We love to take our kids up to Big Bear Lake, CA to go snowboarding at the Snow Summit and Bear Mountain ski resorts. We load them up, bring along their friends, and head up to our getaway in the mountains as often as we can. But this year there has been a major problem…no snow!!! It is the middle of December and the only snow was a short-lived surprise flurry on the morning of 12/16. In fact, it was such a surprise that I took this video and tweeted it!
The whole town depends on the ski resorts opening and the corresponding influx of tourists visiting the slopes to thrive…no snow is nothing to joke about in a ski resort community. They only have two real choices: Complain about the bad fortune of the weather or MAKE THEIR OWN SNOW.
Easy choice, right? They make it.
They have the snow blowers going full steam and make enough snow to open as many runs as they can. In fact, my kids have been snowboarding for the past two weekends and having a complete blast.
How true is this for us in our school systems?
Far too many people waste their time complaining about the negativity and poor attitude in their building, the lack of forward progress, irrelevant or non-existent professional development, and all of the myriad of things, people, and circumstances holding them back. Don’t wait for the weather to change…change the weather. Get out the damn snow blower and make your own snow.
I love how Jimmy Casas puts it in his INCREDIBLE new book, Culturize: Every Student. Every Day. Whatever It Takes. “No one person is responsible for determining your success or failure but you, and no one is responsible for your morale but you.” (GET THIS BOOK! WOW!)
So how can you make your own snow?
Take responsibility for the energy you bring into all of the interactions you have in your life.
Intentionally focus on that which empowers you.
Consciously connect and associate with people who inspire and uplift you and relentlessly avoid negative people who will sap your superpowers like Kryptonite.
Start a book study in your system. I taught at my school for 17 years and was never once handed a book. To me, that is crazy talk. Did I read anyway? Heck yes! But if I could go back, I would have organized others to join with me. (If you want help with a book study on any of our books please contact me!! I Skype and Google Hangout with study groups ALL of the time! It’s free!)
Host an #edcamp. There is something magical about a grass roots effort to get positive educators in the same physical space together and then have them design their learning experiences in an organic way.
Hold a #CoffeeEdu or an Appy Hour type event. Find a venue and invite people to join you.
Go on an #EduHike or #EduWalk with educators in your area. Get up early, get out in the world, and get your exercise in while you talk education.
Put together or join a Voxer group of educators to build your mastermind professional learning network.
Start a podcast. I am an avid listener…love putting on my headphones and multi-tasking while learning and being exposed to new ideas. I’d love to add yours to my play list! Have you checked out the new gamification podcast of Explore Like a Pirate author, Michael Matera? It’s called #WellPlayedU
Write a book! Do you have a story and message that you think could change the world? You need to share it! Does writing a book intimidate you? Read my Eating an Elephant post from 2012!
BLOG! Finally get that blog going so you can not only powerfully reflect on your journey as an educator, but also share your journey with us so we can benefit, too!
How about #PedicurePD? I know people who do it!
Attend conferences. Once there, don’t just go to sessions and then hide. Connect with fellow attendees beyond the hours of the set schedule. Tweet and share your learning into the conference hashtag. Head out to dinner, grab lunch, meet up in the fitness center, gather for coffee and chat all things edu (Alice Keeler is a master of this one), and just find as many ways as possible to build connections.
Create your own conference! I love how Ditch That Textbook and Ditch That Homework author, Matt Miller, created his own virtual conference entitled…wait for it… #DitchSummit. (Read about it HERE…PD in your Pajamas!)
Start a movement!
Take a look at Sean Gaillard. He was tired of the negative energy surrounding Monday’s and wanted to shift that whole paradigm and reposition Monday as something to be celebrated in education…a chance to get back to changing kids’ lives and uplifting each other! He started the hashtag #CelebrateMonday (Plus #TrendThePositive) and it took off!
Feel the passion for student voice that emanates from high school student, Isaiah Sterling.
See how Tamara Letter is changing the world with her kindness projects.
Spread JOY like Akilah Ellison…contagious enthusiasm!
Find people with a common interest and build a chat community.
There are so many more examples of people who have made their own snow this same way…what about the amazing #MomsAsPrincipals community (Learn all about them RIGHT HERE!) or the more recent #DadsAsPrincipals? So cool!
If you don’t think a small group of like-minded educators can impact an entire system (or the whole world!), then read my Rolling Snowballs Downhill post NOW! YOU are the start of the snowball. Find your crew…start moving.
Don’t wait for the weather in your school system to change.
Do you want something new?
Build it. Make it Design it. Create it. Organize it. Inspire it. Join it.
The new year is coming. Don’t let life happen to you.
MAKE YOUR OWN DAMN SNOW.
I’ll snowboard on it with you!
If you want to truly be inspired and create meaningful cultural change…please check out Culturize by Jimmy
Casas. The reviews are in…it is AMAZING.