Monday, August 12, 2013

Chapter 8: Adaptability

This chapter ended with a quote that I have heard a lot from keynote speakers at a variety of conferences over the last year: "The illiterate of the twenty-first century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn." - Alvin Toffler  After reading this chapter and thinking about adaptability, what do you think of this quote? Do you plan to use any of the lessons suggested in this chapter or do you have specific ways that you teach or model adaptability in your classroom?

Congratulations! You have made it to the 7th and final habitude. If you would like to be eligible to win a trip to the ICE Conference you will need to have commented on each of the habitude chapter posts by 4pm Eastern next Friday, August 23rd. There will be an opportunity to share some concluding thoughts next week when I share a post next Monday on the last chapter.


  1. I feel that adaptability is essential in today’s world. Schools are slow to change. Are your students different than they were 15 years ago? Has your teaching changed? Many times students are educated in a “factory model” type of education where we put them through each grade level and expect a finished product at the end. Education has not adapted to our changing society in many ways. Here is a short YouTube video on changing educational paradigms: It is really interesting to watch and discuss.

    It was interesting to see the SCAMPER technique discussed in this chapter. I taught in a self-contained gifted and talented classroom in the early 1980’s and this was one of the techniques we taught our students as we worked to develop creative and critical thinking skills. It looks like it’s come back!

    Adapting to change is hard work. When change happens in a school, it is important for us as administrators to understand that not everyone adapts to the change at the same rate. Some people move quickly through the change process and adapt to the change. Others get “stuck” at some point in their adaptation to the change, and we need to gently help them move forward.

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    2. Barb, Thank you for sharing the link. It was interesting to watch. It gives one food for thought and a spring board for discussion about where education should go and how we can best meet the needs of our students

  2. "The illiterate of the twenty-first century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn." - Alvin Toffler In today's economy this quote is everyday life for many people. I have a family member who lost their job in management after 20+ years. He has had to unlearn and relearn again to get a job that will allow him to support his family. Our students will all probably experience the same situation sometime in their lives.
    I like the Lesson One example "Picturing an Adaptive Learner". I think it would be something I would use with my students. I would like to try and have them come up with stories or examples like the one presented and share them.

  3. The best way to teach the essence of this quote is to model this behavior for our students. Many teachers will find this hard because we are so used to having to "know" everything about our discipline, learning, why the sky is blue, etc., so acknowledging we may not "know" is hard. In today's environment with the integration of technology and evolution of access to information that we have move to the side of our students and learn right alongside them. Again, I recognize this will require a shift in role and attitude that may be difficult for some, but feel it is paramount to reigniting the desire to learn in each of us and, more importantly, our students.

    I love Barb's reference to being "stuck"...showing grit and persistence to get "unstuck" is the key, so why not model that for our students?

  4. Ironically, this quote was my mission statement last year in my language arts classes. This quote for me, is all about "thinking outside of the box" and being able to not only adapt but accept change and gravitate towards the edge of thinking and learning.

    I love the "Scamper" concept; I hadn't heard of the acronym before today. This is one new concept I'd like to incorporate in class. I truly believe that this generation of students need to be risk-takers and adapt their thinking and problem-solving strategies to an array of life situations. Once again, we need to help students understand more about themselves and their own learning.

    The author presents several real-life experiences, as she models the habitudes throughout the book. Modeling the idea of an adaptive learner needs to happen in order for students to realize that adaptability develops over time with practice. All of the habitudes within the book need to be fostered throughout the year in order for any change to take place. As a final thought- I use the expression, "thinking outside of the box" constantly in the classroom. The looks on 12 year old faces is sometimes hilarious. The concept makes no sense. I love the nine dot lesson and plan to utilize the concept, as I introduce adaptability and the idea of generating ideas into the motion of change.

  5. Adaptability, we do it everyday. The first day of school the internet was down and every homeroom had to utilize the school web site to cover Rules, Rights and Responsibilities. We all had to adapt by finding the paper copy to use for the presentation. We lost our H: drive-personal and the school shared drive. Anything you planned to use was gone for several hours. Students aren't going to wait quietly while you wait for information to appear. We adapt. It is a constant in our lives. The day provided an excellent opportunity to teach adaptability.
    I am having my students throughout this first semester,reflect on each of the habitudes and what they mean to them. We will be taking them one at a time. To get to know these students better I will start with "What is your Passion?" Many times I get an answer to this question when the students create their own I AM video. I have always thought it a shame that we do this at the end of the year and I find out things that is not typically brought out during the regular school year.

