One of my favorite inspirational videos comes from Kid President. It’s called A Pep Talk From Kid President to You and in it, Kid President gives us the kick-in-the-pants we need to reframe our thinking and brighten our spirits.

Kid President’s opening line is: I think we all need a pep talk.

My opening line for this blog post is: I think we all need an awe walk. =)

An awe walk is exactly what it sounds like: a walk with the sole intention of experiencing awe in the world around us. Originally created to help older adults experience the vastness of the natural world and elicit more positive emotions, an awe walk can be used in many aspects of life, especially in our coaching, and can give us a needed perspective-shift:
  • What if we walked through the hallways of our school EXPECTING to see evidence of joyful learning?
  • What if we arrived at school LOOKING for positive connection and collaboration with colleagues?
  • What if we browsed our digital teaching spaces KNOWING we’d find evidence of authentic learning?
Here’s the thing: we find what we are looking for. So, why not find things that focus on positive learning, growth, connection and collaboration? Now, that does not mean the rest of our challenges fall away, but it does mean we might tackle them with a more renewed sense of energy and determination because we’ve focused on what’s going well, first.

So, the first step in taking an awe walk is to literally get your own feet moving with a positive purpose. Start walking through your school hallways with a sense of awe. Work through your coaching cycles with a sense of inquiry and wonder. Expect teacher learning experiences to be a raving success. The bottom line? Look for the good. And see how that changes your mindset.

Then, bring that same experience to your teachers. Borrow some time from one of your professional learning sessions or team meetings and take an awe walk through the school hallways. Encourage teachers to snap pictures of the awe-inspiring things they find and share them to a Padlet wall. Teachers can even dip in and out of each other’s classrooms in an after-school awe walk with the sole purpose of finding awe in each other’s classrooms. And my recent favorite? Take an awe walk through a virtual classroom space, finding the time and space to celebrate all the innovation we’ve experienced over the past year.

That’s it! There’s no special presentation, template or tool needed to make this a success, just some time, an open-mind and a willingness to find the good. But, if you’d like, you can record those awe-inspiring experiences with your camera, on sticky notes or simply celebrate them in a conversation to boost the culture of the community.

Try an awe walk this week...and let me know what you find in the comments!

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