Classroom now has features to help you organize your classes and gradebook.

A. Whether you are a teacher or student, you can customize the order of your class cards and reorder your home page.

B. Teachers now have the ability to add decimals to grades! 

C. Teachers can transfer ownership of classes to other teachers! 

D. If you need to access other Apps while you are in Google Classroom, you have the ability to choose the Apps Launcher (Google Bar) or sometimes called "waffle" to access other apps. 




Thursday, August 10, 2017

My Leadership Journey: 3 Ways to Reject Rejection

As of August 2017, I have interviewed 40 different leaders. Most of the leaders that I have interviewed have experienced rejection. Many have experienced rejection so painful that it has brought back tears many years later. Unfortunately, leaders must experience rejection to grow and expand their abilities.

Changing Our Views on Rejection

In his book Rejection Proof, Jia Jiang discusses the idea that rejection is merely a human opinion. Rejection is painful and something that everyone experiences and can take many different shapes. Whether it is being passed up for an opportunity, not holding value in another's eyes, it can have lasting effects on our lives.

Many people are unable to let go of their rejections, which severely limits their potential. What if we were to change our thoughts on rejection? What if we were to see rejection as an opportunity? It could change the way we live our lives. How we handle rejection makes all of the difference because it has a lasting effect on our lives, leadership abilities, and legacy. Here are some tips to reject rejection and reach your full potential.

1 - Change How You Look at Rejection

Imagine yourself as a piece of driftwood tossing along waves of rejection that push and pull you to your destination. You have no control over the waves and where they may take you; however, your journey will season and prepare you for your eventual destination. Your rejections are preparing you for your destination! Be patient because you will have an opportunity someday.

2 - Embrace the Detour

Many of us view rejection as a barrier; however, there are times when rejection serves as a detour. Several years ago, I was told that I did not have leadership potential and I would never make it as a principal. I am thankful for that experience because it helped me see that I was not passionate about handling discipline problems. I was passionate about educational technology. The rejection propelled me into creating this blog, sharing ideas with colleagues, and focusing my attentions on becoming a top-notch educator.

3 - Be Thankful for Your Rejections

It may sound weird, but I am learning to be thankful for my rejections. Unfortunately, our talents and abilities are not always appreciated and recognized by others. Instead of stewing in what people "should" think of you, why not give thanks for other opportunities?

In a previous post, I had mentioned that I have been overlooked for leadership positions within my organization; however, I am thankful for the rejection. Why? Instead of having to leave my job to gain valuable leadership experiences, I have the opportunity to serve as a consultant schools, colleges, and universities across the country and serve as a faculty member at Harvard University for two summers. The opportunities have provided me with valuable experiences that will someday hold value in another's eyes.

Conclusion

Just like a piece of driftwood eventually reaches the shore, you too will reach your destination. You will reach a destination where you are valued, respected, and appreciated. You have an incredible opportunity to change the way that you look at rejection. You are blessed with the gift of time, which will season your abilities and add to your experiences. The rejections that you face from others will help refine your passions and possibly detour your God-given destination. Be thankful for your rejections, because how you view rejection has the power to make or break you.