Today is Dr. Seuss‘ birthday (books by this author). He was born Theodor Geisel, in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1904. His mother read bedtime stories to him every night. He’s the author of more than 60 children’s books, including Horton Hears a Who! (1954), One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish (1960), Green Eggs and Ham (1960), Hop on Pop (1963), Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! (1975), The Butter
Battle Book (1984), and of course, The Cat in the Hat (1957) which uses just 220 different words. His first children’s book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, which he said was inspired by the rhythms of a steamliner cruiser on which he rode.
Seuss was actually his mother’s maiden name and he took it as a pen name when writing for the Dartmouth campus magazine. Garrison Keillor writes interestingly of this time in Dr. Seuss’ life in The Writer’s Almanac. Keillor describes Seuss’ writing style as “rhyming anapestic meter, also called trisyllabic meter.”
“The meter is very alluring and catchy, and Seuss’s masterful use of it is a big part of why his books are so enjoyable to read. The meter is made up of two weak beats followed by a stressed syllable — da da DUM da da DUM da da DUM da da DUM, as in “And today the Great Yertle, that Marvelous he / Is King of the Mud. That is all he can see.”
Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!
from Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac
“Effective thinkers make their thinking visible, meaning they externalize their thoughts through speaking, writing, drawing, or some other method. They can then direct and improve those thoughts.” ~Ritchhart & Perkins
More Weekend Educational Quotes
Ritchhart, R. and Perkins, D. (2008, February). Making thinking visible. Educational Leadership, 65(5), 57-61.
Dr. John Kotter outlined an eight-step model for successful change efforts. Kotter, a Harvard Business School Professor, introduced his eight-step change process in his 1995 book, “Leading Change.”Of all of the resources online, I think this image offers the best depiction:
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality divides the 8 steps in half. Steps 1-4 help confront the “we’ve always done it this way” resistance of the status quo. Steps 5-8 introduce innovation, implementation of new practices, and sustainability.
- Step 1: Create a Sense of Urgency. Help others see the immediacy for change and quick change.
- Step 2: Assemble the Centers of Influence. Ideally, the team should represent leadership, knowledge, analytic ability, skills, communications ability, authority, and a distrust of bureaucracy.
- Step 3: Develop the Change Vision and Strategy. Narrow focus to one issue and clarify it succinctly. Clarify how the future will be different from the past and the steps needed to get there.
- Step 4: Communicate for Understanding and Buy-in. “Speak Truth to Teams”- Network and be inclusive
- Step 5: Empower Others to Act. Remove as many barriers as possible for change makers.
- Step 6: Produce Short-Term Wins. Create some visible, unambiguous successes as soon as possible.
- Step 7: Don’t Let Up. Take energy from initial successes. Be relentless until your vision becomes policy.
- Step 8: Create a New Culture. Keep closing the loop. Reach out, sure, but always remember to reach back with gratitude to those who were your original stakeholders.
- I would gently add a Step 9- Revisit and Reevaluate. Too many times successful new programs run on their own adrenaline of grant money or new leadership. Then they falter under there own lack of sustainability. Set a target goal and revisit date for your new policy. There is a reason why doctors’ advocate check-ups.
Question: When have you implemented Kotter’s Change Method?
Tomorrow: Application of Kotter’s Change Model
The blog post submitted in partial fulfillment of course requirements for Dr. Paul Sparks EDLT 721 course.
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