#SOL19 Day 16 Spark! What’s Your Win?

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For the month of March I will be participating in the Slice of Life Challenge sponsored by The Two Writing Teachers Blog. Each day I will be sharing a Quick Write as my way of slicing. The idea is to offer a SPARK that will kindle thinking and then write as quickly as you can for 5-10 minutes. No filters, no revisions. I’ve been curating a collection of Sparks and will share some with you all month. It’s a great way to ignite your writing life

What’s Your Win? Spark!

I blogged about this topic in early February (What’s Your Win?)  to encourage one another to look for and notice those small (or large) successes that happen each day in our classrooms. They’re always there! The idea is to take a few minutes at the end of your day (or during your lunch break) to pause and reflect on a success, no matter how small. Kindergarten teachers at one of my schools were encouraging each other with that prompt each day.

Not only do I believe in the power of positive thinking, but I also believe in the power of trajectory. I’ve blogged about this Feb 2014. The gist of my reading research was that if an event was not very satisfying but ended very positively (upward trajectory) that the event was perceived as an overall positive experience. To the contrary, if an event seemed successful but ended rather negatively (downward trajectory) that event was often perceived as an overall negative experience. In addition, that perception shapes future experiences

A great quick write SPARK! for the end of our teaching day may be to take 3-5 minutes to jot down a “WIN” that finds us leaving school more positively. That can shape our future experience at home in the evening (trajectory!). It would encouraging to have a notebook filled with 180 “wins” at the end of a school year when it is time to write our reflections or whenever we get that nagging doubt of “Am I really making any difference?” Flipping through these quick writes could put those doubts to rest pretty quickly.

Here’s my quick write from yesterday:












The fact that she put my presentation into practice right away and that she wanted to share her enthusiasm and efforts with me was such a great way to end my workshop day. All of my hard work seemed completely worthwhile. Capturing that win and documenting it with a quick write could definitely be boost on any future ‘down days’.

Give it a try. I’d love to know “What’s Your Win?”

35 thoughts on “#SOL19 Day 16 Spark! What’s Your Win?

  1. What an amazing story! You made a difference and heard about it right away! I would like to hear more about District PD day…

    1. Here’s a blog post from 2017 I wrote about it. The most popular sessions the past few years have been ‘self care’ and social-emotional issues for students. Such a great way to expand our thinking and promote learning that focuses on HEART, MIND, and BODY.

  2. Paula, I love this! When I was a literacy coach, I wrote in my journal at the end of every day. This would have been a helpful and useful strategy for me. Even though I go into different districts as a literacy consultant, I can still use this practice today. Thank you!

  3. So true, about the trajectory and perception of the whole, based on the ending. Makes me think of a song sung by a soloist or choir – that last note is what lingers in the mind.

  4. What you say about positive vs negative trajectories is so true. I will bring this into my next PD session! Thanks Paula! – Krista

  5. AS I was reading your post, I decided that I need to create an online doc for our specialists’ group. We need to see “wins” every day. So much testing, progress reports and failing grades for struggling students. We need to change the tone to focus on the wins of each day! Thank you for this inspiration!

  6. I love this idea and agree with you that it would be very encouraging to have a notebook of 180 wins at the end of the year. I work with a lot of student teachers and first-year teachers, and I am going to start asking them to tell me about wins! (Because you can imagine how much the not-wins weigh on their minds!)

    1. Absolutely, Elisabeth. Teachers are always self-critical and focus so heavily on what they SHOULD be doing and not always on what they have done well. Thanks for being so encouraging to your student teachers and novice teachers!

  7. Your post is the second one I’ve read this morning about perspective and how it looks for us in our classrooms. I love the idea of writing about wins and finding those when it’s easier to notice the “not win.”

  8. Many times we dwell on what didn’t go well and what we could have done better or differently. We seldom focus on what went right and the positives of our lessons. These are just as important, in not more so, as the areas for improvement. Thanks for reminding us to give ourselves a pat on the back.

    1. I think we can learn more (or at least as much) from ‘what went right’ so we can replicate it, than we can from ‘what went wrong’ so we need to make changes.

  9. I love this idea – Thank you! There are days that I feel like there were no “wins” the entire day. I really doubt that is true (at least I hope it isn’t), so this will be a way to capture my “wins”. I think it would be great to encourage the kids to do it too. THANK YOU!

  10. So glad I found this blog and your Slice practice for this Challenge. I actually wrote about end-of-day “Accolades” where we reflect on giving praise, a “What’s Your Win” variation. I love that you share the research here about perception, too. Thanks.

  11. Great idea! 180 wins documented in a journal would lift anyone’s spirits and most important, I think, would be both motivating and encouraging for anyone. Thanks for this.

  12. Love the positive lens. I think quick writes on “What’s my win?” would alternate nicely with quick writes on “What am I grateful for?” It tweaks the lens a bit. Thanks for an uplifting post.

  13. How fun that a teacher showed you how she put your session to work right away. I wish I could have been in your sketch note session. How wonderful that your district has an Ed-Campish Day.

  14. I need this word in large print in my room to remember this. I’m having a tough year and I catch myself losing my joy….this may help recapture some SPARK

  15. I love this celebration. We always talk about thinking win-win, but do kids often understand this outside of competition? I think this a great idea!

  16. I love love love the idea of finishing each school day with a quick write about one win for the day. I bet this would change my practice. Hmm… wonder if I can try it for the next month or so?

  17. I focus on the small wins in my personal life, but like the idea of focusing on the work life too.

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