  6. Adaptability, feel like I am doing this constantly at my job. The internet does not allow us to drill down and we are constantly timed out. I am going to be honest, I have not read the chapter because I left my iPad at school over the weekend. So...........I could not finish this reply to my liking. I wish I would have bought this darn book, to have at my finger tips. Hopefully, I can catch up later today............but we all have worked so hard at keeping up with our assignments.

  7. "The illiterate of the twenty-first century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. Technology is always changing and we need to be able to change with it and use it. One can look and see how over a short period of time how computers have changed and how cell phones have changed. Even how we get information has changed. But even everyday things in our lives change. In the chapter Angela Maiers discusses how she had to change her dinner menu one day because she had unexpected guests for dinner. Students need to learn that adaptability is not just important for learning or the work place but all aspects of our lives.

  8. As far as the quote goes, I agree that we need to be adaptable, but, my students who can't read, write, or do simple math are still in trouble this century.
    I would like to play the devil's advocate here a bit; sometimes we need to make sure we note the difference between adaptability and change. Sometimes, there is so much thrown at us that we need to say, "Wait, before you throw all of these new things at us, let us master what was new yesterday." We change too many things, and then try to apply bad science in singling out a cause and effect with a multitude of variables.

    I so like the conversation idea for adaptability; I doubt any of our students would use it in terms outside of science. I think there are many times when students would LIKE some change; how tired must they be of powerpoint projects, mundane class starters, the same lunch menus, and other routine things. I like the idea of taking the SCAMPER chart and posting it. One of the new areas in my "MediaPlex" will be called a "Collaborative Learning Lab". There will be many opportunities for students or groups to "think outside the box".
    Our poor teachers have so much to "adapt" to this year: Common Core standards, close reading, CORE, new district-wide curriculum, PBIS, a tweaked evaluation system, GAFE, different team configurations, and, yes, the 600+ chromebooks passed out today. I do like the suggestion, "respond rather than react, reflect rather than remember".
    I am not opposed to change (I like to try different restaurants whenever possible), and I do think that adaptability can be learned in a sense. The very first teaching team I was ever on (1990) had a wonderful mix of teachers. We would throw out an idea, and our ELA teacher would say, "How can we make this work?" Along with the math teacher, they would come up with creative ideas that involved the students. The social studies and health/PE teacher would organize things (our concrete sequential people), and I'm not sure what I did. Teaching with those wonderful people helped me approach things in different ways had I not had that experience.

    Being adaptable is so important, because in many cases we may have no idea what lies ahead. Just don't overdo it.

  9. I love this quote! I think that adaptability is one of the most important attributes a person can possess. I think it’s also something that if you don't have then it is obvious to everyone around you. I think about where I first taught and we had a teacher and she was so set in her ways that she would not be on board with anything that went out of the regular schedule. It made life very difficult for everyone else. I always think I don't want to be "that person"! As my school year has started we have already discussed being adaptable and
    "Going with the flow". I had an ENO board installed, and after two died. There went my beautiful back to school power point, but I couldn't dwell long on the fact I didn't have it.

    I do plan on using the lesson plans in the book and I have even shared it with some of my friends that are going to try this out as well.

  10. I think that adaptability will make the biggest difference in each student's life. It will make a difference with how much they earn, and where they work and live.

    I am generally a flexible person, and I think the kids can learn this from their teachers to some degree. Last year our classroom was used as a testing room every time we gave any online tests. Therefore, my classes of students had to relocate for a day, or for a week. I would pack up everything that we needed for class ahead of time, and we would go wherever we needed to for class that day. When it was warm outside we even went to the pavilion. Once of the kids said to me one day, "Can you just teach anywhere?" This was a funny question from a child, but an important one! We had a discussion about how my prepared lesson, and their willing openess to learning were all we really needed for our lessons. It was an interesting conversation to have with elementary kids.